The Seattle Seahawks have beaten the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 to win the National Football League’s NFC Championship and join the Denver Broncos in next month’s Super Bowl.
The Seahawks advanced to the NFL’s title game on Sunday for the only the second time in the franchise’s history after the Broncos sealed their place with a 26-16 win over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship.
Seattle battled back from a 17-10 deficit midway through the third quarter with 13 unanswered points as the National Football League’s top-rated defense registered three turnovers in the fourth quarter.
Seattle’s Malcolm Smith intercepted a Colin Kaepernick pass in the end zone with 22 seconds remaining to halt a potential game-winning drive for the 49ers and send the Seahawks to the National Football League’s February 2 championship spectacle in suburban New York.
It is the first trip to the big game for the Seahawks (15-3) since they lost to Pittsburgh after the 2005 season.
The conference champs had the best records in the league, the first time the top seeds have got to the Super Bowl since 2009.