The Carolina Panthers nearly lost a 31-0 halftime lead, but in the end, they held off the Seattle Seahawks, 31-24, and advanced to the NFC Championship game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Cam Newton and the Panthers will meet the Cardinals in the NFC title game (Getty Images).

The Panthers scored on the opening drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead and then returned a Russell Wilson interception for a touchdown right away to make it 14-0.

The Seahawks got nothing going in the first half, squandering a few chances for points before the break. But after the break, the Hawks turned it on, scoring 24 times before time eventually ran out on the back-to-back NFC Champions.

For the Panthers, Cam Newton was 16-22 for 161 yards and a touchdown. He repeatedly depended on his tight end, Greg Olsen, who caught six balls for 77 yards and a TD.

Playing from behind the entire day, Wilson threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns. But he also had two interceptions.

Jermaine Kearse had 11 catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns.