The San Francisco 49ers are back on the road this weekend as they travel to Charlotte to face the Carolina Panthers. This is the 19th meeting between the two teams, but the first time in the playoffs. The 49ers and Panthers have some history back when they were both in the NFC West.
Back then, the Panthers were the annoying upstart that got the better of the 49ers right out the gate. Carolina won three of the first four matchups between the two teams. The Panthers set an NFL record when they made it to the NFC Championship Game in 1996, then only their second season as a franchise. That season, the Panthers went 12-4 and won the division thanks to a sweep of the 49ers. They defeated San Francisco 23-7 in Charlotte, and 30-24 in San Francisco. That postseason, the 49ers won their wild card game against the Philadelphia Eagles, but lost in the divisional round to the Green Bay Packers. The Panthers earned a first round bye. They then defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round, and lost to the Packers in the conference championship.
The Panthers have claimed the last four games these two teams have played, although prior to their Week 10 contest in San Francisco, the last time these two teams met was in 2010. It would be just a little bit nice to snap the losing streak, but for the purposes of this game, those three games in 2010, 2007 and 2004 really have no bearing on Sunday's matchup.
Sunday will feature a game of two great defenses, two strong running games, and two incredibly dynamic quarterbacks. I think the defenses will dictate a lot as far as the outcome of this game, but given the talent on both sides, those quarterbacks could be the "x factor" of sorts. They're obviously going to impact the game, but I suppose it's more just a matter of which one really breaks out in this game, if at all.
- As a member of the Arizona Cardinals, tallied 10 receptions. for a season-high 162 yards at Car. (10/9/05).
- Intercepted a pass by Panthers QB Cam Newton vs. Car. (11/10/13). The takeaway led to a 25-yd. FG by K Phil Dawson five plays later.
- Recorded the first sack of his career as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals by sacking former Panthers QB Jake Delhomme (10/22/06).
- Registered 6 tackles and 2.0 sacks of Panthers QB Cam Newton vs. Car. (11/10/13).
- Racked up 111 yards from scrimmage (58 rushing yards, 53 rec. yards) at Car. (12/2/07).
- Totaled 103 yards from scrimmage (82 rushing yards, 21 receiving yards) vs. Car. (11/10/13).
- Intercepted a QB Matt Moore pass and returned it 31 yards for a TD. McDonald recorded his 1st INT and TD of his career.
- Recovered a muffed punt by Panthers CB Drayton Florence. The special teams turnover led to a 43-yd. FG by K Phil Dawson.
- Tallied 20 total tackles at Car. (12/2/08) in his rookie season.
- His 11 tackles at Car. (10/24/10) marked the 40th time of his career in which Willis posted double-digit tackles.
- Registered 11 tackles and 1.0 sack vs. Car. (11/10/13).
Postseason Matchups: None
Series Record: Panthers lead series 11-7
49ers Home Record vs. Panthers: Panthers lead series 6-3
49ers Away Record vs. Panthers: Panthers lead series 5-4
First Meeting: 11/5/95, Panthers win 13-7, at SF
Last Meeting: 11/10/13, Panthers win 10-9, at SF
Current Streak: Lost 4
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 4 (9/29/97-12/6/98)
Longest Panthers Win Streak: 4 - 2 times (Last 11/14/04 - 11/10/13)
Most 49ers Points: 34 (9/29/97): 49ers win 34-21, at Car.
Most Panthers Points: 41 (12/18/99): Panthers win 41-24, at Car.
49ers Shutouts: None
Panthers Shutouts: None
|49ERS (rank)||PANTHERS (rank)|
|12-4 (2nd NFCW)||Record||12-4 (1st NFCS)|
|25.4 (11th)||Points per game||22.9 (18th)|
|323.8 (24th)||Total Offense||316.8 (26th)|
|137.6 (3rd)||Rushing Offense||126.6 (11th)|
|186.2 (30th)||Passing Offense||190.2 (29th)|
|30:35 (11th)||Possession Avg||31:54 (5th)|
|17.0 (3rd)||Points allowed/gm||15.1 (2nd)|
|316.9 (5th)||Total Defense||301.3 (2nd)|
|95.9 (4th)||Rushing Defense||86.9 (2nd)|
|221.0 (7th)||Passing Defense||214.3 (6th)|
|38 (t-18th)||Sacks||60 (1st)|
|48.2 (2nd)||Punting Avg (Gross)||47.8 (3rd)|
|+12 (t-4th)||Turnover Differential||+11 (6th)|