ARIZONA (Sporting Alert) — It’s the No. 1 seed in the NFC and the No. 1 AFC seed who will battle for the league’s most prestigious crown.
The stage is now set for NFL Super Bowl XLIX as defending champions Seattle Seahawks take on the New England Patriots at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Seattle stunningly came back from a 16-0 deficit to beat the Green Bay Packers 28-22 in overtime in the NFC championship game last month and secured a return trip to the Super Bowl in dramatic fashion.
Now the reigning champs have their eyes firmly set on repeating, but know that it will take a lot of discipline to break down a Patriots team seeking to spoil the party.
Tom Brady and New England have been all over the media, after the NFL reported that a number of the club’s game footballs were deflated.
However, the veteran quarterback is not bothered by the constant reports and questions during press conferences — stating that his main focus is on Sunday’s game as he seeks to become the third quarterback to win four Super Bowl titles.
Brady, who threw for 4109 yards and 33 touchdowns this season, enters the game with impressive postseason figures as a starting playmaker.
The 37-year-old leads the NFL with 20 career playoff wins to go with his 49 postseason touchdown passes, but he also admits that those figures will not trouble the Seahawks if he fails to get going.
At the other end, Russell Wilson, although not carrying the same kind of digits on the season — is just as deadly and he comes into this year’s decider looking to improve the rushing yards record he set last year by a Super Bowl-winning quarterback.
The 26-year-old rushed 118 times for 849 yards this term and sits only behind star running back Marshawn Lynch in the squad.
“I’m just honored to be on this team,” he said, noting that it’s not all about him.
Wilson, at the same time, was some what off his best standards in the last game and threw four interceptions for a passing quarterback rating of 44.3.
Nevertheless, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who watched him threw for over 200-yards and two touchdowns in the final last year, believes he will always be dangerous.
“He has an instinctiveness,” Belichick said of Wilson. “He just knows where people are. I can’t really define it.
“You can’t really coach it.”
It seems as though Lynch is hitting peak form at the right time after he delivered one of the best performances of his career in the NFC title game victory over the Packers.
Both teams come into the contest very similar in total yards per game, but the Patriots are ahead in and passing yards per game and as expected, the Seahawks have a 172.6-107.9 advantage in rushing yards per game.
The Patriots booked their place in Super Bowl XLIX with a convincing 45-7 hammering of Indianapolis Colts.