"Our fans remember the Super Bowl more so than the players in here do," left tackle
Gross and wide receiver
Playing the Patriots will always conjure up memories of the Super Bowl, and Gross expects a raucous environment at Bank of America Stadium on Monday night.
"That (Super Bowl) was the biggest game I've ever played in," Gross said. "I don't think there's any type of a payback or anything ten seasons later, but that's a game that sticks out in my mind and one I'll remember for a long time.
"There is history with this team. It's going to be a great atmosphere."
CHANDLER SETTLES NERVES: As game day in San Francisco neared, right guard
"It's hard to describe," Chandler said. "Going into the game that week, I wasn't as nervous as I was the day before and day of."
Chandler – who made his first start since converting from defensive line to offensive line – knew he had a target on his back the moment he stepped on the field at Candlestick Park.
"I knew those guys were going to be gunning for me," Chandler said. "Just like if I was a vet and I was going to go up against a guy just moving to offense, first time playing a position. I would try to take advantage."
That contributed to the increased nerves. But those nerves quickly settled, and it was Chandler who provided the key block to spring running back
"Once we got in there and got going, I felt like, ‘Here I am. I belong here,'" Chandler said. "Watching it on film, it kind of struck home. I'm here. Playing in California, my whole family was there. It was surreal almost that it happened the way it did.
"I feel like I'll be more confident going in (this week)," he added. "I plan on executing even better than I did last week. That's the goal."
BLACKBURN BLUES: A foot injury limited linebacker
"It's tough to swallow, especially with last week being a primetime kind of game and now with Monday Night Football," Blackburn said. "It's tough not being out there. We watch film together, and I even diagramed some plays just to help out so that I felt like I was doing something."
Blackburn has been a big part of the Panthers defense, starting six consecutive games before being limited against the 49ers. If Blackburn doesn't play Monday, head coach Ron Rivera said rookie
Blackburn said the injury originally developed as tendinitis that progressively got worse. Then he aggravated it further against the 49ers while covering a punt and didn't return.
"He finished the game, and now it's pretty sore," Rivera said. "We're doing everything we can to make it feel better and better and better. We'll see about him moving forward and hope he'll have a shot."
Staff writer Max Henson and senior writer Bryan Strickland contributed to this report.