Patriots, Seahawks have tools to deliver Super Bowl classic

Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:32pm EST
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By Frank Pingue

(Reuters) - The Super Bowl has an unwanted reputation for being a bust rather than an edge-of-your-seat thriller, but this year's NFL championship game between the two most dominant regular-season teams has the makings of an instant classic.

After punching their Super Bowl tickets with contrasting wins in their respective conference championships on Sunday, the New England Patriots and defending champion Seattle Seahawks have set up a rare Super Bowl clash of No. 1 seeds.

The tantalizing matchup, scheduled for Feb. 1 in Glendale, Arizona, will mark just the 11th time that a pair of No. 1 seeds will decide the Super Bowl since the National Football League implemented a conference seeding system in 1975.

Even oddsmakers in Las Vegas, where over $100 million will be bet on the Super Bowl, are unsure who to back as many odds for the championship game are a "pick 'em," meaning there is currently no spread for either team to cover.

And while the massive hype that precedes each Super Bowl has often set a worldwide audience up for disappointment as far as the actual games have played out, Seattle and New England look headed for a must-see showdown.

In the end, either the Patriots add to an amazing run of success that includes three Super Bowl titles in a four-year span ending in 2005, or the Seahawks repeat as champions to become the closest thing the NFL has seen to a dynasty in years.

Seattle snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in their improbable win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship to become the first defending champion to reach the Super Bowl in 10 years.

Dynamic Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, 26, struggled at the helm of an ineffective offense until the final minutes of Sunday's game but is now one win away from becoming the youngest quarterback in NFL history to win two Super Bowls.   Continued...

Jan 18, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots outside linebacker Jamie Collins (91) celebrates after an interception against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium.  Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports