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49ers vs. Panthers NFC Divisional playoffs open thread

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The athletic quarterbacks backed by dominant defenses set to square off in perhaps the best match-up the 2014 NFL Playoffs have had yet.

Ezra Shaw

What's it going to be, a defensive battle, or a quarterback highlight reel?

Both, maybe?

Cam Newton vs. Colin Kaepernick is exciting, perhaps as much as Luke Kuechly vs. Patrick Willis/NaVorro Bowman. Two of the most exciting quarterbacks, three of the best defensive players in the NFL.

This one should be good. Neutral, non-rainy or freezing conditions should make for an even track as well.

The winner heads to Seattle for the NFC Championship game - a spot that's plenty familiar to the 49ers, who would be making their third straight appearance in the game. It's been a while for the Panthers, but led by a dramatic and impressive turnaround in 2014, appear to be a team that might make a run of their own over the next few years.

Still, the experience the 49ers have, and the level at which they've been playing, including an outstanding performance on the road in Green Bay, will help them win against the spread (San Francisco -3).

49ers (-3) over CAROLINA

Stick around BTSC all day, we'll have open threads and game write-ups and other crazy stuff that makes playoff football so much fun.