I continue to hear about the first meeting, and it is referenced a lot for this game. There are some significant changes for the 49ers from the first matchup, but I'm not sure Panthers fans are aware of all of them. Here are a few:
1.) Crabtree is back. This one is obvious.
Kaepernick 11 games before Crabtree's return:
Yards Per Game: 185.18
Pass Rating: 86
Rush Yards: 355
Avg Yards Per Rush: 5.5
Yards Per Game: 32
6 games since:
YDS: 1387 yds
Yards Per Game: 231
Pass Rating: 95
Rush Yds: 267
Rush Avg: 12.7yds
Yards Per Game: 45
2.) Vernon Davis.
Played just 22 snaps in first game. He will be full strength for this one.
3.) Aldon Smith.
Played 12 snaps in the first one with his head in a million different places (see: facing gun charges). Is healthy and mentally back for this one.
What makes this one interesting is that Dan Skuta - Smith's backup and a special teamer from the Bengals that we signed in the offseason - had his best game of the year against the Panthers. Will be interesting to see what Smith can do this time around.
4.) Bruce Miller.
He's on the IR for the season, but was rated the leagues 2nd best blocking FB before getting hurt. Not only does this hurt the running game, but he also caught a lot of balls out of the backfield. He was an outlet for Kaepernick, registering around 300 yards receiveing before getting hurt. He has been replaced by Will Tukuafu on runniung downs, who has been a surprisingly good run blocker (even a PFF secret superstar this week https://www.profootb...ild-card-round/), but struggles in pass protection. And Anthiny Dixon, who has surprisingly nice hands, but isn't the blocker Tukuafu is.
5.) Carlos Rogers.
49ers Slot corner. Looks to be out this game with a hamstring injury, which is usually a bad thing, but Rogers had one of his worst games of the year vs the Panthers, and 49ers didn't play a lot of Nickel vs Panthers in game one. In Nickel/Dime just 34% of plays.
6.) Eric Reid.
One of 3 concussions he's suffered this year was vs Panthers. The kid is talented and still learning to play at the NFL level. He missed most of the 2nd half with this game and was replaced by (gasp) Craig Dahl. Reid's improved since this game and will hopefully not lead with his head again when trying to tackle Mike Tolbert.
So, those are the changes in the 49ers I've noticed since the first meeting, what have Panthers fans noticed in the team that's changed since the first meeting.
And here, I'll just post a few things here to get them out of the way so that we can focus on the subject:
*No one is giving Pathers a chance, we winzzz by a landslidezzz!!!*
*Cam >>>>>>>>>>>>> Kap, we winzz!*
*Kap can't go through his progressions!*
*Crabtree won't make that much of a difference, we haz the best D in da univerzzzeee!!*
*YOUR ENTIRE TEAM IS GAY AND FROM SF LULZ, GTFO!!!!!!*
That outta at least get us started.
The answer to your thread is simple: the Niners won't keep it as close this time. Panthers 24, Niners 17. Next question.