Happy hump day everyone, there are officially only four more days until Sunday when the 49ers face the Carolina Panthers again, this time in Carolina. The last time we played the Panthers it was a fairly miserable game in which we ended our five game winning streak, losing 10-9.
The 49ers are, as of right now, a two point road favorite against the Panthers. That's great, but I'm sure it constitutes as bulletin board material for them given the outcome of our earlier game. Personally, I enjoy being the underdog. I don't know how true the science behind the perceived psychological edge is, but it makes me feel better nonetheless. In a perfect world, the media would be crowning the Panthers as January Superbowl champions, as well as handing Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly their respective offensive and defensive MVP awards. Instead, most major media outlets are crowning the 49ers as the "hot" team of this years playoffs. Its true, but I still get uncomfortable when ESPN and the likes praise this team. I'm not used to it, most of my 49ers watching years were in the 2000's and needless to say, there wasn't a ton for the national media to talk about back then.
I fully expect a better performance this time around despite the game being in Carolina. Michael Crabtree is back and balling like its 2013 again. The 49ers are on a seven game win streak and the team as a whole looks better than earlier in the season. Kaepernick has gotten much better since the return of Crabtree, partly I'm sure because the coaching staff seems more open to him running. The true duel threat nature of his game that captivated the nation last season has, for the most part, returned. To the links!
This was one of the more surprising stories out of the Packers game. Perish Cox, fresh off being re-signed after being released, started at nickel corner over Eric Wright who only got special teams snaps. Unemployed one week, starter the next; Cox reflects on "crazy" season (Barrows)
This surprised me when I read it, but when you really think about it, the 49ers won the NFC west far more often than not. Also, there seemed to be a 20 year stretch in the 90's when we lost to Favre in Lambeau every year. Kaepernick winningest QB in 49ers postseason road history (Maiocco)
The story behind Harbaugh's hug and kiss (Maiocco)
Bring on the Panthers:
49ers steal Ric "trader" Flair away from Panthers: discuss (BASG)
Fire up the Team Ric Flair Style (49ers)
Looking back on 49ers-Panthers Week 10 Matchup (49ers)
Spying the quarterback (Cohn)
Beat Writer Breakdown: 49ers vs. Panthers (49ers)
49ers looking better at cornerback (ESPN)
Behind Enemy Lines:
In Other News:
It's a funny feeling when a player or coach on your favorite team gets praised right? I often feel like I'm the one being praised. Its probably why we feel good when players on our favorite teams get honored with pro bowl and all pro honors. Coordinators and positional coaches getting headhunted by other teams feels good as well, It means they have done a good job and other teams want to emulate our success. Frankly, I'm amazed the 49ers staff hasn't been picked apart more in the last few off seasons. Harbaugh prideful his staff is getting noticed (ESPN)
I'm not as big a Mangini hater as some on here. I do not think he has the charisma to be a head coach, but he does have a great football mind. If Fangio left to be a head man somewhere, I would not be devastated if Mangini took over as defensive coordinator. Will Eric Mangini get Miami look? (ESPN)
This is probably more of a Bengals story, but I'm always interested in seeing what other organizations think of our players. Report: Mike Brown liked Kaepernick, Jay Gruden wanted Dalton (PFT)
Revisiting second round of 2011 draft (ESPN)