Monday, January 19, 2015

Super Bowl XLIX Patriots vs. Seahawks, an early preview

After the Seahawks completed a stunning come-from-behind victory over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game, the Patriots demolished the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 in the AFC Championship.

The AFC contest wasn't even close as the Pats built a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Tom Brady was terrific once again on the big stage, throwing for 226 yards and three touchdowns, including one to offensive lineman Nate Solder, who lined up at tight end. The Patriots held the football for nearly 38 minutes, and amassed 397 yards of offense as compared the Colts inferior 209 yards of offense.

In fact the game was so one sided, it was easy to forget that Andrew Luck was even playing in this game for the Colts. Luck's contributions mattered little, with a 12 of 33 night for 126 yards and two picks. It didn't help that his teammates didn't even get off the bus on Sunday night.

Now it sets up what should be a pretty fascinating Super Bowl. These are two franchises that have history in their sights, so let's take an early look at what's at stake in Super Bowl XLIX.

  • The Seahawks are looking to be the first team to repeat as Super Bowl Champions since the Patriots did it themselves in 2003 and 2004. 
  • Seattle is looking to be the first NFC team to repeat as Super Bowl champs since the 1992-1993 Dallas Cowboys. That's a long, long time ago. 
  • Russell Wilson is trying to win his second Super Bowl at age 26. Tom Brady won his second Super Bowl at age 26; Troy Aikman won two Super Bowls by age 27; Joe Montana by age 28, and Terry Bradshaw had his second title by age 27.  Therefore, Wilson will be one of the fastest.
  • A second Super Bowl title for Pete Carroll would put him among some big names like Belichick, Bill Parcells, Tom Flores, Jimmy Johnson, etc. who have won at least two Super Bowl titles. 
  • The Seahawks have played in four conference title games, 3-0 in the NFC, 0-1 in the AFC. 
  • This is Seattle's third trip to the Big Game in nine years.
  • The Seahawks are looking to establish themselves as the dynasty of the 2010s, and will try to do so against the team that dominated the previous decade (the 2000s) in the Patriots. 
  • The Patriots are trying to to be more than just a team of the 2000's, they want to be an All Time Franchise with their fourth Super Bowl triumph under this administration. 
  • The Patriots seek their first Super Bowl title in 10 years.     
  • The Patriots are in their sixth Super Bowl in 14 years, and third appearance since 2008. 
  • Bill Belicheck is in his sixth Super Bowl as a head coach, tied with Don Shula who went to six (5 with Miami, 1 with the Colts) Super Bowls. 
  • Tom Brady is looking for his fourth ring, which would tie him with Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana among starting quarterbacks to win the Big Game.
  • Brady/Belichick as a tandem are looking for their fourth title which would also tie them with said combos of Noll/Bradshaw and Walsh/Montana. They are currently tied with Landry/Staubach with three. Not bad at all. 
  •  This is the Patriots eighth trip to the Super Bowl all time, tying them with Dallas and Pittsburgh for the most appearances by one team.
  • New England is 3-4 all time in the Super Bowl; Seattle is 1-1 all time in the Super Bowl.
  • New England returns to Glendale, Arizona, the same site where their bid at 19-0 was destroyed by the New York Giants in 2008.
  •  Russell Wilson's first game as a starter was in Arizona against the Cardinals in 2012. 
  • New York Jets connection: Both Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll were defensive coordinators for the Jets, and ironically, head coaches for a short period. Belichick was HC of the NYJ for one day before stepping down; Carroll was HC of the NYJ for one season (1994). 
  • Carroll succeed Belichick's coaching colleague, Bill Parcells, in New England in 1997. 
  • After the 1999 season, and after Belichick spurned the Jets, he replaced Carroll in New England as head coach. 
  • The Patriots and Seahawks are no strangers. They faced each other in October of 2012, with Seattle winning 24-23. That game is remembered for Richard Sherman taunting Brady. 
  • This will be the 17th meeting between the Pats and Hawks. The series is tied at 8-8.
Should be a fun two weeks of discussion and debate until kick-off at 6:22 p.m. ET in Glendale. 

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