Sunday, February 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Panthers flagged often in NFC playoff loss to 49ers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Panthers' playoff inexperience seemed to manifest itself the most when it came to penalties in Sunday's 23-10 loss to the 49ers in the NFC division-round game.

In its first postseason game in five years, the home team was flagged eight times for 73 yards, including several calls for late hits and unnecessary blows.

"Some bad things happened out there," Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. "You wish we would have kept our composure a little bit better. One thing we don't want is to be pushed around, but at the same time, you have to learn and understand."

There was the flag against S Mike Mitchell for drilling 49ers TE Vernon Davis in the open field that led to San Francisco's first field goal. CB Captain Munnerlyn's head butt of WR Michael Crabtree led to another 49ers field goal. Later, CB Josh Thomas tried to punch WR Quinton Patton.

"In these games, you don't want to hurt your team," 49ers WR Anquan Boldin said. "You saw those guys out there taking swings at guys. Just stupid."

The 49ers were not without sin. Coach Jim Harbaugh was flagged for running onto the field before Colin Kaepernick's touchdown pass to Davis just before halftime, initially ruled incomplete, was reviewed. And Boldin appeared to get away with a head butt on the same drive.

Not allowed: The Seahawks aren't settling for their reputation as having the league's loudest stadium. Apparently, they'd like CenturyLink Field to be the most exclusive, too.

The team issued a news release — well before the 49ers defeated the Panthers — that tickets for Sunday's NFC Championship Game in Seattle would not be available for online purchase for Californians, or residents of a lot of other states either.

According to the release, only applicants with billing addresses in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta can buy tickets online when they go on sale today.

Record, and better record: The Broncos' Peyton Manning, in the playoffs for a 13th season, a record for quarterbacks, ended a personal three-game postseason skid with Denver's 24-17 win against San Diego. Manning, 10-11 in the playoffs, won for the first time since leading Indianapolis over the Jets 30-17 in the AFC title game on Jan. 24, 2010.

Seahawk arrest: Seahawks rookie FB Spencer Ware was arrested early Sunday morning, suspected of driving under the influence. The team said it knew of the arrest but had no further comment.

Injuries: 49ers FB Will Tukuafu (left knee) left in the first quarter. Tukuafu was hurt after catching a short pass in the flat — his first reception this season — and getting his leg bent under him on a tackle by Munnerlyn. Panthers starting S Quintin Mikell left with a right foot injury late in the first half. … Chargers LB Manti Te'o suffered a concussion late in the first half against the Broncos.

Around the NFL: A legal challenge forced Minnesota to delay a $468 million bond sale to finance a stadium for the Vikings. State officials said the lawsuit jeopardizes plans to open the facility for the 2016 season as well as plans for a nearby $400 million development. … Former receiver Lake Dawson, the Titans' vice president of player personnel, interviewed for the Dolphins' vacant general manager job.

Eagle robbed: The South Philadelphia home of Eagles WR DeSean Jackson was robbed of more than $250,000 in cash and jewelry plus a handgun, Philadelphia police said. Jackson was in Miami from Monday until Saturday; his mother discovered the burglary, which happened last week. He offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

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