It’s Panthers by a whisker

This is my Friday column on the 49ers upcoming playoff game against the Panthers.

Before I write off the 49ers, I want to say I underestimated them this season.

When Michael Crabtree tore his Achilles’ tendon during OTAs, I thought the 49ers’ season was dead. And when Aldon Smith drove his truck into a tree and the 49ers started the season 1-2, I thought the season was really most sincerely dead.

But I was wrong.

The 49ers played like maniacs after Week 3, and their record is 12-2 since then. Give credit to Jim Harbaugh for turning the season around, for not letting his team go in the tank. No head coach currently in the NFL gets his players to play harder than Harbaugh does. For all of Harbaugh’s good qualities, that may be his best. And so far, this season may have been Harbaugh’s best as a 49er. He had to overcome more injuries and bad luck this season than the previous two.

So when I say the 49ers will lose on Sunday, it’s not because they aren’t good. They’re as good as any team in the NFL. They could beat the Panthers this Sunday and I could be wrong again.

But as good as the 49ers are, the Panthers may be better. Both teams have good running games. The 49ers have better receivers, but the Panthers have a slightly better defense and a slightly better quarterback.

The Panthers started the season 1-3 and since then, their record is 11-1. The only game they lost was to the Saints in the Superdome, where the Saints were undefeated this season. So, the Panthers may be even hotter than the 49ers right now.

When these two teams played each other Week 10, the Panthers won by just one point and Michael Crabtree didn’t play. But the Panthers beat up the 49ers, knocked out Vernon Davis and Eric Reid. Both the 49ers and Panthers want to beat up their opponent, and the Panthers did the beating in the first matchup.

That’s significant, especially considering they played at Candlestick after the 49ers were coming off a bye week. The 49ers had an extra week to rest and prepare to play the Panthers at home, and the Niners still got beat up.

Now, the situation is reversed. The 49ers have to play in Carolina, and the Panthers are coming off a bye week. They’re rested. The 49ers aren’t. They played just a few days ago in the freezing cold. That will have an effect. Some players may still be sore.

No defense currently is tougher to face on their home field than the Panthers’ defense. They’ve given up 12 points per game at home this season, best in the NFL. And they’ve given up six total touchdowns at home this season, fewer than a touchdown per game.

I predict Vernon Davis will score a touchdown against the Panthers – he’s scored a touchdown in all but four games this season. But I don’t think any other 49er will score.

Not Frank Gore – the Panthers have given up just four rushing touchdowns all season.

And not Anquan Boldin, and not Michael Crabtree. The Panthers’ top three cornerbacks have allowed just one touchdown catch combined.

I am not predicting a blowout loss for the 49ers. If they lose, they’re going to lose by no more than two or three points. The 49ers are too good and too proud to get blown out by any team in the playoffs.

I doubt the Panthers will score more than one touchdown, either. But I expect they will move the ball better than the 49ers.

The Panthers’ No. 1 receiver, Steve Smith, has an injured knee and that will slow him down. But Cam Newton has just an 80.8 passer rating when throwing to Smith this season. Newton doesn’t need Smith. Newton spreads the ball around and is good at it. His passer rating is better than 100 when he targets his running backs or his tight end. And Newton’s rating is 95 when he targets Ted Ginn Jr. Newton is dangerous no matter whom he’s throwing to.

And he converts almost half his third downs. The Panthers converted 44 percent of their third downs this season, and converted 41 percent of their third downs Week 10 against the 49ers. The Panthers probably will convert more than 40 percent again on Sunday.

But the 49ers converted just 15 percent of their third downs against the Panthers. Will Crabtree improve their third-down success?

Maybe, maybe not.

When Crabtree was hurt, the 49ers converted 37 percent of their third downs and, since he has returned, they’ve converted 38 percent – just a 1-percent increase.

Here’s what I expect: The 49ers will outplay the Panthers early, but the Niners won’t build a big lead.

Then, the Panthers will come back and win 16-13.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for the Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at grantcohn@gmail.com.

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    1. This guy Grant Cohn has to be the dumbest freaking guy!!! What the hell does he know about football!!! They had no receivers to throw the ball too.. He should go work for the panthers

      1. This is why i dont visit this blog like i used to: instead of reporting, like say, Barrows for the Bee, Grant just spews controversial opinions in order to create blog hits!!! Its a shame what journalism has evolved into.

    2. In the whole Grand Scheme of this Playoff Run does it really matter what Grant thinks?

      It’s a Free Country & it’s his opinion but so what?

      That being said I believe 2 Major Factors will do in the Panthers on Sunday;

      #1 The lack of Weapons for the Panthers even with Steve Smith who will NOT even be close to 100%

      #2 The lack of Playoff experience will show in Cam’s play. I know some Talking Heads have said this week that “Playoff Experience” is over rated. But it depends on the Make Up of the individual, and I don’t believe Cam’s ready for this, it’s just a Gut Feeling I have. He was already erratic these past several games & this Playoff game will only make his play MORE erratic.

      49ers win by 10.

    3. Grant’s gr8 at getting everyone worked up, but…let’s consider comparable games. Teams like Giants, Bucs and Jets are stat builders. Look at good teams. 9ers and Cats played Hawks, Saints & Cards. Comparing like games home/away: 9ers scored avg 21. Gave up 20. Panthers scored avg 9. Gave up 21. Any team can win on any given day, but if 9ers focus mostly on quick passes, counters and draws, w/o turnovers: 9ers 20, Cats 13. Thoughts?

    4. Grant sucks and doesn’t know football. Kap had hsi worst game. VD. Was out an would have been the target needed to win in week 10 but got hurt. Crab was out and ay Mac hurting. Aldon just bak and didn’t play. Yet Niners first three drives gave them 3 field goals and instead of 9 to zero could easily have been 21 to zero if not for three bad plays and play calls. Panthers did nothing during that span. Hunter fumbled on a drive that would have given a score for sure. Now niners are a much better and dangerous team. Niners are the better team by far. Just like Alson Smith is like a man compared to Hardy who is a boy. Camerratic and nothing compared to Kap. Niner sill kill Overmatched and over rated Panthers all the way!

  1. I am so distraught, upset, shocked with your prediction. May needs meds soon, sorry lol, we all knew what your prediction was going to be, and if we win, it will be the same for next week.

    1. Neal,
      I predict 24-17 Niners. It could even be a blow out, but my conservative pick is a 7 point margin of victory.

      1. Nick,
        I think it will be very close, but I wish we can win the game in a non-dramatic fashion, so I don’t have to go through what I did last week. I am going with 20 -17. Niners

    1. Jack, I think the answer to questions 1 and 5 would be to utilize some play calling similar to what was used against the Cardinals.When they have to respect the sideline to sideline play, expect to see Davis taking off down the center.

      1. The 49ers gave up 13 sacks on 1st down this season. 5 of those sacks came in week 10. This allowed the Panthers to sit in zone coverage which took away the running lanes for Kaepernick.

        The 49ers had a lot of success on the ground on 1st down in that first matchup, gaining 56 yards on 10 runs.

    2. Jack,

      I thought for sure, you were going to pick the Panthers, it will go down to the wire, if I was a betting man, as you had noted.

      1. Glad I fooled you. This has all the makings of a great battle. A full go Crabtree and a hobbled Smith will make the difference.

      2. You did fool me, just think the Niners have a better all -around team. It will be a coaching battle. Is this the first playoff game, where two former teammates are head coaches?

    3. Jack, this is off thread, but did you and / or Grant see today’s article in the Wall Street Journal on the Seahawks pass defense and how they “cheat” it was entitled “The Seahawks’ Grabby Talons and is subtitled “Seattle’s Defense Relies on a Brazen Tactic: Rampant Interference”. it quotes Mike Pereira saying “they look at it and say”we may get called for one but not ten”. It is the most popular article in the WSJ today.
      I think this may make a difference in the NFL offices. When a major national newspaper that cannot be accused of homerism states openly and directly that the Seahawks cheat, this goes right to the integrity of the game. When they quote the former head of NFL officiating agreeing, I don’t think this can be ignored.
      I am thinking we may see a difference in the way things are called in the game with the Saints and all subsequent games involving the SeaCheats.
      Your thoughts ??!!

      1. It’s interesting that the Wall Street Journal picked up the story. To be honest I have heard Peirera and others state that on a number of occasions. It will be something to keep an eye on.

      2. It’s a very interesting issue in the NFL,clearly there were multiple instances of interference in the 49er/Packer game for instance. Darkness thrives in confusion.If blatant interference is not going to be called across the board fine one coaches the technique.If it is going to be called “sometimes” and “sometimes not”that lack of standard denigrates the game and raises the issue of subjectivity vs objectivity as goals in officiating. That my friends is a house of cards.

      3. Thanks for that article heads up andy.

        I see the Seahold fans are making their usual noise in the comments section.

        It’s going to be sweet watching today as the Saints upset those clowns.

  2. Grant, its good that you added caveats to this article, because the 49ers are hot right now and they know it. Carolina is good, but they will not be able to put out the 49ers flame. You can argue by the numbers that Carolina should win, but the feeling that resonates with the rest of us is that Carolina wont have the weapons to hold us back. We will see if this time you are correct with your pick. Although if your history of discounting the 49ers repeats itself, I am sure we will see a very similar article to this announcing how the Seahawks or Saints will knock the 49ers out.

  3. This is going to be a tough, tough game. Panthers ripped up the Niners OL first time around, and it’s going to be an epic battle this time around. But barring a loss in the turnover game or another rash of injuries (touch wood), I think the Niners have enough offense to win this one – in fact, by 4-7 points. Niners 24-17 or maybe something like a 23-19 slugfest.

  4. Grant this is your best written article in a few months. Congrats like CK or any of us in our professional lives we werent as good yesterday as we will be tomorrow. The game is a toss up. I’m betting [not picking but betting] on the 9ers i think they have made more improvement than Carolina since they last played but i’m not making a big play.

    1. Something i have’nt read about here very much this week, the absence of S Smith. Evidently he said yesterday that his injury did not react well to practice.

  5. Let’s start at the SF / Carolina game in November where Niners lost by 1 point at home. For this game addition of Crabtree is worth 3 points, Davis playing the entire game is worth another 2 points, Aldon Smith with a number of games under his belt since his return from rehab is worth 1 point, Steve Smith playing at 60% is worth 1 point, Home field for Carolina is worth negative 3 points.

    Add all this up I see a Niners win by 3 points.

    26-23 Niners.

    1. home field advantage is generally considered worth three points versus a neutral site. So the difference between playing in SF versus playing in Carolina is worth six points, not three.

  6. I can see about 16 for Panthers. I think the Niners could win with 17 points, 13 might not be enough.

  7. Stoke them flames and garner those replies, Grant. lol

    Along with your final prediction, I must disagree with your assessment regarding Cam’s need for Smith. Deeper thoughts conclude more often than not, Smith is going to take the attention of the defense’s #1 CB. As you know, this allows their other receivers to play against “lesser” CB’s and disallows the defense the ability to “cheat” and roll coverage toward a single receiver (think Boldin in the first metting), in theory, giving the ancillary receivers more opportunities to make plays. One can, and many have, certainly draw smiliar conclusions regarding Crabtree and the 49ers offense.

    49ers 16 – Panthers 13

  8. Niners are healthy and have won 7 straight, they will be avenging previous losses now. No matter where the game is played.
    Revenge on Panthers Sunday, then revenge on Saints at the stick or payback in Seattle for the blowout loss.
    Niners are the most complete/balanced team remaining in playoffs elite 8. Super Bowl experience is priceless fellas and coming up 5 yards short in Super Bowl is more motivating than we could possibly understand.

    These particular 49er players are the longest tenured 49ers players, with years on team in parentheses:
    Andy Lee (10)
    Frank Gore (9)
    VD (8)
    Patrick Willis (7)
    Joe Staley (7)
    Ray McDonald (7)
    Ahmad Brooks (6)
    Justin Smith (6)

    These 8 long-time Niner warriors deserve a Super Bowl ring!
    One game down 3 to go!……Onward….Onward…..Onward.

    S.F. 20 CAR 13
    TGIF Niner brothas!

  9. Grant your writing seems so “junior varsity” to me. If the Niners win and Kap outplays Cam will you admit your wrong? And vengeful? Maybe your writing would be more appreciated in a middle school somewhere in Carolina. I think you as a writer suck. Period.

    1. Grant Come on now. Still think Cam is better than Kap? In fact which young guy is better than Kap? I would say no one right now. Kap 4-1 in playoffs (really could be 5-0), 3-0 on the road and Luck, 1-2 in playoffs (7 pics), Cam 0-1, Russell 2-1, RG3 0-1. Not convinced ? How about Montana 1-3 road record in play-offs, Steve young 0-3. And you write for the Niners?I am not asking for bias I am asking for competent factual reporting. You should apologize and admit you’re wrong.

  10. Some things never change. I think Staley has Cat Scratch Fever and infects the entire offensive line. They make that kitty purr with a score by VD, and another by Crabtree……

  11. I would say that neither Vernon nor Reid was knocked out by Carolina. Vernon hit his head on the turf and Reid knocked himself out with a wacky angle on a tackle.

    The Niners under Harbaugh haven’t fared well after the bye, I don’t have the stats, but I’m pretty sure it’s 1-2 or 0-3.

      1. If you count the week off between the conference championship game and the Super Bowl as a bye, then the 49ers are 1-2-1.

      2. So after the bye they win 50% of the time. A much lower success rate than their overall performance under Harbaugh.

  12. “We got beat earlier. We have better intentions now. I don’t really like to talk about it. I’m looking forward to playing.”
    Michael Crabtree 1-10-14

  13. Totally agree. Niners have beaten bad to mediocre teams over the last month. Panthers are good. Really good. And everyone around here seems to be overlooking them.

      1. And the Panthers got manhandled by the Saints and needed a miracle to pull a second win off against them. The Niners were a dropped Gore pass and a bad call by the ref away from beating the Saints in the dome without Crabtree.
        I mention this because we were not in sync then like we are now. If Carolina wins, it’s because they come out the game early. If this game is close early which I suspect it will be, we win 27-17.

    1. Yeah Seattle and Arizona pretty mediocre teams, Got robbed at N.O. too. And one play away against Carolina. No ones overlooking them. In fact these 2 teams are very close to mirror images. Even more than Seattle/Niners. Just seems to some Niners are playing better now.

  14. Grant picks against the Niners again, shocking!

    Kevin Lynch did a good job of breaking down why the Niners lost to the Panthers last time (http://blog.sfgate.com/49ers/2014/01/09/who-was-the-real-culprit-in-the-49ers-10-9-loss-to-the-panthers-this-year/).

    Basically, the O line let Kaep down, and he never got comfortable in the pocket. I just asked Kevin in an on line chat discussion about how the Niners can play them different this time. The way he sees it, this time the Niners can go max protect, give Kaep time, and allow his best receivers (Davis and Crabtree) to get down field on shot plays, thus exploiting the Panthers only glaring weakness on defense. In the last game, those two receivers were basically missing.

    Niners go deep or go home! Niners 28, Carolina 21.

    1. The offensive line play in the Carolina game was as bad as any I have seen from the 49ers in many many years.

  15. Grant

    You base too many of your arguments on regular season stats. Playoff strategies differ, and gameday conditions lead to the use of different tactics.

    I think Niners can win if Kap has a slightly above-average game and does not make mistakes, and no key players are hurt during the game. He won’t be running too much on design assuming that the Panthers will play zone. Last time, Kap was befuddled somewhat by the zone D and there were some coverage sacks if I recall right. This time Boldin, Crab and VD will blow holes in the zone. While Gore may not run a TD, I can see him catching a dump-off pass in the red zone for a TD. Game planning against Packers, Panthers and the Seahawks are the ones where Roman can put forward as proof of his offensive creativity for HC consideration.

    Niners win 16-13 but I won’t be surprised by a 23-13 win.

      1. There was 1 in the 1st quarter. It was a quick slant/out, the Panthers covered the slant and Kaepernick held it instead of going to the flat.

  16. If Vance McDonald holds onto that catch at the end of the game, they would have been in field goal range. Niners likely would have won that game and they would be playing at home, as they would have won the NFC West with one more game. How would that change all these statistics & opinions?

  17. No mention of one other thing which will be different this time: It’s the playoffs, no tomorrow and no holding back, and that means Kaepernick will run when he has the chance.

    If the 49ers win, it will be Kaepernick who scores one of the TDs with his legs and converts 2 or 3 first downs, and that will be the difference.

  18. Instead of using stats for the entire season, I think it would be best to compare stats for common opponents. The 49ers played the NFC South, so Carolina and SF played many common opponents. However, I don’t have the time to break it down like that but would be interesting.

    Interestingly, both teams had identical strength of schedule this year. Opponents had a record of 126-129-1.

  19. In the game in November, the Niner win if any of the following happened:

    1. Hunter doesn’t fumble on Second and 1 @ Carolina’s 39 in the 4Q.
    2. Vance McDonald catches a pass that was perfectly thrown in his gut.
    3. Harbaugh goes for it on 4th and 1 @ the Car. one, already up 6-0.

    1. Thank you. This time around I don’t think #1, 2, or 3 are even options for this game. Of course they go for it on 4th and 1. They only threw to McDonald last time cuz Davis was out and they had to. If they throw any passes to McDonald in this game, I will be upset, he has hands of stone.

  20. “I predict Vernon Davis will score a touchdown against the Panthers – he’s scored a touchdown in all but four games this season. But I don’t think any other 49er will score.”

    I’m guessing you haven’t put any money on that prediction. Be a fool if you did. Being specific about what’s going to happen – only God knows that, and even He won’t bet unless the odds are in his favor.

  21. From Lynch, “Of Kaepernick’s 11 second-half attempts, seven were on target, two were dropped, and two were thrown away and one was intercepted on a desperation throw at the end of the game.”

    7+2+2+1=11?

    1. They aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive – you can be on target and have the ball dropped. Not sure if that is what Lynch meant though.

  22. The X and Y factor is going to determine the outcome of this possible epic battle. The X is Dawson – he is steady and has made last minute field goals in the last two games. The Y factor is Cam Newton, I don’t see him being mentally tough enough to win this playoff game. He has improved but this game will be too big for him. LMJ finally returns one for six!!

  23. The only thing that scares me about this game and the Panthers is, are they as physical as the 49ers? If so, and they can man handle our offensive line like they did in week 10, then they win.
    I think too much has happened to this 49ers team since then. They have way too much to lose, they are battle tested. That GB game is done. They wont have any effects from it as this is a new team and new motivation. Besides our defense is playing better than ever. Stop the run, stop Newton from escaping the pocket, Niners roll getting 3 turnovers.
    49ers:30
    Panthers:17

  24. Grant, I totally commend you on giving the team their dues, that is very admirable of you. I guarantee a victory. This team has heart like Rocky. No other team plays together more and for each other than the 9ers do, period. Sometimes it comes down to more than who played last and who could be sore, who had a bye week; sometimes it just is. This is that season.
    Jason
    Go Niners

      1. Carolina Barbecue is good, though not nearly as good Memphis, StLouis, Louisiana, and TexArkana BBQ. You might find some good seafood; Bluefish is good there.

      2. I get it man, that you want to create controversies but, get another job man, why would you be working covering a team you dont like? you sound so lame, makes me sad for you always carrying those sentiments of failure for someone else, and most of those times they actually win, and big. Change work bro, write for another team, enjoy their success and maybe, just maybe you can have a little sweeter life, if you keep at this you will develop some hard illness or something like that.

  25. I keep hearing that there will be a negative residual affect for the 49ers from that Packer game last week. I look at it as a positive residual affect.
    That win brings the team closer, more confidence and makes the soreness less noticeable. Playoff wins bring the adrenaline to the fore front.
    Panthers have not experienced the playoff pressure. Next year they will be better but for Sunday, we win. Niners 16 Panthers 10

    1. I am more worried about the next game.
      I hope this is not a physical and mental exhausting game.

      We can’t allow this game to be CAM’s coming out party. This is the time for CK and the Niners. Last year was a big disappointment. We must remake the legacy now!!!

      I believe this is all (well mostly) on CK… Magazine covers, commercials, Dolphin hats, Russel Wilson being SOOO smart and saying the right things on the camera, Cam Newton drafted the same year and poised for a take over, CK a single read QB, Grant and his dad, blua blua blua blau blau… GO OUT THERE AND BRING HOME THIS TROPHY!!! All will be silenced…

    2. Shawn I hear what your saying but every game from here is physically and mentally deflating. Its the team that can keep it together that will persevere.

  26. I hear what you guys are saying about Grant… but calling for the Panthers the win this game is NOT a stretch. My reason is the Niners should of beat Carolina and Saints… loss close games (drops and refs sure). But other quality teams the Niners just have not won with impressive fashion. The only blow outs we had were against weak teams.

    Our offense has struggled with consistency all year. If we were even 25% better, this would be an entirely different team. The defense is solid. I know Grant craps on Rogers and the secondary, but the truth is, they have held up.

    We have the coaching (Roman is questionable, but isn’t this a play call by committee)… we have the D (pass rush is suspect, we need to turn on NOW)… we need the offense hold up there end.

    I can see this being close, but not surprise if the Niners win by 3 scores especially if Cam implodes. I do not see JH allowing Niners to get blown out. But losing this game is VERY MUCH a reality and picking Carolina even as a super fan is within reason. Numbers do not look good.

    I am picking the Niners to win this game!!!
    32-17

  27. Well reasoned argument Grant. This will be a close hard fought game and I also see the difference being 3 points, but in the Niners favor.

    There were so many things that happened in that first game that could have turned the game around but they just kept shooting themselves in the foot. Two 3rd and short attempts deep inside Panther territory both went for a loss to force FG’s. A drive that got inside the Panther 40 was stopped by a Hunter fumble. A deep pass to McDonald was pulled away at the last second by Kuechley.

    So many chances and none converted. The biggest difference was on 3rd down where the Panthers were able to convert 7-17 while the Niners were a dismal 2-13. The Panthers had two drives the entire game and scored a TD on one, while missing a FG on the other. They got their FG on a Punt return by Ginn that set them up inside the Niner 40.

    Complete defensive dominance on both sides of the ball and the difference was the Niners had to settle for FG’s on all their scoring opportunities. This time around with Crabtree, Davis and Iupati (he was lost in the 3rd quarter to a knee injury) all healthy, I think the Niners are able to control the ball better and punch in at least one TD. I think the defense will hold the Panthers to no more than 13 points and the Niners will win this game 16-13. I didn’t steal that score from you Grant. That is the exact score I was thinking before reading this only in the Niners favor.

    Should be a good one.

  28. I’ll keep it simple (my last posts were novels).

    Niner’s D-line is better than the Panther’s O-line.

    Niner’s D-line is MUCH better than the right side of the O-line. Watch for Aldon lining up on the defensive left side on some passing downs.

    Panthers defense can shutdown good receivers.

    Panthers defense can NOT shut down all of the Niner’s receivers.

    Kaep has more options and tendencies to throw underneath than he did in the first Panthers game.

    Kaep will scramble more in this game than he did in the regular season game.

  29. The Niners have more high end talent and recent playoff experience. That alone gives them the advantage to jump out to an early lead and to grind out a win on the road.

  30. Niners by at least 10. Panthers caught them last time on a perfect storm of injuries and napping after the bye. Niners are more than ready for them this time.

  31. Hey Grant you say ur leaving tomorrow???…stay there, your waaaa waaaa waaaa his worn out its uniqueness here…honestly I realize ur schtick is to be negative, but honestly it just makes you look like a novice….

  32. Everyone knows on 1st down .. Niners go
    with Frank .. up the gut … but .. what if ..
    G-Ro goes with an 11-12 yd check-down to Patton
    off a no-huddle… instead ?

    Surely, the Panthers will stack the box on 1st down… right ??

    Wouldn’t that give them something to think about
    all game long ?

    Even if the pass misses ?

    coach… jack … ?? Mid West ??
    whoever ?

    1. Breaking tendencies should have its place in the game plan, especially when playing a team for the second time in a season. My main concern is first down production to keep down and distance manageable, keep the chains moving and rest our D. If Roman intends on a heavy dose of run, 1st& 2nd downs are the time for it. The tool box will need to be wide open, because the Panthers D wins with execution, not so much tricky schemes. They just play well, very much like SFs D.

    2. What will give the Panthers something to think about if the offense gets into a smooth and consistent rhythm.

  33. I’m also tipping the 49ers will get out to a lead early this game – maybe lead by 7 at half time – and will come down to being able to preserve that lead in the 2nd half. 49ers have been able to hold off 2nd half comebacks the past few weeks, but only barely.

  34. Ok first of all. We were 13-1 since Indy. (We won that game in New Orleans)
    2nd. Gore was on Rome today and the jungle karma always works. Big day for Gore.
    3rd Roman will run a hurry up Offense to slow down that big defense.
    4th the 49ers win 20-12. Because I said so, and I’m better than you at picking games Grant.
    Wheeeeeeeeeew!

      1. Most of the time. Niners hurry up offense is when they get a play off before the clock winds down to zero and they don’t have to call a timeout…

  35. There is no doubt in my mind the 49ers win this game. I’m not scared one bit, bring them on. Colin Kaepernick > Came Newtown

  36. Anyone in tune with Grants predictions likes this prediction. Now I am sure of what the outcome will be : )

  37. Grant,

    Stop saying that Jim Harbaugh is using my offense without giving me any credit. That’s very this respectful.

  38. In the first game we tried passing to our rookie TE for a TD that Keachly was able to rip away.

    VMac will be a last option this time around. I could only imagine that same play going to VD and he makes the play for TD.

    Well now we have VD and our #1 WR playing in this game.

    I was looking at a 4-6 point win, but now I’m thinking 7-10 point victory.

  39. I may have missed it, but I haven’t seen anyone mention that in the Carolina game, there was a time in the first half when we were fourth and inches near the goal line, and we went for the kick. (Thank you, Mr. Neanderthal, whomever you are.) What I’m saying is that, in hindsight, we had the game won then and there — without Vernon, without Reid to stop their touchdown, and without CrazyCrab. I’m sorry, but I don’t think this will be a close game. I look for Kaep and his receivers to pick apart their secondary. We will romp.

    1. Too late Booper. The Niners plane has landed. There’s some baaaaaaaaaad men just came to town! Bwahahahahahahahaha

    2. After re-reading his first comment I realized that the big booper might be a young person, guys, so I went easier on him with my second comment and regret my first remark (which I wish Grant would delete). I’m not being ironic or “cute” here. Just sayin’.

  40. Probably getting ahead of myself but I will anyway- Will Carlos Rogers be able to go against Seattle if we win this one?

    I believe Percy Harvin is back this week, but I think he’s a bit overrated. Fantastic kick returner, above-average receiver. Still, one more thing to think about.

    1. Harvin will fumble at some point in the game that will give the Saints a big boost.
      My take is that although Harvin may feel healthy enough to play, he may not be prepared for the contact.

      I’m predicting a Saints upset win, and Harvin may help in the Saints cause.

    2. I hope you’re both right, but I don’t think the Saints are in the same league as us or Seattle if either of us are playing at home.

  41. Grant, u suck as a writer, what the hell do u know about football?? Last game no Crabtree, Vernon for quater, Reid for only a quater, and Aldon only had a handful of snaps. What has Carolina gotten better at since their last meeting?? Steve smith is 50% at best, lefell 2 nd in league in drops, niners pack the box force cam to run and get his head ripped off and throw into coverage!! Niners 24-13

  42. As a Niner fan I fully think the niners win, of course. We lost by one last time without crab or aldon. And Vernon was concussed early. And the niners have played and won big games, the panthers haven’t. And their pass attack is pathetic, assuming smith is hobbled or smith does not play. But it is in no way crazy or absurd to pick Carolina in this one. Carolina beat us in the reg season and is at home. And they have a great D, which statistically was better than the niners. But panthers won’t win this one.
    Niners 27-17

      1. Here you go:

        Staley – overall 3.1, Pass 2.1, Run .6
        Iupati – overall -2.6, Pass -1.5, Run -1.4
        Goodwin- overall -.9, Pass 1.0, Run -2.1
        Boone – overall 1.9, Pass 1.5, Run .1
        A Davis – overall 3.1, Pass 2.6, Run .1

        **The pass/run numbers don’t add up to the overall because I did not include the penalty marks.**

      2. Goodwin and Iupati are going to need to elevate their game. Staley/Davis look ready to go against these Panthers….Thanks Hammer.

      3. No problem.

        Boone had his worst grade of the season in the first game. He and Goodwin were pushed all over the place in the run game.

      4. First, I was wrong about Anthony Davis. I wrote him off after a couple awful seasons and he’s clearly turned his game and career around, good for him.

        Second Gore should get even more credit for having one of the better years in his career at his age and behind a line that appears to be average at best in run blocking. In fact average might even be to kind.

        Third, what’s happened to Iupati?

      5. I guess I should read a little closer, thought I was looking at season totals there at first.

  43. Going to be a though as hell game. The Panthers defense is fast, deep and has an extra weeks rest. They use lots of rotation to keep them fresh and quick. This is not a team you want to try and come from behind to beat, so the 49ers need to start fast.

    For the 49ers to win they need to…
    - Take advantage of Carolina rust on the first drive or two
    - Minimize negative yardage plays on offense
    - Keep 3rd down distances reasonable

  44. They have a slighly better QB? Lmao umm let’s pull up their playoffs stats and wins and compare them :D … Oh wait………

  45. Anybody forgetting where the panthers offense ranks? If we score more than one TD we win the game by atleast 10!

  46. Did we do this? Anyway, I’ve got:
    Patriots. (I think they will run it)
    Seahawks (I want the Saints and they could do it, but in the end….)
    Broncos. (Chargers might have the best chance for an upset)
    Niners. (What?)

  47. You’re just about as stupid (or dishonest, you choose) as they come. Go back to school and learn about life before you come back here writing incendiary nonsense again.

    By the way, nice column on Roman/Shula the other day.

    1. I love how you blasted and praised Grant all in the same post. You must have been an excellent politician E.

  48. I echo the sentiment of mirroring the AZ game plan by tyring to negate the pass rush ……. go spread, hurry up, run on the edges and abandon the draws up the middle until we’re up by 14. I think Kap needs 5-7 designed runs and we need to challenge the DB’s deep. I don’t like Roman’s propensity to run draws on 1st down as often as he does, but I still want to keep him in the fold.

    Niners 31-10……….. and I will cross my fingers to be at The Stick next Sunday- Go Who Dat Nation!

  49. Solid reasoning but you left out one thing – experience. The 9ers have much more playoff experience than the Panthers and that will impact the outcome. I don’t think either team gets to 20 so it will be very close. I expect the 9ers to win by 3.

    1. Kezar Mike,
      I like that approach! I predict Niners dominate early, as usual, lead 13-7 at the half. Big play on defense and then a big boy drive early in the 2nd half open the lead out to 27-7, Niners win going away 30-17. All in baby!

  50. It’s funny that a bay area beat writer is being quoted all over the Carolina fan websites as a genius. Only in the Bay area do its writers pick the other team in the play-offs. What’s wrong with you guys? Where’s your freaking loyalty, you’re not national reporters? You didn’t get this job because the Giants won two World Series or because of your unique insight. Come on man, if it’s going to be close, like you say than back the team that got you here. Geez!
    49ers win by 11
    Grant and the Panthers lose!

  51. Grant, you have become your father…I can hear the words of Darth Vader ringing in my ears, “I am your father”…PATHETIC!

  52. I didn’t read what everyone wrote but what I did read no one really explained this. Our defense will hold Dam in check. I believe we struggle more against QB’s who maneuver well in the pocket. EX: Aaron Rodgers. Cam will have a game similar to his last outing in SF. As for our offense vs their supposedly daunting defense the game will be different. With Crabtree back they will not be able to double team or bracket boldin and Davis. They will respect Crabtree. Having him out there will make it harder to blitz. Davis is more athletic than both of their LB’s. I don’t see that match up as an issue. And we all know what Boldin brings to the table. Our offensive lineman are no nonsense type of guys. Old school – blue collar. They know they got their ass beat last game. They know it may be one of the major reasons why we loss. Look for those guys to step up big in this game. It will be a battle but SF wins this one.

  53. I have no idea how you still having a job covering the 49ers after every article you write is filled with nothing but negatives

  54. Good morning Grant! Hope you have agood flight and a great time! I hope you are wrong! It is making me uneasy with most projections having the Niners win! Panthers will use this as motivation, your article is well and well thought out, I just hope you are wrong! Thanks again for all you do!

  55. Grant boils it down, as follows:
    On week #10, the niners got beat up
    at home…….. after a bye week……..

    As he indicates, the score may be close tomorrow,
    but Carolina is gonna inflict another beat down.
    It may be ugly (Colin), but it will be real.
    Your season ends tomorrow, rookie.

    My name is Cam Newton and I approve of this message.
    You go ahead and wear the earphones around your neck.
    I prefer a towel over my head. Just sayin’…. It’s all cool.

    1. So in one week you’ll be Russell Wilson and following that either Brady, Manning, or Rivers. What after that?

  56. Kapurnicus…!
    Six sacks on week #10……..really??!!!

    Tramon Williams (#38 – Green Bay) sez:
    Ya wanna “football fight”…? Think it over.
    KAPOW..! See ya in the open field, okay?

  57. Not buying Grant. Have watched and rewatched the film myself a couple of times and while its going to be a battle the X-factor that wasn’t around for the last game is there now. Crabtree will make the difference in this game if old because he opens up Kaepernick’s play-making ability. He opens up the field for everything else. Suddenly that front 7 of Carolina’s isn’t white knuckled and pass rushing like madmen knowing that they may have to contain or the ball may get tossed to Gore out of the backfield. Gore or Dixon will score and you know why? The 49ers hammered Carolina on the ground last time getting huge chunk runs. Look, its there on the tape. And I don’t care if Carolina is good at home. Most teams are better at home. Its the playoffs, you can throw all of the regular season baloney right out the window. It comes down to which team is better on offense and defense and I’m not prepared to concede that Carolina is so much better on defense and offensively it isn’t even close. With Steve Smith at 100% it still isn’t even close. Carolina’s o-line doesn’t look all that good. Dan Skuta had his was with their LT! Dan Skuta! What is Aldon gonna do with the poor schlep?! DeAngelo Williams and Steve Smith had mediocre years at best. The fact is, Carolina’s defense is the worst left in the playoffs for a reason. They aren’t that good. It most likely will be close and won’t be high scoring like the other games but it could get away from Carolina. 20-16 Niners.

    1. Robert you make several good points, specifically about 49ers ability to run against the panthers. We must run the ball and set up the play action pass. Also, Grow should use misdirection and very quick passes to move the chains. However i disagree with you on your comment on the panthers defense being the worst! Are you kidding me. Panthers defense is very good, to my opinion their defense has the potential to be better than the Seahawks. GO NINERS

  58. “I don’t take vacations. I’m a Jackhammer”
    - Jim Harbaugh
    Maybe a shot out to you Hammer? Lol

  59. With the defense fairly consistent and this time we have Crabtree and Davis on board….I feel this game is on Kap’s shoulders. At this point in his career, Kap is a streaky guy. He can get hot, then he goes and misses open receivers or throws a interception. If Kap can get hot, we win this game, period.

  60. The Real Alex was dubbed The Precious by Clem, one of his greatest detractors.
    Fake Alex Poser should be dubbed The Pitiful for having no life, no clue, and not even a hero. He’s now channelling Cam? Pffffft.

  61. I notice with amusement that some of the harshest reactions to Grant’s prediction come from posters we never or rarely see here. Drive byes. Also amusing that Panthers fans are all excited by his prediction; I’m guessing they haven’t googled him to assess his predictive accuracy, LOL!

      1. I have no issue with his opinion for picking the panthers. I do not agree with him but hey thats his opinion. Say what you want at least this time Grant recognized that this 49er team has played very hard this season. I have no problem for Grant to not support our team as long as he does not make silly comments about the coaches and players when they keep winning.

      1. Its par for the course for those who are frequent inhabitants of this blog. However this week was a Grant Cohn first. he uttered the words “I was wrong” check the article its right there in the 3rd paragraph (unless he edited that out after much contemplation). That there is called progress. baby steps. No one faults grant for having an opinion that the opinion is allways negatively slanted against the 9ers can also be forgiven. All we ask for is that when wrong you concede and admit it. This week you continue to underestimate the team that u admitted to underestimating all season but like i said baby steps.
        What makes me smile is that the panthers fans are shaking in their boots because despite “beating us up” in week 10 and having a “supperior QB and D” they know that the playoffs is a different beast and they have payback coming.

        49ers 20 Panthers 16

      2. I noticed that too BOS, when he said he was wrong, what makes his Father so good and one of my favorites, is that he has a vulnerable side to him and will admit his errors or flaws, not true with Grant till this article. I hope he is wrong with his prediction, but I just want to win, and predictions and grades are opinions or subjective and really don’t matter.

      3. Admitting you’re wrong is evidence of learning, growth, evolution of thought or perspective. It needn’t be an embarassment. Anybody that thinks they aren’t wrong sometimes is fooling themselves and nobody else.

  62. I’ll be watching tomorrow’s game at a sports bar, so it’ll be – 49ers by a whiskey! (But actually I only ever drink a Diet Coke – true.)

    1. Glass for glass the Diet soda probably does you as much harm as the whiskey. Thing is though, whiskey drinkers might not stop at one, and the harm curves cross soon after one!

  63. “Newton is dangerous no matter whom he’s throwing to.”

    Interesting when you consider Atlanta held him under 149 yards and he completed only 56% of his passes without Smith.

      1. He was having trouble cutting in practice. A slippery field from the rain probably won’t help. And Grant’s point was Newton doesn’t need Smith to be successful.

  64. UK football club Leeds United formed a “strategic partnership” with the 49ers.

    I don’t know anything about “strategic partnerships” but “The Damned United” is one of my favorite sports movies. “Marching on Together” is one of the best football songs.

    1. Unfortunately like the article says, expect nothing to change, especially now that they are “letting them play” aka “rules don’t apply”.

  65. Grant, this was one of your best articles since you recognaized the effort by the 49ers coaches and players to reach where they are today. And its so refreshing to read a post from you that is not just based on criticism. Great Job

    1. Can’t blame Carolina fans. I remember before the 81 championship Dallas fans claiming the 49ers didn’t play “the real Cowboys” in their regular season match up (when the Niners blew them out of the Stick).

      Going to be a tough game.

    2. I saw Tolbert was upset about them being underdogs. Ultimately who cares who Vegas feels is the fav?

  66. Sometimes games like this are projected to be low scoring affairs, end up turning out to be offensive explosions and games that are suppose to be high scoring end up low scoring. When the Niners get back home, they will have left an impression that removes all doubt that the Niners are the better team.

  67. Have a feeling, not particularly well-founded, that New Orleans is gonna beat Seattle today. The Saints will limit Lynch and contain Wilson – and win. Anyway, we’ll find out in about 40 minutes.

    1. Not going to happen. That’s just candlestick voices lying to you Bro. Hope I’m wrong, but I can’t see a finesse ass team like the saints going into Seattle and the rain and Winn……
      Oh wait. I’ve heard this story before. Lets see what they got. :-)

    2. Well, you’re right ninermd. Saints lost – but, man, I couldn’t believe New Orleans poor execution through almost three-quarters of football – exempliflied by that silly play at the end – and yet they still kept it reasonably close. Now, we must get by Carolina!

  68. Ha! Graham knocked off Irvins’ hat. Sherman and Graham go at it too. It’s a very chippy pregame……

  69. Did anyone else notice that the game after the panthers last bye week was their loss against the cards 22-9. The panthers are 0-3 in games following bye weeks with cam newton. I felt like the Niners came out sluggish the last time the played the panthers. The bye week might have contributed to that.

      1. That turnover is gonna be trouble…..Saints have to play mistake-free to have a chance…not happening so far.

  70. Saints ran the ball well in that quarter. Tough penalty that led to early points otherwise the cheathawks o has looked less than stellar. They need a td on this opening drive of the second to quiet down the crowd.

  71. If a team can go into Seattle and not give up field position, they have a chance to win. TOs will kill you though.

    1. Ridiculous. It’s easy to dislike this team. The constant holding, trash talking and the artificial “12th man” advantage.

      1. The replacements were worse because they couldn’t move the games along as efficiently but in terms of seeing and making the right calls these guys seem to be just as bad.

        They need to expand replay and have a team of replay refs monitoring different angles. As it is now, the replay process is too slow.

      2. Sorry Grimey, I meant the worst that the actual officials have been. Trying to forget about the replacements.

        On a side note, if this is the best the cheathawks are gonna play they’ll be done next week. Struggled against the run and their o hasn’t shown me much other than some lucky throws.

      3. They need to upgrade the O-line and receivers in Seattle. I’m not impressed at all with the way their offense is playing right now.

      4. That’s why it’s gotta be killing the Saints that they missed a field goal, shanked a punt, and fumbled in their own end.

      1. Doubt it, but they told themselves before the game “let’s test this guy”. There’s gonna be a fine for the first hit too.

  72. I was foolish to think the Saints had a chance for an upset win today.
    In a complete oversight on my part, I did not take into account that the cheat-hawks would flourish in the playoffs because the referees seem to have a penchant for not calling penalties against them.

    The PI call against the Saints in the endzone does not get called against the cheat-hawks because for some reason the referees have concluded that they have superstars in the defensive backfields which nullifies the constant mugging.

    Here’s the kicker; a team with a great running attack will score on the cheat-hawks. Trusting in a passing offense against their mugging DB’ and non-calls by referees is a huge task.

    We are built to beat the hawks with our running game thereby not having to rely so much on our passing game.

    But I know first things first. We need to take the first step by beating the Panthers.

  73. Ahmad Brooks just recorded that sack on Brees and is sending it to the league office. Smdh . We should be playing at home next week.

    1. No kidding. Arm around the neck and everything. Its the 49ers that should have had last week off. Anyone has screen grab stills of both sacks?

  74. Ahmad Brooks just taped that sack on Brees and is sending it to the league office. Smdh . We should be playing at home next week.

    1. Good article, E. That the Niners played the absolute worst game possible and yet the Panthers squeaked by with a single point win does not bode well for the home team tomorrow.

      Niners are primed to bust this thing wide open.

      I’m going against the grain and calling a big win, lots of points, for the red and gold: 42 – 20 Niners.

      (minute left in the SEA-NO game… NO still has a small prayer left)

  75. Anyone who thinks Jimmy Graham is the best TE in the league should rethink after his lack of effort today.

  76. Im more worried about the Panthers. Niners will handle the Seahawks in Seattle if they get by the Panthers.

    1. I just text my buddy about that block. Lynch is applauding the great block and it was a penalty.

      1. It’s one thing to to body him and another to extend your arms to push him…. This team is beatable.

  77. Cheathawks got really lucky. They play like that next weekend and it’ll be a blowout. What was colston doing!?

  78. Sadly for the Saints, this was a winnable game for them. Brees’ throwing issues in the 1st half may have cost them. Not finding creative ways to get Graham open really hurt as well. Graham’ pre-game trash talking with several cheat-hawks players certainly gave an indication that he was ready to play.

    The Saints defense played an exceptional game sans the big play to Baldwin and Lynch’ run.

    Again, if we take the first step by beating the Panthers, we will beat the cheat-hawks in their own backyard. Nothing will give me more joy than seeing Petey spitting out his bubblelicious gum in total disgust after we kick their arses.

      1. Crab15,
        No excuses for Brees’ play. I don’t believe that he soldiered-up today. Using a glove on his throwing hand in the 1st half (after not wearing one during the season), interfered with his gripping and throwing rhythm.

        It was apparent that Brees was very uncomfortable with the weather conditions and it showed in his performance.
        His 2nd half play was a little more decent and made the game interesting at least for a minute.

        If we play these guys next week, I don’t see the weather conditions negatively affecting our players especially after conquering the frigidness of GB.

        Seattle is beatable at home and we have the sustainable running attack and fast aggressive defense to do the job.
        Petey may get a case of lock-jaw when he chews his bubblelicious at breakneck speed next week.

    1. Seattles offense is so predictable. It’s their defense that wins them games. It’s all about containing Lynch and forcing Wilson to play from the pocket on 3rd and long. Now I know you could say that about any offense but to me Seattle is that simple.
      Sean Payton had a good plan to stay with the run. Not having Thomas didn’t help. Bree’s hurt NO today with a poor first half.

  79. There’s a lot of wishful thinking on here. I like it, but Seattle had this one all the way. I hope I’m wrong but they should beat us or Carolina in a closer game next week.

    Hopefully Roman gets plucked and we get a guy in here that can take advantage of the offensive line we have here and mix in a multiple read offense.

    One thing I thought was interesting and just reinforces what. I’ve said earlier- Carroll threw the ball and went for the shot play instead of trying to run out the clock. It paid off huge, and you need the kind of balls Carroll and Sean Payton bring to the table when the game is on the line. Not the pu$$y style we play when we try and run out the clock and kick field goals.

  80. Watched the game. The Saints lost the game more than the Seahawks won it. For those that wanted to knock our QB down a couple of notches by signing Russell Wilson’s praises this year, you guys look pretty foolish. Wilson is average now that they are keeping him in the pocket.
    The Seahawks are extremely beatable now, even at home. Their offense is broken.
    We will win tomorrow and we will beat the Seahawks in their house.

    1. That Seahawks offense isn’t that special. Lynch is great, but yeah, Wilson hasn’t looked the same player ever since defenses stopped letting him escape the pocket.

      If the 49ers beat the Panthers, next week the 49ers have the D (if it plays properly) that can really limit the Seahawks scoring. It then comes down to Roman manufacturing some big plays, not making any big mistakes on offense, and if nothing is there being willing to take what the D gives you. It won’t be easy, but it can be done.

    2. The Seahawks aren’t playing at a high level. Their defense is all about intimidation and swagger.
      They are such an unlikable team and get away with cheating.
      I can’t believe the league doesn’t do anything more about it.
      Niners have to take care of business tomorrow and then it’s a showdown at the Link.
      If Colin plays a clean game, it will be close.

  81. In typical homerism style, no-one is willing to credit the Seahawks for being better than the Saints today. Much better. All that wishful thinking before the game has blinded a few to a simple fact – the Seahawks D owned the Saints O all day. Hate to say it fellas, but the Saints were lucky to even be in that game at the end. Two dropped INTs, and both should have been easily caught, kept them in that game.

    We can complain about non-calls all we like, but if the 49ers turn up tomorrow or against the Seahawks next week wishing for flags then the game is already over. 49ers need to be smart about it, find ways to get open against physical DBs, and do the same back to them. Turnovers will be key against both the Panthers and Seahawks. Win the turnover battle first and foremost.

    1. I guess what I’m saying is that Seattle is not worth the hype. They are beatable and we matchup very well with them. But first Carolina…….

    2. Seattle was clearly the better team today and I will give them credit to play a good game. However Saints offense, specifically Drew Brees played another awful game. Yes Seahawks defense should get credit but drew just made some horrible throws that looked like a rookie!! If he just completed some of those passes to the open recievers they might have a better game. Also Saints defense did not tackle well. Oh well I still believe Ryssell Wilson is a ok QB not this amazing QB that people make him to be.

    3. Scooter,
      I predicted a Saints upset. But it was based on watching how the cheat-hawks looked in their last couple of games.
      Sure, there may have been some wishful emotions involved, but had Brees had a Drew Brees typical game in the 1st half this game may have turned out differently.

      The Saints defense was up to the task and did a good job containing Wilson and Lynch until giving up a couple of big plays at the end.
      Seattle’ defense looked good at times, but they also had a few lapses especially in the 2nd half when they let Brees get a little rhythm.

      I gave the Saints a good chance to win this game going in, and except for Brees’ bad 1st half and not finding ways to involve Graham, I don’t believe that calling for an upset was farfetched, but that’s just me.

    4. I would disagree on the much better term. Saints should have kicked that field goal middle of the 2nd qtr when down 13-0. They were chasing those 3 pts the rest of the game. It affected their decisions and field position. Seattle’s tough, no lie. Any team will have a tough time winning up there, but you’ve got to be able to run on them and you have to win the field position battle. But agree with you on wishing for flags. Hopefully Niners will have learned refs will not call flags on Seattle and play like you suggest.

    5. Yep, Drew Brees played awful. His passes weren’t on the money like he can do. Some of that was down to the elements – hard to be pinpoint accurate in high winds and rain. But he also was made to feel very uncomfortable by good pressure all game and his receivers struggled mightily to give him a target to throw to. That is a great D.

      Lets just say that a lot of good QBs have bad days against the Seahawks. It isn’t a fluke.

      AES – no probs with picking an upset. It could have happened if the Seahawks got a little over-hyped. My comment was just that people’s wish for the Saints to win (and dislike of all things Seahawk) appears to be clouding the fact the Seahawks played some great football today, great defense. It wasn’t bad luck that cost the Saints.

  82. You don’t need to be Bill Walsh to notice it is obvious that Seattle Steroid Cheats, have peak way to early for the season, they are showing that they have weaknesses, their defense although solid can be had. I really hope we win tomorrow because I am confident that we can win next week, and their 12 man will be going home like crying children having a tantrum.

  83. Seahawks are in a slump but still beat Saints. If they can do that in a slump wait till they get out of it next week. Be very afraid 49ers or Panthers.

    1. Your cheat-hawks aren’t in a slump. They have been blueprinted by teams that have a fast front 7.
      Keep RW in the pocket and manhandle Lynch (who I like because I’m a Cal Bears longtime fan), and it completely throws their/your offense out of sync.

      I will say this Seattle Fan; I believe that the Superbowl will need to go through your stadium and the winner of next week’s game will likely be the SB winner.
      But having this, I hope we catch your team at its best as opposed to a slump as you state.
      Losing next week because you’re in a slump (in the playoffs) won’t wash around here.

      1. You wouldn’t want to play the Seahawks at their best in the NFCC game at Seattle. If the 49ers do make it to the NFCC game at Seattle the Seahawks and the 12th man will beat the 49ers on their own game once again.

        If some of you are banking on the 49ers 19-17 win at the stick, you people are in trouble. Just look back to the two previous blow out games the 49ers played at Seattle against the hawks. You people don’t see it the Seahawks know how to play the 49ers at Seattle.

      2. Does that 12th man have a laser arm? Does he run a 4.3? Can he make tackles? I love how these Seahawk fans cling to the fact that the crowd can a win a game for them.

      3. 49erman,
        Are you agreeing with Seattle Fan that the cheat-hawks are in a slump as well?

        I noted to him and I’ll be more than happy to repeat that the c-hawks are not in a slump, but rather feeling the pangs of defenses figuring how to stop their offense.
        Wilson is showing some negative effects when he is forced to stay/play in the pocket. That is what I meant by there being a blueprint on how to slow down this team.

        If like Seattle Fan you want to play the “slump” card then have at it.
        And yes, I want to beat seattle at its best, so there are no excuses to fall back on (kinda like the slump excuse).

      4. It’s too bad the NFCC game won’t be at San Francisco. If 49ers beat Carolina, they’ll have to travel to Seattle where your QB that you say that has a Lazer Arm and runs 4.5 struggles and becomes a below average at best in Seattle. You’re just jealous the Seahawks fans support their team much more than you peaople do. You people are a bunch whiners when your 49ers team lose.

  84. I’m hoping for a big win by the 49ers. Do not want the ball in Cam’s hands at the end of the game because he’s been pretty successful in big situations this year. Beating the Pats with a late drive on Monday night in NE, and beating the Saints late to win the division. I don’t want him to even have a chance tomorrow. Big start by the 49ers tomorrow to take away the Panther’s ground game and making them one dimensional will be pretty effective. Niners 27-17 on the strength of the 49ers passing game. Niners 6-0 when Crabtree, Boldin, and Davis are on the field at the same time this year.

  85. What’s up with Bree’s clock management late the 4th. You’re down 8 but have a chance to tie the game, and got a delay penalty and have to call a timeout 2 plays later. Imagine if CK does the same thing?

  86. Wow, Andrew Luck throws another TD bomb to LaVon Brazill right in the bread basket to make it 22-29 in the early 3rd quarter. Beautiful touch on that pass. Luck is a god d*mn baller!

  87. You 49ers fans have no clue of the 18 wheeler that’s gonna hit ya’ll tomorrow! You guys don’t even respect us. You are on here disregarding us as if we are a fluke!! I’m not going to get in the back and forth with you guys. The Panthers haven’t said much this week but your 49ers have been doing a lot of talking. We will do our talking on the field tomorrow!! Carolina 23 49ers 14

    1. Carolina Boy, you’re wrong, my friend! Just look at the scores predicted by the “usual suspects” (including me) on this blog. Only one has the 49ers beating your guys by a wide margin. All the others are calling it very close. And if that doesn’t show you and your team enough respect, please consider that our blog-master, Mr. Grant Cohn, has picked your Panthers to win! I assure you that we all realize that we’re in for a tough game against your very talented players. But of course we’re going to favor the 49ers! See ya tomorrow, young fella. And thanks for contributing to the 49er blog.

      1. Max,
        Aloha Braddah! By the way, Mahalo to all the good wishes. I see you also speak Mandarin. It was a hard fought game by the Hawks and at the end; they prevailed against a good Saints team. I don’t know what’s up with Qb R. Wilson; he’s been on a slump the last three games. The Hawks defense played very well and M. Lynch carried the offense today. New England looks very good against A. Luck and the Colts.

        My friend good luck tomorrow against the Panthers.

      2. Capeman, you are truly a class act. Lynch did have a pretty good game today. I’m thinking especially of that big touchdown run he had. On the other hand, I thought the Saints’ offense was less than effective in their execution of plays. In the first half Brees just wasn’t on – and yet the Saints ran the ball fairly well, I thought. Was hoping the Colts would prevail over the Patriots. I like Andrew Luck. Anyway, we’re obviously all very focused on Carolina here. It’s gonna be a tough one and so I thank you just that much more for your well-wishes. Hopefully will be seein’ you next week!

    2. Carolina Boy the 49ers team has not disregarded the panthers and everything we have heard so far has been a compliment. I have nothing against the panthers and may the best team win. In matter of the fact if we lose i hope your team beats the crap out of the sea chickens. GO NINERS

  88. 49erman says:
    January 11, 2014 at 7:38 pm
    It’s too bad the NFCC game won’t be at San Francisco. If 49ers beat Carolina, they’ll have to travel to Seattle where your QB that you say that has a Lazer Arm and runs 4.5 struggles and becomes a below average at best in Seattle. You’re just jealous the Seahawks fans support their team much more than you peaople do. You people are a bunch whiners when your 49ers team lose.

    108 yards. And that’s in his own house. I’d rather have Alex smith over Russell any day of the week. Overrated midget. Plain and. Simple. 108 yards will not get it done next week capeman. Tell your mighty midget to step his game up.

  89. AES,

    I been a long time 49er supporter. But you know what i disagree with your name calling of other teams and their fans. When teams like the Seahawks win you don’t give the other team credit due to them regardless they’re the rival team. There’s no sportmanship, you should be embarrassed you call yourself a 49er fan.

    1. Not really 49erman.
      Not embarrassed at all. But here’s a little tidbit for your c-hawks journal.
      Your coach is a cheater who left USC in shambles and was able to walk away from that episode virtually unscathed.
      But people know that he was not really innocent and his story of not being aware of monies being paid to Reggie Bush’ family are a joke. Ok, s0 that’s behind him now. But the cheating has continued in seattle. The other DB’ in the league will not get the obvious leniency that your team gets for mugging WR’ outside the 5 yard contact zone.
      The cheating your DB’ (reflection of their head coach) get away with has almost become comedic.

      One more tidbit. My coach left Stanford much better after he came to the 49ers.
      I’m finding it hard to see where I should feel embarrassed about my team.

    2. You should be embarrassed for calling your self a long time supporter of this great organization. You are a phony and a flavor of the month fan. Good luck cheering on your seachickens capetrash.

  90. 49erman says:
    January 11, 2014 at 7:38 pm
    “It’s too bad the NFCC game won’t be at San Francisco. If 49ers beat Carolina, they’ll have to travel to Seattle where your QB that you say that has a Lazer Arm and runs 4.5 struggles and becomes a below average at best in Seattle. You’re just jealous the Seahawks fans support their team much more than you peaople do. You people are a bunch whiners when your 49ers team lose.”

    Excuse me if I have a hard time giving an iota of credibility to a person who goes by the blog name “49erman” and then denigrates CK and the real 49er fans.

    Nah, there is no whining in this camp. Why, because we know what it feels like to be champions.
    I guess you could say that we’ve done that, and been there.
    But obviously, you’re not a 49er faithful, so that disqualifies you from knowing anything about how it feels to be a champion.

  91. Ok so bill came out with abrilliant plan, run it down their throats. 43 points all running tds. Great job pats

  92. What’s funny no body is saying anything about Drew Brees and the Saints clock management! If this was Colin and Jim H heads would be rolling

  93. If this was during the season, I would probably have picked the Panthers to win it. But since it is the playoffs (and I predicted a Niners-Broncos Super Bowl), I am going with a 17-13 victory for the Niners. Davis will get a TD and Brock will get the other off an interception.

  94. Here’s a quote from Trent Dilfer

    What they [49ers] do is circa 1970s passing game. We’re going to run the ball, we’re going to play-action, and we’re going to play-action to get one or two guys open. If you get a defense that understands that and has ability to defend that (it’s a problem)

    Yeah, sure Dilfer. All the D coordinators the Niners have faced are idiots. Otherwise, according to Dilfer, they would have shutdown the Niner offense. Sounds to me like Dilfer has an axe to grind.

      1. No…It’s a super over-simplification look at the 49ers Offense…

        Pedal faster, really…

    1. Thanks for that link Grant. Green Bay isn’t that far off. They need to figure out how to stop Kaepernick. That’s their biggest problem.

      1. Grant, can you provide an itinerary for the team? Pre-game breakfast menu, meetings, walk throughs, etc….

      2. Thanks Grant. I knew he coached over there just didn’t know he was a head coach. He’d be a good choice. You think they get passed over if(when) they move on today?

      3. Jim Tomsula is the greatest coach that ever lived , as he was the only coach in NFL history that was undefeated but failed to win a Super Bowl. haha Also he was 6-4 in 2006 as a head coach for the Rhein Fire.Funny most of us would be upset if Tomosula left but no big deal if Roman left.

      4. I don’t think Tomsula will get a head coach position, but I would be surprised if he does not get a defensive coordinator position. I would think he would be able to take that position, since it is a upgrade.

      5. Of all the coaches I would want to poach from the 49ers, Tomsula would be my first pick. I think he’d be a good fit for Detroit. They ooze talent on the D-line but desperately need gap discipline.

      6. Unless we’re talking QB development you generally don’t want your head coach playing position coach.

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