For you Gene Vincent fans. . . .
Here we are in week 2 of the 2013 playoffs. Again, the Niners are the faves on the road. I understood that for the 8-7-1 Packers, but not quite the Panthers. They are the 2 seed coming off an 11-1 streak after starting slow at 1-3 and calls for Ron Rivera’s head. After 4 wins over some non-descript competition, they rolled into SF and beat us 10-9. A validation of their win streak. Which they followed up with a home win over New England. They overtook New Orleans to win the NFC South. They are a strong defensive team with a young, dynamic QB.
Sound familiar? Yeah, kinda like the 49ers. This game looks to be a clash of the new-age NFL QBs. Big fast mobile QBs with big arms and dangerous legs. Their numbers are comparable, their records are identical, and their defenses are equally stingy. And Cam beat us. So, why do I think the 49ers will win? Mainly because when the 49ers played the Panthers, we nearly won the game despite missing many of our best players. Crabtree was still MIA, Aldon Smith was just back and rusty from rehab, Eric Reid and Vernon Davis were knocked out with concussions, and the team was struggling with every aspect of the offense. Mike Iupati and Joe Staley were dinged up, and Colin Kaepernick had his worst game as a pro, and I think they Niners abandoned the run to ill effect.
All that being said, the Niners were close. The troubling aspects of that game was the pressure Carolina got on Kappy with their base 4 man rush. They didn’t do much blitzing but still got 6 sacks. Gore had a good game, gaining 82 yards, but, again, the play calling went away from the run, and all the Niner drives stalled in the 2nd half.
Anyhow, this looks to be another defensive struggle, minus the minus degree weather of Green Bay. Forecast for Charlotte, NC is 59º, light winds, and a 30% chance of rain. Again though, this is the playoffs. Mistakes are verboten. Frowned upon. And usually taken advantage of. The Niners had Green Bay held to 6 yards until the Kappy interception woke them up and they drove to a touchdown and an early lead. Point being, points will be hard to come by, and turrnovers can kill. Protect the ball. Contain Fig Newton, and force known fumbler DeAngelo Williams into a couple cough-ups and all should work out fine.