Must happen: Disrupt Cam Newton. The 49ers kept Newton from having a big day when the Panthers beat the 49ers 10-9 in November. While the Panthers still won, containing Newton again is the 49ers’ best avenue of winning this game. Points will be at a premium again, so the 49ers can’t allow Newton to get hot.
Can't happen: Settle for field goals. The 49ers scored on three Phil Dawson field goals when they lost to the Panthers. Settling for field goals has been a season-long issue for the 49ers. But they must find a way to score at least two touchdowns in this game. It won’t be easy against that Carolina defense, but the 49ers will lose again if they settle for too many field goals.