The Carolina Panthers, led by all-around quarterback Cam Newton and a defense that forced seven turnovers, mauled the Arizona Cardinals 49-15 in Charlotte on Sunday to set up a Super Bowl 50 clash against the Denver Broncos.
Newton ran for two scores, soaring above defenders at the goal line, and threw for two others to set off a victory party at Bank of America Stadium by reaching the Feb. 7 National Football League championship game outside San Francisco.
Earlier, Denver and veteran quarterback Peyton Manning edged last year's champion New England Patriots and their signal caller Tom Brady 20-18 for the AFC title.
Carolina scored the first three times they touched the ball in seizing a 17-0 lead and led 24-7 at halftime, taking advantage of four turnovers by a shaky Arizona attack.
Last week the fast-starting Panthers raced to a 31-0 lead by intermission against the Seattle Seahawks in the Divisional Round before holding on for a 31-24 victory.
Three more interceptions of beleaguered quarterback Carson Palmer, including one returned 21 yards for a touchdown by Luke Kuechly, and cool execution by Newton in the second half expanded the rout.