The San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos won their respective divisional playoff games, completing the match-ups for the conference championship games next weekend that will determine who goes to the Super Bowl.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers to a 23-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte on Sunday in the divisional round of the National Football Conference playoffs.
"It was a real arm-wrestling kind of struggle," 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said after the game.
San Francisco will play the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game next Sunday in Seattle.
In Sunday's American Football Conference divisional playoff game, quarterback Peyton Manning ended his three-game losing streak in the playoffs and helped the Denver Broncos beat the San Diego Chargers 24-17 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver.
"This was a good team win," the 37-year-old Manning said. "The biggest difference early in the game was the defense was getting them off the field and we were staying on the field. So it was a good team win. That's what you have to have in the playoffs to beat good teams, and certainly what we'll have to have next week."
The Broncos will host the New England Patriots next Sunday in the AFC Championship Game, a contest that will feature another duel between Manning and Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady.
"We'll enjoy this one. You're supposed to enjoy these wins," Manning said after the game. "They're hard to come by, and we'll start working on the Patriots tomorrow."
The winners of the AFC and NFC championship games will face off in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Feb. 2. EFE