Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor
January 10, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) celebrates after he runs the ball in for a touchdown after intercepting a pass against the Carolina Panthers during the second half in the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game at CenturyLink Field. Reuters

The Carolina Panthers tried everything to keep up with the Seattle Seahawks but the defending champions made some big plays late to notch the 31-17 victory in the NFC divisional round match-up. The Seahawks are now one win away from the Super Bowl and will face either the Green Bay Packers or the Dallas Cowboys in the conference championship.

The Seahawks led by just four, 14-10 at halftime and just seven, 17-10 at the 14:55 mark of the fourth quarter and Carolina had a couple of chances to take the lead or tie the game. The defending champions went to their defence and stopped Cam Newton and the Panthers in the crucial drives in the fourth.

Russell Wilson threw for 268 yards on 15-of-22 passes with three touchdowns while Newton had 246 passing yards on 23-of-36 completions with two TD and two interceptions. One of the INT was a pick by Kam Chancellor, who returned it for 90 yards and gave the Seahawks the insurmountable 31-17 advantage. Jermain Kearse led the Seahawks with 129 receiving yards on just 3 catches while Luke Willson had 68 on 4 receptions. Both had receiving touchdowns each along with Dough Baldwin. Marshawn Lynch was limited to 59 rushing yards on 14 carries.

Carolina, which was trying to be the first team to reach a conference title game after a losing record in the regular season, had a total of three turnovers, two of which came from Newton, who had a pair of touchdown passes to Kelvin Benjamin.The Panthers entered the game with a five-game winning streak while the Seahawks continue their romp, their seventh straight victory on the way to the NFC championship game. They are the first Super Bowl champion to reach the conference title game after the season since the Packers did it in 1997.

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