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Duel in the Desert


Super Bowl XLIX matches each conference's top seed for the second consecutive year as the defending champion Seahawks represent the NFC in going up against the AFC champion Patriots on February 1 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. This will be New England’s eighth Super Bowl appearance (3-4) while Seattle is in its third title game (1-1).


1

Winner vs. Winners: Russell Wilson is 10-0 career vs. Super Bowl winning quarterbacks (3-0 vs. Aaron Rodgers; 2-0 vs. Eli Manning; 2-0 vs. Peyton Manning; 2-0 vs. Drew Brees; 1-0 vs. Tom Brady). He'll try to make it 11-0 as the Seahawks go against Brady and the Patriots in Glendale.

2

Riding High: Seattle entered the playoffs with a six-game winning streak. The last team to win the Super Bowl with a winning streak of five games or more going into the playoffs was the 2003 Patriots, who were riding a 12-game streak heading into the postseason.

3

All About The D: Seahawks once again head into the Super Bowl with the league's best defense. It was ranked first in points per game (15.9), first in yards per game (267.1), third in rushing yards per game (81.5) and first in passing yards per game (185.6).

1

Dynamic partnership: Bill Belichick with Tom Brady as his quarterback has a record of 180-55. Without Brady he is 52-63. The quarterbacks other than Brady that Belichick has had start in New England and Cleveland? Matt Cassel, Drew Bledsoe, Vinny Testaverde, Bernie Kosar, Mike Tomczak, Todd Philcox, Eric Zeier, and Mark Rypien.

2

Here I come, Joe: Tom Brady has seven postseason games with three or more TD passes, second most in NFL postseason history. He trails only Joe Montana, who had nine postseason games with three or more TD passes.

3

Thanks for the gig: Bill Belichick becomes only the third coach to go up against his predecessor in the Super Bowl. Pete Carroll had the Patriots job before Belichick. In Super Bowl XXXVII, Tampa Bay's Jon Gruden faced Oakland's Bill Callahan, Gruden's former assistant with the Raiders. And in Super Bowl III, the Jets' Weeb Ewbank faced his former team Baltimore and Don Shula.

 

RB Marshawn Lynch

Lynch has been huge this year. He had more than 1,000 yards and 10 TDs for the fourth consecutive season and led the NFL in TDs with 17. He had 157 yards and a TD in the NFC title game win over the Packers. Look for Beastmode to be a factor once again in the Super Bowl.

QB Russell Wilson

Wilson has had a remarkable run since joining the Seahawks. His 36-12 record is the most wins by a quarterback during his first three seasons. He joins Joe Flacco as the only QBs in NFL history to start and win a playoff game in each of his first three seasons.

Coach Pete Carroll

Carroll is looking to become only the seventh coach to lead his team to consecutive Super Bowl titles, joining Vince Lombardi (Packers), Don Shula (Dolphins), Chuck Noll (Steelers), Jimmy Johnson (Cowboys), Mike Shanahan (Broncos) and Bill Belichick (Patriots). At 63, he would be the second-oldest coach to win the game behind Tom Coughlin.

QB Tom Brady

Brady is looking to join idol Joe Montana with four Super Bowl rings. He is 20-8 in the postseason and 3-2 in the Super Bowl. He has the NFL record for most postseason starts by a quarterback (28), postseason wins by a QB (20) and most TD passes (49).

TE Rob Gronkowski

After having injury-plagued campaigns in 2012 and 2013, Gronk returned to Pro Bowl form with 82 catches and 12 TDs during the regular season. He has more receiving touchdowns during his first five seasons than any tight end in NFL history (55).

Coach Bill Belichick

This is Belichick's sixth trip to the Super Bowl as head coach of the Patriots (3-2). Under his leadership since taking over in 2000, New England is 176-65. He is the all-time winningest coach in NFL postseason history with 21, one more than Dallas' Tom Landry.

 
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