It's one of the closest match-ups on paper for a Super Bowl in quite a while. An efficient and potent offense of the Patriots locking horns with a stout and confident defense of the Seahawks has been downplayed all week by several quiet controversies, from deflated footballs to a lack of media cooperation.
Many on social media are trying to spread a mantra of "let's play the game already." Perhaps that's usually the feeling heading into a Super Bowl, but even two teams as talented and balanced as the Patriots and Seahawks playing for a title can fail to out-draw the attention-grabbing power of scandal.
The Patriots use a balanced and well-coached offensive scheme that can feature any one of several players as the main weapon. Tight end Rob Gronkowski tends to be the receiver of choice, and he's essentially impossible to shut down, provided the team wants to get him the ball.
Seattle's offense focuses on controlling the ball, but they're able to get to leads in the second half and close them out with a combination of the balance of Marshawn Lynch, the precision of Russell Wilson and a defense that will not give up anything easy.
It looks to be an excellent game, but we smell a repeat coming, maybe not by score but result of last season. Seattle will join the Patriots, Packers, Dolphins, Steelers, 49ers, Cowboys and Broncos as franchises with back-to-back Super Bowl wins.
Prediction: Seahawks 23, Patriots 16
Here are all the viewing details for Super Bowl XLIX.
Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Date: Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015
Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
How the Seahawks got there: NFC's top seed and NFC West champions after a 12-4 record in 2014, the Seahawks defeated the Carolina Panthers in the divisional round of the NFC Playoffs 31-17, and defeated the Green Bay Packers 28-22 (OT) in the NFC Championship game.
How the Patriots got there: AFC''s top seed and AFC East champions after a 12-4 record in 2014, the Patriots defeated the Baltimore Ravens 35-31 in the AFC divisional round of the AFC Playoffs, and defeated the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 in the AFC Championship game.
What's at stake: A win would give Seattle a repeat Super Bowl championship, becoming the first team since 2003-04 to win consecutive titles. The Patriots were the last team to do that. For New England, it would be the franchise's fourth title in the last 14 seasons and first since 2004.
Seahawks SB Nation page: Field Gulls
Patriots SB Nation page: Pats Pulpit
TV Schedule: NBC - Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (color)
Online streaming: NBC's Live Extra begins at noon ET Sunday
Odds: Patriots -2
Weather: 71 degrees, winds E 1 m.p.h., no rain expected