Although they made a deeper playoff push a year ago, the 2013 season for the 49ers was far from a letdown. The team continued to improve each week, and heading into the off season know that they have a quarterback and defense that is going to make them contenders for years to come.
The NFC Championship Game came down to the 49ers offense verses the Seahawk defense, and Seattle’s number one ranked defense prevailed. San Francisco got the ball down six with the chance to pull off the upset but couldn’t make one more big play against their opponent.
The 3 big names dealing with injuries heading into the NFC Championship Game could all play. The 49ers figure to have both Carlos Rogers and Will Tukuafu ready to go, while Seattle’s Percy Harvin is a big question mark and will remain so up until kickoff.
The news of the Seahawks restricting sales to this Sundays games to certain zip code has been met with mixed results. While some might not like it, it’s legal, and more importantly will not give Seattle’s any additional advantage. The only thing this move really does is add to the 49er fan base’s hatred of their division rival.
The only two notable names that could miss this Sunday’s game between the 49ers and Panthers are Steve Smith and Carlos Rogers. While it’s unlikely that Smith will sit, it would not be a surprise to see Rogers not dressed. Regardless of what happens, both teams will be fine, and shouldn’t have to make any major adjustments.
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.
The Green Bay Packers have had trouble stopping the 49ers in their last two meetings. Now they have to try and beat them in the playoffs while facing injury issues on defense.
The fact that both teams could be without a key defensive player this Sunday when the 49ers and Packers play is not good. While Green Bay already knows their fate, San Francisco is hoping and waiting that they will not be without Carlos Rogers.
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.