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NFL playoffs: Panthers vs. 49ers preview
NFL playoffs: Panthers vs. 49ers preview

San Francisco's Jim Harbaugh and Carolina's Ron Rivera, teammates with the Chicago Bears in the 1980s, square off with very similar teams. Both have stifling defenses, productive power running games, and mobile, dynamic quarterbacks who can pick up first downs with their feet. Whereas Colin Kaepernick helped bring the 49ers to the brink of a Lombardi Trophy last season, Cam Newton will make his first postseason appearance for the Panthers. Carolina stunned San Francisco in November with a 10-9 victory at Candlestick Park, but the 49ers were without Kaepernick's favorite target, receiver Michael Crabtree, who missed 11 games because of a torn Achilles' tendon. Kaepernick was limited to 91...

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