By Brent Stecker
The Seahawks are a win away from reaching the Super Bowl, and it's only fitting that the San Francisco 49ers are all that stands between them and MetLife Stadium.
The 49ers defeated the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte on Sunday to punch their ticket to Seattle for next Sunday's NFC championship game vs. the Seahawks at 3:30 p.m.
San Francisco has served as the Seahawks' most heated rival in recent years, and it owns the distinction of being one of only three teams to defeat Seattle during the 2013 regular season.
The NFC West champion Seahawks and wild card 49ers split their season series against each other. Seattle pummeled San Francisco 29-3 in Week 2 at CenturyLink Field, but the 49ers answered Dec. 8 by sneaking by the Seahawks 19-17 at Candlestick Park.
Though the Seahawks and 49ers have built a strong rivalry in recent years, Sunday will be the first-even postseason meeting between the two teams.
San Francisco finished the regular season with a 12-4 record, and also registered a 23-20 win over the Packers in Green Bay in the wild card round of the NFC playoffs on Jan. 5.
The Seahawks won the NFC West with a 13-3 record, had a bye in the wild card round, and defeated the Saints 23-15 in the NFC divisional playoffs round Saturday.