After a four year drought from the NFL Playoffs, the Carolina Panthers were understandably fired up to host the San Francisco 49ers in their NFC divisional round. Possibly too fired up. There was a lot of trash talking going on and Mike Mitchell got in 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s face. Carolina also accrued two early personal fouls that extended San Francisco drives leading to early field goals for the 49ers.
Head coach Ron Rivera blamed these costly mistakes on a lack of self control via CBS Sports:
“I think there were some things that happened in the first half that really bothered me,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said, via the Charlotte Observer. “We lost our composure a couple times and they got inside our head.”
It was pretty obvious that Carolina was trying to intimidate the 49ers which is hard to do with a team that has been there done that. Their aggressiveness ended up turning into offense for San Francisco who easily took control of the game winning 23-10.