The 2014 NFL live stream and televised games schedule brings two more Divisional round games into the mix on Sunday, Jan. 12. First up, the second of the NFC Divisional matchups featuring the San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers, with the winner advancing to play the Seahawks in Seattle. This will be a highly-anticipated rematch for fans, and probably the 49ers, after the Panthers won the only meeting between the teams this past season in San Francisco, 10-9. Sunday's televised and live stream NFL playoffs game will be available for fans to watch through various FOX sources.
According to ESPN.com in their Jan. 11 game report, Sunday's game will feature 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the rest of the team looking for their eight straight win, and a return trip to the NFC Championship round. The 49ers were there last round as well, where they ultimately advanced to the Super Bowl, only to lose to the Baltimore Ravens. This game will also be a chance for San Francisco to avenge their earlier loss to Carolina, in what was a tight defensive battle. These two teams are among the top ten in the league in that category, which could make for an interesting showdown.
The showdown won't only feature two tough defenses, but two of the game's most dynamic quarterbacks. Kaepernick racked up 3,197 yards and 21 touchdowns with a 58.4% completion rate this past season and 8 interceptions. On the other side, Cam Newton threw for 3,379 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions with a 61.7% completion rate. While Cam's stats look brilliant, it could be a day full of nerves for the superstar QB, as he'll be making his NFL playoffs debut for the team that drafted him No. 1 out of Auburn back in the 2011 NFL draft.
Newton said with regards to the mental status he and the fans have entering this matchup:
"You don't want to be overthinking things. I have yet to experience a playoff game, but I know the atmosphere will be hectic to say the least."
Newton will hope for the services of wide receiver Steve Smith in Sunday's game. He's compiled 745 yards and four touchdowns on 64 receptions this season, and has achieved 782 yards and 9 touchdowns in 8 playoff games (2003, 2005, 2008). Smith, listed as questionable for Sunday, suffered a knee injury against the Saints and didn't play in the Panthers' game against the Falcons to end the season. He told the media when asked about his status for the 49ers' game, "I will be all right. I should be OK."
While many will focus on the two stellar quarterbacks on the field, it's these two teams' defenses that could make the real difference on Sunday. Carolina is currently where they are thanks to their top-ranked defense which is sixth in pass defense for allowing 214.3 yars per game to opponents, and second in rush defense, allowing just 86.9 yards per game on the ground. The 49ers who are 12-4 overall and 6-2 on the road, rank fourth in rushing defense as they limit teams to just 95.9 yards per game on the ground. They're almost as good in pass defense with only 221 yards per game allowed via air. Add in that the 49ers are the third best rushing team thanks to their mobile QB and running back Frank Gore, and Carolina has its hands full on Sunday.
Odds makers had Carolina as 1-point favorites when the line first opened, but since then the public favorite 49ers have become 1-point favorites at various books. The game's over/under is set at 42 points at most between these two defensive-minded squads in what could be another low-scoring affair. The game, which will be held at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium, should be played under mostly sunny skies and a kickoff temperature of 54, if weather reports hold true.
Sunday's 49ers. vs Panthers NFC Divisional playoff game has a start time of 1:05 p.m. EST from Charlotte. This game will be shown on live TV via FOX affiliate stations including WFXR in the Roanoke area. In addition, some cable and satellite companies will allow their viewers to access live streaming online video feed of the game through FOX Sports Go. There may be restrictions for online viewing, so check the site here for more info about watching the live stream.