The San Francisco 49ers advanced to their third consecutive NFC Championship
Game with a 23-10 road win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Colin Kaepernick threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score as the 49ers set up a colossal matchup next week in Seattle with their NFC West rivals. The NFC-best Seahawks held on to beat New Orleans 23-15 in Saturday's divisional playoff game.
Peyton Manning threw two touchdown passes and the Denver Broncos reached the AFC Championship Game for the first time in eight years after hanging on to beat the San Diego Chargers 24-17 on Sunday. The Chargers cut a 17-0 deficit in the fourth quarter to seven points after two 16-yard touchdown catches by Keenan Allen and a successful onside kick that led to a field goal with 3:53 remaining. But Manning completed two third-down passes to tight end Julius Thomas and the Broncos picked up one more first down on their last drive to earn revenge for a 27-20 loss to the Chargers last month in their worst offensive performance of the season.