The first round of the NFL playoffs has drawn to a close, and with it, it has taken four victims. The playoffs are not for the weak, as in the course of two days, it has decisively crushed the hopes and dreams of the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Cincinnati Bengals. However, the teams still alive are certainly not satisfied with surviving the Wild Card Round storm. Every single one of them has championship aspirations, including our San Francisco 49ers.
Colin Kaepernick was a star last Sunday afternoon, shredding the Packer defense with both his arm and his legs. His connection with Michael Crabtree and Vernon Dais, coupled with an impressive showing by the defense against Aaron Rodgers brought the first playoff win of 2014 to the Bay. Though they escaped frigid Green Bay with a victory, a far more daunting opponent awaits them on the East Coast. The Carolina Panthers, riding high after winning eleven of their last twelve games, are ready to put an end to the Niners’ own seven-game winning streak.
In their last matchup, the Panthers were able to best the 49ers at Candlestick Park by a score of 10-9 in one of the season’s best defensive ballgames. Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams was the only player to score a touchdown in that game, as the Panther front seven was able to harass Kaepernick for the entire game, sacking him six times and allowing only 91 yards through the air. But tomorrow will be a whole new matchup, as the Niners will have some key pieces that they didn’t have last game.
So what must San Francisco do to continue their Quest For Six? Let’s break it down.