After a long week of debates, the San Francisco 49ers finally took on the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte. The 49ers defeated the Panthers by a score of 23-10. It was a close first half, but the 49ers pulled away in the 2nd half and absolutely dominated the Panthers.
The 49ers’ offense struggled in the first half and were only able to put up six points until the final drive, when they scored a touchdown with a few seconds left. Colin Kaepernick started off slow, but then found a groove and shredded the vaunted Panthers’ defense. Kaepernick went 15-for-28 with 198 yards and one touchdown. He also scored one touchdown on the ground.
Anquan Boldin had another great playoff game. He caught eight passes for 138 yards, including a 45-yard pass that set up a touchdown. All of the other pass-catchers didn’t great games on paper, but their contributions were definitely felt on the field. Crabtree had a couple great catches and Vernon Davis caught Kaepernick’s only touchdown pass.
Frank Gore had trouble finding lanes early on, but he finally was able to break down the Carolina defense in the second half. His 39-yard run essentially put away the game for the 49ers. He had a decent day, racking up 84 yards on 17 carries.
The 49ers’ defense was the real story of the game. They shut down the Panthers twice on the goal line and shut them out completely in the second half. The intercepted Cam Newton twice including late in the game when Carolina was driving. They sacked the slippery Newton five times and were able to slow down the hot Panthers’ offense. They gave up 267 passing yards, but a big chunk of those yards came with less than a minute left in the game. They were also able to slow down Carolina’s potent running game. Cam Newton was the Panthers’ leading rusher with only 50 yards on the day. The rest of their running backs totaled 33 yards on 13 carries.
The entire 49ers’ team played hard and it paid dividends because now they are heading to Seattle to play in the NFC Championship game.
Tags: San Francisco 49ers