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NFL Carolina PanthersSan Francisco 49ers

49ers vs. Panthers: Preview and Prediction

49ers vs. Panthers

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

In Week 10 of the regular season, the Carolina Panthers went on the road to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in a 10-9 defensive battle. This Sunday brings us a rematch, but the tables are turned a little bit.

San Francisco is coming off of a last-second field goal victory over the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay. The 49ers are hoping to continue their road success as they battle the Panthers in Carolina. Cam Newton and the Panthers had a bye last week, which is good for them considering the injury to their best receiving option Steve Smith. With Smith ready to go, the passing attack for Carolina could be potent this Sunday.

It’s not just Newton who has his best receiver healthy for this rematch. Colin Kaepernick has Michael Crabtree to throw to this time around. That wasn’t the case in Week 10, when the Panthers squeezed out a victory against the 49ers.

The Panthers have had a very solid defense this season, but the 49ers’ defense is just as good and can step up and match the Panthers’ defense step for step. That may lead to another defensive battle, but I truly believe the scoring will be a lot higher this time around. Carolina isn’t exactly used to being in this type of position, but the 49ers were in the Super Bowl last season, so they are well aware of what it is going to take to get back to the big game again this season.

WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair made the right decision when he jumped on the 49ers’ bandwagon. This Sunday, the Panthers are going to come up short at home and the 49ers will move on to the NFC Championship for the third straight year.

Michael Pidgeon is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for Rant Sports.com: “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter @1AndOnlyPidgeon, add him to your network on Google or e-mail him at black24mamba@aol.com