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Preview of Super Bowl 2015: Patriots vs. Seahawks

Maya Hughes | 1/26/2015, 10:40 a.m.
In one of the most enticing matchups in NFL history, the top-seeded New England Patriots will take on the top-seeded ...
Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson

In one of the most enticing matchups in NFL history, the top-seeded New England Patriots will take on the top-seeded Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, Feb. 1 in Glendale, Ariz. Let's break down the matchup.

SERIES HISTORY

The New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks will meet for the 17th time. The teams' last meeting was on Oct. 14, 2012, at CenturyLink Field with the Seahawks claiming a 24-23 victory to end a two-game New England winning streak.

The Patriots and Seahawks played 12 times in a 14-year span from 1980- 93, but have played only three times since then (2004, 2008 and 2012). The 2008 victory pushed the Patriots in front, 8-7, in the all-time series. Seattle evened the series at 8-8 with their victory in 2012.

The Patriots have had the upper hand in road games against the Seahawks as they own a 4-3 record in games played in Seattle. The Patriots were 3-2 at the Kingdome (1976-1993) and are 1-1 at CenturyLink Field (formerly Qwest Field). New England won six of the first eight games in the series, which began in 1977.

Seattle Seahawks:

Seattle was an overwhelming favorite in the NFC Championship Game, but they barely got by the Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks engineered one of the greatest comebacks in NFL playoff history, scoring 15 points in the final 2:09 of regulation, eventually winning in overtime.

Russell Wilson’s struggles highlighted the first three quarters of the contest. The quarterback, who entered the game with the best postseason passer rating of all time, threw a career-high four interceptions. He finished the game having completed 14 of 29 passes for 209 yards and the game-winning touchdown.

Before nearly losing to the Packers, the Seahawks had been the best team in the NFL. Seattle ended the 2014 regular season with six consecutive victories, all coming by at least 10 points, and they topped the Carolina Panthers by 14 points in the divisional round of the playoffs. The 22 points scored by Green Bay were the most Seattle allowed in a game since Week 11.

Led by the “Legion of Boom,” the Seahawks’ defense has been the most dominant unit in all of football. They surrendered the fewest total points in the regular season, and limited Aaron Rodgers, the likely MVP, to a 55.8 passer rating. Seattle’s red-zone defense kept them in Sunday’s game, forcing Green Bay to kick two field goals inside the 20-yard line.

New England Patriots:

New England had a much easier time en route to the Super Bowl. The Patriots cruised past the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game, 45-7. Leading 17-7 at halftime, New England scored 28 unanswered points in the second half to clinch another AFC title.

Brady threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns, but New England’s defense might have been the most impressive part of their victory. The team held Andrew Luck to 12-of-33 passing for just 126 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. It was the quarterback’s worst game of the season, posting a 23.0 passer rating.