GMC Never Say Never Moment
Despite losing the division to the Seahawks, San Francisco quietly has reached this point as football's top road team, sitting at 7-2 in unfriendly environments.
It starts on offense, with San Francisco riding a six-game win streak since Michael Crabtree's return from Achilles surgery. The team's top receiver didn't immediately make a major impact, but his eight-catch, 125-yard outing against the Packers on Sunday included chunk-play grabs of 11, 12, 13, 14, 17 and 31 yards. Kap's 13 targets to Crabtree equaled his looks to Anquan Boldin (six) and Vernon Davis (seven) combined.
Davis, meanwhile, barely played when Carolina upset the 49ers in Week 10 because of a concussion. The passing attack is healthy again, but I point primarily to the matchup of San Francisco's defense -- allowing a league-low 14.9 points per game since Week 4 -- against a Panthers offense that ranks worst among all playoff teams in points and yards per game.
After their magical regular season, the Panthers -- one of our favorite teams to watch this season -- have drawn a nasty matchup to begin their quest to reach MetLife. I don't see it ending well.