The Carolina Panthers really weren’t even expected to contend for a playoff spot this season, but they surpassed all expectations and then some. Unfortunately, a team they got the better of during the regular season got the better of them in the playoffs.
With the 49ers looking red-hot and the Panthers well-rested, this game figures to be another close one. Vegas oddsmakers concur, assigning this game the tightest line of the weekend of San Francisco by 1.5 points.
When Panthers Coach Ron Rivera said that he felt the team under the most pressure this week will be San Francisco he was dead wrong. Not only is his team the one that HAS to win this game, if he really believes that the Panthers are playing with house money he is setting his team up for failure.
The Carolina Panthers have not been to the playoffs since 2008. The upcoming game against the San Francisco 49ers will mark just the fifth time in franchise history that the Panthers have been to the playoffs, and that means the team is severely lacking in playoff experience.
Up next for the 49ers are the Carolina Panthers. Although the Panthers came to Candlestick earlier this season and beat San Francisco, the 49ers are the better team and have a very good shot at winning their second straight road playoff game.
The Carolina Panthers have had an extra week off to prepare for their first playoff game in years, but they haven’t taken the time off from preparing. They have been focusing on whichever team they may face and they are looking to be a team that is not only good, but one that is feared.
The Carolina Panthers have a first-round bye in the upcoming playoffs and they have an extra week to prepare for whatever team may end up facing them in Bank of America Stadium. Cam Newton recently said that they don’t care who their opponent is, but the key to winning is forgetting about egos and focusing on their opponent.
The Carolina Panthers had to win the last game of the season to get the NFC South title and a first-round bye so it’s not like it was a time they could rest their players. Steve Smith had to sit out with an injury, and there were not a lot of other options for Cam Newton to rely on, but there need to be.
The Carolina Panthers started off the season with a 1-3 start, and were tied with the Atlanta Falcons for second place. It wasn’t a second place that was even close to the NFC South-leading New Orleans Saints, but the rest of the season proved to turn out completely different.
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Despite coming off their bye, and playing at home, the 49ers suffered another heartbreaking defeat. Instead of extending their winning streak to six, San Francisco will now have to beat a good New Orleans team to avoid losing their second in a row.
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