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NFL: Crabtree’s presence huge in 49ers’ 23-10 win

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"I mean, it’s just ridiculous. A couple of things that weren’t called the same way," Mitchell said. "I made a good play taking his legs out and he’s gets up in my face and head butts me, which is the same exact thing that you saw Captain Munnerlyn do. ... I mean, it was the exact same play. One team gets the call, another team doesn’t."

Mitchell also disputed an unnecessary roughness penalty called on him when he hit Vernon Davis after a tipped pass. That penalty, like the one on Munnerlyn, led to San Francisco field goals.

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STEVE SMITH IS TOUGH: We knew this, of course, but Steve Smith is one tough guy.

The Panthers 34-year-old receiver battled back from a sprained knee ligament and had four catches for 74 yards and a touchdown despite not being close to 100 percent.

49ERS CAN RUN IT TOO: They aren’t the New England Patriots, but the 49ers proved again they can run the football in the playoffs. Frank Gore ran for 84 yards on 17 carries and San Francisco racked up 126 yards against the league’s second-ranked defense.

HARBAUGH CAN COACH: Jim Harbaugh continues to make the right calls in the postseason. Harbaugh became the first NFL coach since the AFL-NFL merger to lead his team to the conference championship game in each of his first three seasons as a coach.

Even though Harbaugh ran on the field during a play to argue a call and cost his team 15 yards, his players said they have his back.

"He’s passionate," Kaepernick said. "I can’t be mad at him for trying to get a call and trying to get things right. He’s a great coach to play for."


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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