YSTL: Are 49ers favorites in rematch with Panthers?
The 49ers lost to the Panthers 10-9 during the regular season, but are a much healthier and more complete team heading into the playoff rematch. (USATSI)
SAN FRANCISCO (13-4) at CAROLINA (12-4)
Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET, Fox
OPENING LINE - 49ers by 2
RECORD VS. SPREAD - San Francisco 11-5-1, Carolina 9-7
SERIES RECORD - Panthers lead 11-7
LAST MEETING - Panthers beat 49ers 10-9 on Nov. 10, 2013
LAST WEEK - 49ers defeated Packers 23-20, Panthers had a bye
[MAIOCCO: Kaepernick: 'It's not something I'll forget']
AP PRO32 RANKING - 49ers No. 3, Panthers No. 4
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Panthers coach Ron Rivera were teammates with Chicago Bears. ... Harbaugh is first coach to lead 49ers to playoffs in first three seasons. ... QB Colin Kaepernick held to 91 yards passing and 16 yards rushing in 10-9 loss to Carolina on Nov. 10. ... Kaepernick has career QB rating of 93.9 in postseason. ... RB Frank Gore has franchise-record seven straight 1.000-yard rushing seasons. Gore averages 91.3 yards rushing in postseason with TD in past four playoffs games. ... TEVernon Davis has six TD receptions in six postseason games. ... WR Michael Crabtree has 28 catches for 410 yards and three TDs in past four playoff games. ... 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio worked for Panthers in 1990s. ... Since 2011, LB Aldon Smith has 45.5 sacks since 2011, second-most in NFL. ... Panthers lost last home playoff game as No. 2 seed to Arizona in 2008, 33-13. ... Carolina's 12 wins tied team record. ... Panthers defense allowed second-fewest points in NFL (241). ... QBCam Newton has 11,299 yards passing in his first three seasons, third-most in NFL history. Newton has 2,032 yards rushing in first three seasons, most by quarterback in league history. ... WR Steve Smith expected to start after missing Week 17 with sprained knee ligament. ... LB Luke Kuechly has NFL-high 320 tackles since 2012. ... DE Greg Hardy has eight sacks in past three games. ... CB Captain Munnerlyn has four interception returns for TDs since 2012, most in NFL. ... Panthers have won seven straight games at home. ... Panthers had nine sacks in Week 17 win over Atlanta.