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As expected, NFC championship game features division rivals 49ers, Seahawks in noisy Seattle

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin (81) makes a catch against Carolina Panthers cornerback Drayton Florence (29) during the second half of a divisional playoff NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)The Associated Press

Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers have conquered the bitter cold of Green Bay and the travails of a cross-country flight to Carolina. Now they face their toughest test yet to get back to the Super Bowl: the deafening noise of Seattle's 12th man home crowd and that swarming Seahawks defense that thoroughly shut down the reigning NFC champion Niners in Week 2.

The 49ers have committed seven turnovers and been outscored 71-16 in their last two trips to Seattle, including an embarrassing 29-3 defeat in September.

In what has become arguably the NFL's best rivalry, San Francisco is on quite a roll as it returns to the Pacific Northwest for Sunday's NFC title game — the 49ers' third in as many years.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org