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Kaepernick looks to lead 49ers past Cam Newton and the Panthers

Cam Newton avoids Aldon Smith
Cam Newton avoids Aldon Smith
©R. Allan Schnoor

After the Panthers beat the 49ers 10-9 earlier this season in week 10, the rematch for a trip to the NFC Championship game takes place Sunday in Charlotte with revenge and redemption on the minds of the 49ers.

Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick have a healthy competition
©R. Allan Schnoor

Drafted behind Cam Newton in the 2009 NFL Draft, Colin Kaepernick hasn’t forgotten,

“Yeah, it’s not something I forgot,” Kaepernick said.

At this point their careers they are dead even statistically, although Newton gets most of the media attention as the young second-year sensation.

Kaepernick Newton

Pass attempts 416 473

Completions 243 292

Percentage 58.4 61.7

Pass Yrds 3197 3379

Yards/attmp 7.7 7.1

TD Passes 21 24

INTs 8 13

Rushing yards 524 585

Rush Avg 5.7 5.3

Kaepernick will have more weapons this time with Crabtree, a healthy Vernon Davis, and LaMichael James getting more reps after a season-long learning curve.

Downplaying a Jim Harbaugh statement that Crabtree is the best receiver of all-time, Kaepernick tempered the statement with less hyperbole in saying, “There aren’t too many people that can catch the ball like him Crabtree.”

Kaepernick is not delusional about what the Panthers bring to the table or overconfident after escaping a frigid Grrreeen Bay,

“Carolina is athletic and they have a very good front seven, something I’ll have to deal with. Luke Keuchly is one of the best linebackers in the league.”

“I didn’t play well enough to win the first game.”

Kaepernick will have to mustered up some of the magic he’s used in three career post-season playoff wins to get to the Championship game next week.

More importantly, the referees won’t be keeping their flags in their pockets like they did in Green Bay.

Due to the incredibly cold weather conditions, it was painfully obvious they were ignoring interior line holding infractions.

Of the five total penalties called, one was for a delay of game to punt the ball, a false start by Packers’ Bahktiari in the first quarter, and a defensive secondary holding call in the fourth quarter.

Kaepernick’s only post-season loss was to Baltimore in the Super Bowl last year in New Orleans.

The statistics aren’t gaudy, but they are good enough to get the job done on a team that boasts the #3 defense in the league giving up 17 points/game.

The bad news is that Carolina is second best allowing just 15.1 points/game in the regular season.

It’s the post-season and with four games of playoff experience under his belt, Kaepernick has to prove that he deserved to be the higher pick in the draft by proving it on the field Sunday.

2012 vs Atlanta 16 for 21 233yards, 1 TD

vs GreenBay 17 for 31 263yards, 2 TD

2013

vs Green Bay 16 for 30 227yards, 1 TD, rush 98 yards