10 Bold Predictions for Panthers vs 49ers 2014 NFL Playoffs
10 Bold Predictions for Panthers vs 49ers 2014 NFL Playoffs
It was a lot closer than many NFL experts had predicted but the San Francisco 49ers got a huge win over the Green Bay Packers at legendary Lambeau Field. The victory in the Wild Card playoff round proved to the rest of the NFC, and even the league for that matter, that the 49ers are primed to make another Super Bowl run. The only difference is this time they plan on winning it.
In order for that to happen, they will have to get past Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. It will be the team’s first postseason appearance since 2008 and only the fifth in franchise history. It also will be Newton’s first NFL playoff game, which means either the contest is going to go really well or his nerves are going to get the best of him.
One player that we know the nerves will not get to is 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The man has proven time and again he has what it takes to be a winner. Winning in Green Bay is no easy task, especially considering how cold it was. With that being said, the Panthers are going to pose all sorts of different issues during the Divisional playoff round.
Make sure to click through the slideshow to see the 10 bold predictions for the Panthers versus the 49ers. Also, make sure to comment below on which team you think will win the contest and why. Along with that, mention any bold predictions that you came up with.
Frank Gore Will Rush For Less Than 80 Yards
Frank Gore was held to just 66 yards on 20 carries against the Packers. More importantly, the Panthers held him to under 100 rushing yards as he only gained 82 on the ground in their Week 10 matchup. San Francisco has the third best rushing attack in the NFL, while Carolina has the second best run defense in the league. Something is clearly going to have to give and I believe it will be the Panthers who will prevail. Don’t expect Gore to rush for more than 80 yards in the contest.
Cam Newton Will Outperform Colin Kaepernick
Kaepernick might have proven to be the more efficient quarterback, but Newton can put up numbers through the air and on the ground in a hurry. In fact, both signal callers are incredibly versatile, which is why the game will be so much fun to watch. However, don’t be surprised if Newton outperforms Kaepernick as he did in their last meeting. Even though it wasn’t by much, Newton passed for more yards and had the better passer rating than Kaepernick.
Neither Quarterback Will Throw For More Than 200 Yards
Regardless of which quarterback plays better, one thing for certain is that neither player will throw for more than 200 yards. Newton tossed 169 yards through the air in Week 10, while Kaepernick didn’t even break 100 yards as he went for 91 on just 11 completions. It might be the playoffs, but I still don’t expect the passing game to be a major factor.
Defense Will Have Heavy Influence In Final Score
The fact of the matter is both defenses are very talented. That talent will outweigh the offenses significantly in the contest, which is why the final score will be very similar to the 10-9 outcome in Week 10. I believe the score on Sunday will be higher than the combined 19 points the Panthers and 49ers were able to muster a few weeks ago. However, don’t be surprised if it’s another one-point game. Also, don’t be shocked if neither team breaks 20 points.
Colin Kaepernick Will Lead Game in Rushing
Both running backs will get shut down, which means it will be up to the quarterbacks to create some sort of ground game. Newton and Kaepernick will both have success running the football, but it will be the latter who will gain more yards. In fact, it will be Kaepernick who leads the game in rushing, something that he has done plenty of times before.
49ers Defense Will Be Better Than Panthers Defense
Both defenses are unbelievable, with Carolina being the No. 2 ranked in the league. For that reason, San Francisco’s defense being better than Carolina’s defense is one of my bolder predictions on this list. There’s no question the Panthers had the very slight edge in their last meeting, but I believe it will be the 49ers will do just enough to get the job done just as they did this past weekend.
Vernon Davis Will Have A Big Game
Vernon Davis has been rather quiet the past couple of weeks when it comes to netting yardage. However, he has recorded a touchdown in seven of his last eight games. The Panthers found a way to shut him down completely as he only hauled in one reception for two yards. With that being said, Davis will have to have a big game in order for the 49ers to win, and I believe it will happen. Carolina is going to be so focused on the wide receivers on the outside that Davis will be able to dominate the middle of the field.
DeAngelo Williams Will Be A Non-Factor
DeAngelo Williams has had a quite but effective season in 2013. Unfortunately, he will be a non-factor in the contest on Sunday. Even though he did record one of his three rushing touchdowns this season against San Francisco, it won’t happen this weekend. The 49ers will completely shut down Williams and make sure he isn’t a part of the game plan.
Experience Will Be The Difference Maker
This will be one of the closer games of the weekend. I believe it will all come down to experience, which is where the 49ers have a huge edge. San Francisco was in the Super Bowl last season. Kaepernick and the supporting cast have the look of a team destined for greatness. Meanwhile, Carolina is just getting used to being in the playoffs for the first time in five years. Don’t ever underestimate the power of experience as so many teams have showed us in the past.
49ers Will Defeat Panthers
San Francisco more weapons on offense, a stellar defense and experience on their side. The Panthers may have the look of a team nobody wants to play as well as homefield advantage, but the 49ers will simply be too much to handle. Call it a bold prediction or a sure thing, but San Francisco will defeat Carolina on Sunday.