American Football — NFL PlayoffsMonday, January 13, 2014
Kaepernick lifts 49ers over Panthers 23-10
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Colin Kaepernick threw one touchdown pass and ran for another score as the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Carolina Panthers 23-10 yesterday to advance to the NFC championship game for the third straight season.
Kaepernick completed 15 of 28 passes for 196 yards, avenging his worst statistical performance of the season two months ago against the Panthers.
Anquan Boldin had eight catches for 136 yards and Frank Gore ran for 84 yards on 17 carries for the 49ers (14-4), who’ll travel to Seattle next Sunday looking for a return trip to the Super Bowl. San Francisco split two games with the Seahawks this season.
The 49ers held Cam Newton in check, intercepting him twice and sacking him four times while stopping the Panthers (12-5) twice on a 1-yard line. It was a rough playoff debut for the former Heisman Trophy winner.
Also yesterday, the Denver Broncos survived a fourth-quarter fightback by the San Diego Chargers to claim a 24-17 win and advance to the AFC Championship game for the first time in eight years.
The victory for Peyton Manning’s Broncos sets up a tantalizing showdown next Sunday when Tom Brady and the New England Patriots visit the Mile High city with a spot in the Super Bowl on the line.
Elsewhere, LeGarrette Blount ran the New England Patriots into their third straight American Football Conference championship game, while Marshawn Lynch ran for 140 yards and two touchdowns as the Seattle Seahawks won their National Football Conference playoff.
Blount had four touchdown runs as New England kept Andrew Luck from a second straight comeback victory, beating the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 late on Saturday.
Steven Hauschka kicked three field goals in blustery conditions as the top-seeded Seahawks beat the New Orleans Saints 23-15 and advanced to the NFC championship game for the second time in club history.