We're back for more playoff action! The San Francisco 49ers head east to face the Carolina Panthers in a rematch of the Panthers Week 10 win at Candlestick Park.The winner advances to face the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game next Sunday. The loser goes home for the winter.
The first game between these two teams was incredibly physical, and I suspect we'll see something similar today. The 49ers have Michael Crabtree back, so it will be interesting to see what kind of impact he has on this game. Ideally, Colin Kaepernick will be able to find him on short and intermediate routes to soften up the Panthers. Both teams will look to establish their run game, but the quarterback that makes a big play first could decide this thing. Kap had his worst game as a pro in Week 10, while Cam Newton was not overly impressive. He did make some key throws, but it was a defensive battle.
The betting line is at pick 'em, and that seems fitting. This game really could go either way. The 49ers play plenty of close games, so I expect another one. We'll see if my heart survives it.
This will be your first quarter game thread, and we'll be back with a new thread each quarter. We'll wrap things up with a recap thread.
Site Decorum: It's off for game threads. No personal attacks, but swearing is allowed (try not to go overboard).
Date: January 12, 2013
Time: 10:05 a.m. PT
Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Odds Shark Spread: Pick 'em
Weather: 53 degrees, W 10 MPH, clear skies
TV Broadcast: FOX - Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver
Radio: 107.7 The Bone, 810 KGO - Ted Robinson, Eric Davis
Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, James Lofton, Hub Arkush
Spanish Radio: KTRB 860 - Erwin Higueros, Jesus Zarate
Panthers Coverage: Cat Scratch Reader