Perhaps the stubbornly silent
After all, these
• The Seahawks are looking to become the first franchise to repeat as Super Bowl champions in a decade. The last team to do it? The Patriots, in 2003 and '04.
• This game pits two of the
But there's more. Carroll coached the Patriots from 1997 to '99, before his tremendous run at USC. He was fired in New England, and the man who replaced him was Belichick.
This week, Carroll said Patriots owner Robert
• Sunday's game will be played on the same field where the 2007 Patriots saw their perfect season go poof. They brought an 18-0 record into that game against the
"I think over the years we've gotten some tough losses, and obviously we made it in '07 and '11, those were challenging games," said New England quarterback
"I don't think those things discouraged me at all. They just reemphasized how hard and challenging it is to get to this point, and how challenging it is to win this game."
• Here's to unheralded quarterbacks. Seattle's
"He's the best," Patriots defensive tackle
Should they wind up lifting back-to-back Lombardi Trophies, the Seahawks will have knocked off two of the greatest passers in league history on the biggest stage:
• While the Seahawks sing the praises of the 12th Man — the legions of fans who make Seattle games locomotive loud when opposing offenses are on the field — the Patriots spent the week trying to avoid talk about another 12: the minimum 121/2 pounds to which a football must be properly inflated.
The NFL is investigating whether New England played with improperly deflated footballs — ones easier to throw and catch — in its 45-7 blowout of Indianapolis in the AFC championship game.
• Both of these teams overcame slow starts this season, with the Patriots falling to 2-2 a month into the season, and the Seahawks riding a roller coaster to 3-3. Both found their grooves, obviously, and this game marks the second consecutive season the two No. 1 seeds advanced to the Super Bowl.
"I think sometimes you have to look in the mirror and face it," Seahawks defensive end
• On one side there's New England's
"Obviously, as corners and elite corners, there's a certain respect level and admiration because you understand what it takes to play this position at a high level, and how fragile the praise is," Sherman said. "You give up one pass for 10 yards and they say the world's over. You get two interceptions in a game and they say that's what you're supposed to do. That's just what comes with the territory."
• This Super Bowl also pits two body-bashing titans, ones whose collisions could move a seismic needle — New England's
Like all these angles, that one was discussed and dissected and debated over and over this week.
On Thursday, Seattle linebacker
"We've told y'all everything that we can tell y'all," he said to the reporters gathered around him. "It's Gronkowski. What else do you want me to tell you?"
Sunday's game will speak for itself.