The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Carolina Panthers 23-10 on Sunday, and with the win, they advance to the NFC Championship Game. We get another week of playoff build-up, only this coming week will be just a little bit off the hook. The Seattle Seahawks will do that to ya!
All in all, Sunday was a good day. It got off to a bumpy start in the first half, but the 49ers stepped up in a big way starting at the end of the second quarter. Colin Kaepernick connected with Vernon Davis to take a 13-10 lead heading into halftime. The 49ers then added ten more points with a Colin Kaepernick run, and Phil Dawson's third field goal of the day. And while the Panthers had some chances to move the ball, they came up short every time in the second half.
Jim Harbaugh "dodged a bullet" with his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. He said it was his first coaching penalty. If that's true, that's kind of amazing considering how crazy he sometimes gets on the sideline. With the win, he is the first head coach since the AFL/NFL merger to take his team to the conference championship game each of his first three seasons on the job. This also marks the third time in franchise history the 49ers have advanced to three straight conference championship games. They did it from 1988 to 1990, and again from 1992 to 1994. The first time through they won two Super Bowls, and the second time through they won one Super Bowl.
The 49ers have also now won back-to-back road playoff games for the first time in franchise history. Colin Kaepernick also became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to win each of his first three road playoff starts. With Kap at the helm, the 49ers beat the Falcons at the Georgia Dome last season, the Packers last week and the Panthers this week.
I'm not a big fan of QB win/loss record because football is a team game. However, it's still impressive how he has done on the road. He faced a big deficit and the loud Georgia Dome last year. Last week he faced the bitter cold at Lambeau. This week he faced a team that held him to his worst performance as a pro in Week 10. He had some early struggles on Sunday, but he settled down and made some huge throws on the 49ers touchdown drives. All in all, it was a good day.
Speaking of Kap, he had some fun with the post-game press conference. He borrowed Cam Inman's note pad and asked Anquan Boldin what his mentality was like coming into the game. It got funnier after that when Kap got on the stand. It's not in this Instagram, but Boldin played the reporter and asked Kap why he didn't throw to Anquan earlier. Kap said, "He was talking about my mama." You can check out that part of the press conference video at 49ers.com. It's funny stuff.
Oh, and how about you slap hands?