The Carolina Panthers' dream season came to a crashing end on Sunday. Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers erased a four point Carolina lead and came away with a 23-10 win at Bank of America Stadium.
Early on, Carolina looked to be in decent shape thanks to its usually formula of defense and Cam Newton. After the defense held San Francisco to two first quarter field goals, while Newton and the offense scored on a gorgeous 39 yard pass from Newton to Steve Smith. They would add a field goal in the quarter to take a 10-6 lead.
Things began to go south for the Panthers late in the first half as Kaepernick found his rhythm, connecting on several clutch pass plays with his receivers, and ultimately finding tight end Vernon Davis for a one-yard touchdown pass with five seconds remaining in the first half to give the 49ers a 13-10 lead at halftime.
Kaepernick picked up where he left off in the second half, capping an eight-play, 77 yard drive with a touchdown run from four yards out, putting two scores between the teams. A fourth quarter field goal by Phil Dawson gave San Francisco a 13 point lead midway through the quarter. The game was officially put out of reach when Newton’s tipped pass was intercepted with under six minutes remaining.
Carolina finished the season 12-5 overall including the playoff loss.