Goal-line stands help 49ers reach third straight NFC title game

Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) throws a touchdown to tight end Vernon Davis (85) against...

Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) throws a touchdown to tight end Vernon Davis (85) against the Panthers during second quarter action in their NFC divisional playoff game Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2014. (Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)

JOHN KRYK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:22 PM ET

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Three NFC championship games in three years. Not a bad start to the Jim Harbaugh era in San Francisco.

His 49ers defeated the host Carolina Panthers 23-10 on Sunday at Bank America Stadium, in the weekend’s second NFC divisional playoff game.

Panthers defenders had talked all week about matching, or even trumping, the Niners’ thirst for the fray again, as they had in a 10-9 win at San Francisco nine weeks ago.

But by late in the third quarter of this one, it was clear that Harbaugh’s Niners were not only far more poised, but more adept at full-fledged ferocity than the Panthers with a season on the line.


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