Sports

Crabtree’s return makes 49ers a different team

Four weeks after his season debut, Michael Crabtree had eight catches in a wild-card win.
Four weeks after his season debut, Michael Crabtree had eight catches in a wild-card win.mike roemer/associated press

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — There’s a far different dynamic for Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers’ offense this time around against Carolina.

His name is Michael Crabtree.

Kaepernick had his least-productive game as a pro in a 10-9 loss to the Panthers Nov. 10 at Candlestick Park, and the Niners had also lost tight end Vernon Davis to a first-half concussion that day.

Now, with two of Kaepernick’s top targets at full strength to complement Anquan Boldin, San Francisco (13-4) is riding a seven-game winning streak and ready for a different outcome in the NFC divisional playoffs on Sunday at Charlotte.

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