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The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks will meet in Super Bowl XLIX on NBC Sunday, Feb. 1, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Pre-game coverage begins at noon ET. The game will mark the 18th Super Bowl broadcast by NBC, equaling CBS for the most Super Bowls broadcast by any network.
Following are comments by "Sunday Night Football" play-by-play voice Al Michaels and analyst Cris Collinsworth, as well as "Football Night in America" commentators Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, a former Patriot who won two Super Bowls with the team, about the Patriots-Seahawks matchup in Super Bowl XLIX:
Michaels on Seahawks heading to Super Bowl XLIX after Sunday's 28-22 victory over the Green Bay Packers: "The NFC Championship Game was the latest example of why the NFL is television's greatest unscripted drama. For a Seahawks fan, it was a warp-speed trip from dismay to euphoria. For a Packers fan, it was simply the reverse. For both fan bases, it was an emotional wringer. And what more can you say about Russell Wilson? He turned what would have been one of the worst performances in postseason history into a comeback for the ages."
Michaels on Super Bowl XLIX matchup: "So many great early storylines to think about: Two chess masters, (Bill) Belichick and (Pete) Carroll, going head-to-head. Two hugely successful quarterbacks, (Tom) Brady and Wilson, with vastly divergent styles. Two teams that will come to the Super Bowl with anything and everything in the back of their playbooks - fake punts, wide receivers throwing passes, eclectic formations and who knows what else. In Marshawn Lynch and LeGarrette Blount, the equivalent of identical twins at running back. Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman against 'The Legion of Boom.' Darrelle Revis matched up against anybody. Richard Sherman matched up against anybody. And two teams that rarely face each other - only three meetings in the last 21 years. These are just the appetizers."
Collinsworth on Super Bowl XLIX: "This will be a legacy Super Bowl. Will it be Seattle winning back-to-back Super Bowls with a young team capable of many more, or Tom Brady and Bill Belichick winning their fourth?"
Collinsworth on evenly matched Super Bowl: "This is the first Super Bowl in a long time that I have no idea who will be favored."
Collinsworth on the quarterbacks: "It's Russell Wilson with memorable tears of joy against Tom Brady who has been making opponents cry for years."
Dungy on Seattle: "The Seahawks victory against the Packers exemplified their season. It's hard to get back to the Super Bowl, but this team fought all year to accomplish that. When it seemed that there was no chance to win (Sunday), they still believed and played until the final whistle. They are a balanced, physical team that is bolstered by an excellent philosophy."
Dungy on New England, which defeated the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 45-7: "The Patriots are hitting on all cylinders. They do so much on offense and show so many different looks. Every game plan is a little different, and it's a huge advantage."
Dungy on the matchup: "This will be a chess match that boils down to how the Patriots defense will handle the Seahawks run-option offense, and how the Seahawks defense handles the precise, inside passing game of the Patriots."
Harrison on Seattle: "What impressed me the most (Sunday) about the Seahawks was that, despite playing their worst game of year, they found a way to win. It's what you expect of a championship-caliber team: They always find a way."
Harrison on New England: "The Patriots returning to the Super Bowl is no surprise. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick were prepared and the team is confident. There's no set game plan with Belichick. He's always trying to find the right mix to win the next game."
Harrison on the matchup: "These have been the two best teams in the league all year. I anticipate this being one of the best Super Bowls in the history of the league. It's the great Seahawks defense against Tom Brady and the Patriots passing game. It's Bill Belichick against Pete Carroll. There are intriguing matchups everywhere."