Edgy from the opening whistle, both teams went at each other with physical play that led to a convincing win for the Niners and caught the league's attention along the way.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that the officiating crew for the NFC title game -- along with both the Seahawks and 49ers -- were shipped videos this week of that Niners-Panthers first half. The footage was sent to show examples of what will and will not be tolerated in Seattle.
Dean Blandino, the NFL's vice president of officiating, is asking officials to set the tone early and prevent the game from swinging out of control. That's a message the league's refs have heard all season long.
Officials also missed a blatant defensive hold on a Patrick Willis interception of Cam Newton. Adding to that, a pair of second-quarter head butts by 49ers offensive players went unflagged and a Drayton Florence pass interference call in the end zone led directly to a Vernon Davis touchdown before the half.
Let's hope for a game in Seattle on Sunday that has more to do with the players -- and less with the zebras.