Why 49ers' passing attack is key
Kaepernick must have success through air if S.F. wants to beat Carolina
Fast-forward to next Sunday, when the teams will meet again, this time in Carolina in the divisional round of the playoffs.
In that Week 10 matchup Colin Kaepernick, who continued his postseason excellence in frozen Green Bay on Sunday afternoon, amassed 46 -- yes, 46 -- net passing yards in defeat, as the Panthers' relentless pass rush swallowed him up with six sacks.
None of those came from top pass-rusher Greg Hardy, as the Panthers were able to pierce the 49ers' protection both via edge pressures and second-level blitzes. (Linebackers A.J. Klein and Luke Kuechly each notched a sack.)
To state what is implicit: The 49ers must keep Kaepernick upright on Sunday, while Kaepernick must deliver a far better effort than his roughly 4 yards per 22 attempts he mustered back in early November.
While the bread and butter of the 49ers' offense is their versatile rushing attack, it will be the passing offense that dictates their success on Sunday in Charlotte.
To read the rest of the article on why the 49ers' passing attack is key against Carolina, plus to gain access to all of Insider's NFL coverage, you must be an ESPN Insider.
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Source: 49ers' Smith, Goodell to talk Aug. 8
- Peterson just 'having fun' with Sherman feud
- NFL on Gordon: Culpable for what's in body
- Romo unsure he'll play in preseason opener