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QB Cam Newton must beat Colin Kaepernick, 49ers to get Panthers where he wants to go

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    FILE - In this Dec. 22, 2013 file photo, Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (1) hurdles New Orleans Saints' David Hawthorne (57) in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C. As Newton readies for his first playoff game, he says it's not about he and Colin Kaepernick but rather the Panthers against the 49ers on Sunda, Jan. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File) (The Associated Press)

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    San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) scrambles for a first down against the Green Bay Packers defense during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. The 49ers won 23-20. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps) (The Associated Press)

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    San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) talks to Green Bay Packers defensive end Mike Daniels (76) after an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. The 49ers won 23-20. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer) (The Associated Press)

Cam Newton says he doesn't like being compared to Colin Kaepernick.

"Two different players," Newton says.

Yet the Panthers' third-year quarterback understands the parallels with the 49ers' star. They both entered the NFL in 2011. They're both big, strong-armed guys who can shred a secondary with their arms and burn you with their feet.

Says Newton: "Being a big guy, being fast and being agile and having the art of throwing like only God has blessed a few people with — and Kaepernick has it (too)."

Newton and Kaepernick go head-to-head again Sunday with a trip to the NFC championship game on the line.

Carolina beat San Francisco 10-9 in a defensive struggle Nov. 10 at Candlestick Park, a game in which neither quarterback played particularly well.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org