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Morning NFL Game Thread: Panthers Watch, Redskins Rule in play

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We break down some of the Week 9 morning matchups, and provide an open thread for discussion.

We're back for Week 9, and another Sunday with no 49ers. The 49ers are on their bye this week, so we get to kick back and just enjoy some plain ol' football today. There are plenty of playoff, fantasy and even presidential election implications, which should make for an interesting Sunday.

If you were not aware, there is something called the Redskins rule, which is in play today. In all but one election since 1940, when the Redskins win their last game before the presidential election, the incumbent party wins the election. The only time it didn't work was in 2004 when Bush beat Kerry. Given the craziness of the 2000 election, we'll give the Redskins Rule a pass.

More importantly for 49ers fans, the Redskins host the Panthers this week. Panthers Watch 2012 continues to run full steam ahead, with Carolina doing everything it can to help boost their draft stock for the 49ers. The 49ers hold the Panthers third round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, and right now it would be the second pick of the round. So, depending on how much you want that pick versus how much you believe in the Redskins Rule for the coming election, root accordingly. One reminder: that is the extent of political discussion here!

The other big game for 49ers fans in the morning is Arizona at Green Bay. The Cardinals are losing ground quickly, having now lost four straight. A loss at Green Bay would drop them to 4-5 and leave them hanging precariously in the playoff race.