The two best teams in the NFL collide on the league's biggest stage Sunday night when the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots battle in Super Bowl 49 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. This is about as enticing a season-ending showcase game as you could hope for in terms of juicy storylines and compelling matchups. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC following the singing of the national anthem by Idina Menzel.
The game can also be seen internationally in over 45 countries. Some of the bigger countries getting the contest include Italy, France, England, Australia, Germany, Mexico and Canada. The Super Bowl will also have a radio broadcast in the latter two countries.
The Seahawks are looking to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champion in a decade, so it's only fitting the team standing in their way is the Patriots, who were the last franchise to repeat as Lombardi winners. New England is also on the verge of rewriting the record books with its eighth Super Bowl appearance, which matches the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers for the most by any franchise in league history.
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are trying to end a 10-year championship drought, still searching for that elusive fourth ring that would put the duo in rare company. Belichick would join Chuck Noll as the only head coaches with four Super Bowl titles, while Brady would tie Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for the most rings by a starting quarterback.
On the other sideline, Russell Wilson is set to add a few more entries to his record-breaking career résumé. When he steps on the field, he will become the first quarterback in NFL history to start two Super Bowls within his first three seasons. The 26-year-old will also become the youngest quarterback to start two Super Bowls, eclipsing the mark that Brady established in Super Bowl 38.
This game has all the makings of a Super Bowl for the ages, with two No. 1 seeds facing off for just the 11th time since 1975 (when the league began using regular season records to determine home-field advantage in the postseason). Both teams earned top seeds after finishing with identical 12-4 records and division titles.
The similarities between them don't end there. Both New England and Seattle overcame adversity and advanced to the championship game after early-season struggles. Remember when the Patriots started 2-2 and everyone was wondering whether they should trade Brady? Or when the Seahawks were 3-3 and people questioned whether they'd even get a chance to defend their title?
Well, here they are in the Super Bowl, ready to clash in what should be an intriguing strength-on-strength matchup between the NFL's best defense and the league's most dynamic offense. The Seahawks finished in the top five in the league in nearly every defensive category -- ranking first in scoring defense, total defense, yards per play, passing yards, and first downs allowed -- thanks in part to their Legion of Boom secondary featuring the likes of Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. The Patriots offense scored the fourth-most points in the NFL during the regular season, and have averaged 40 points in their first two playoff games.
And if the action between the hashmarks isn't interesting enough for you, there's always some fun prop bets to keep your attention during the game, along with funny and emotional commercials that people will talk about the next day. The halftime entertainment show featuring Katy Perry promises to offer plenty of spectacle as well.
How to watch
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
When: 6:30 p.m. ET
Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
Canada: Kevin Harlan, Boomer Esiason on Westwood One
England: Rocky Boiman and Darren Fletcher on BBC Radio 5 Live
England: Channel 4, Sky Sports, BBC Radio 5 Live
Mexico: Televisa, FOX Sports, TV Azteca, ESPN
Italy: FOX Sports 2 HD, Italia 1 HD
Canada: NBC simulcast on CTV, RDS
Australia: Seven Network, 7mate and ESPN
The Patriots are 1-point favorites according to OddsShark.