A closer look at some of the statistics, numbers and figures to get you ready for Super Sunday
It’s No. 1 vs. No. 1 when the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks conclude the 2014 NFL season in Super Bowl XLIX this Sunday. University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., will host a pair of 14-4 teams, as the Seahawks are looking for a second straight Lombardi Trophy and the tandem of Bill Belichick-Tom Brady are aiming for a fourth.
And those are just a few of the significant numbers associated with this game. Here are some other noteworthy statistics and figures to analyze and dissect prior to kickoff.
7: Franchises that have won back-to-back Super Bowls
Seattle is trying to join the exclusive club of repeat world champions, whose membership currently includes: Green Bay (Super Bowls I & II), Miami (VII & VIII), Pittsburgh (IX & X, XIII & XIV), San Francisco (XXIII & XXIV), Dallas (XXVII & XXVIII), Denver (XXIII & XXXIII), and New England (XXXVIII & XXXIX). It’s been 10 years since the Patriots went back-to-back.
4: Coaches who have faced their former team in the Super Bowl
Carroll went 27-21 as New England’s head coach from 1997-99 before he was fired and replaced by Bill Belichick. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Carroll is the fourth head coach to face his former team in the Super Bowl. The others are Weeb Eubank, Dan Reeves and Jon Gruden. Ewbank (Super Bowl III w/ the Baltimore Colts) and Gruden (XXXVII w/ Tampa Bay) were victorious against their former employer while Reeves (XXXIII w/ Atlanta) was not.
6: Super Bowl starts for Tom Brady, appearances by Bill Belichick
Come Sunday, Brady will break a tie with John Elway for the most Super Bowl starts by a quarterback, while Belichick’s sixth will tie him with Don Shula among head coaches. A win over Seattle would tie Brady with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for the most (four) by a starting quarterback. Belichick’s fourth Lombardi Trophy would tie Chuck Noll for the most by a head coach.
28: Career postseason starts for Tom Brady entering Super Bowl XLIX
Brady leads his peers in pretty much every postseason-related category, including starts, wins (19), passing yards (7,017) and touchdowns (49). His passer rating in the playoffs is 88.5, a number that goes up to 93.8 when looking at just his five Super Bowl appearances. Brady is 3-2 on Super Sunday, completing 64.5 percent of his passes for 1,277 yards, nine touchdowns, two interceptions and two fumbles lost.
7: Career postseason starts for Russell Wilson entering Super Bowl XLIX
Wilson’s passer rating in the postseason is an impressive 96.3, and that’s after throwing four interceptions in the NFC Championship Game. He’s lost just one playoff game thus far, and is set to become the youngest quarterback to start two Super Bowls, breaking a mark previously held by Tom Brady (Elias).
10-0: Russell Wilson’s record against Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks
In just his third season, Wilson already has beaten five quarterbacks who have started and won a Super Bowl. Three of those victories have come in the postseason, including the NFC title game win over Aaron Rodgers two weeks ago and in Super Bowl XLVIII over Peyton Manning. Wilson is 3-0 against Rodgers, has beaten Peyton and Eli Manning and Drew Brees two times each, and is 1-0 against his Super Sunday counterpart, Tom Brady. Wilson got the better of Brady in a 24-23 win at home in 2012, his rookie season.
826: Difference in rushing yards between Russell Wilson and Tom Brady
In 18 games thus far, Wilson has rushed for 896 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s averaging nearly seven yards per carry and has yet to lose a fumble, as he finished in the top 20 in the regular season in both rushing yards (tied 16th) and touchdowns (tied 17th). Tom Brady, who is certainly not known for his mobility, has rushed for 70 yards (1.6 ypc) with one touchdown and a total of three lost fumbles. Wilson’s ability to make plays with his legs could be a big factor on Sunday.
13: Fourth-quarter points Seattle’s defense has given up over it last eight games
During their current eight-game winning streak, the Seahawks have owned the fourth quarter. Pete Carroll’s defense has allowed just one touchdown (Carolina, Divisional Round) and a pair of field goals (Green Bay, NFC Championship Game) in the final quarter over the last eight games, outscoring opponents 87-13 during this stretch.
267: Rushing yards Seattle has given up in two playoff victories
After giving up just 81.5 yards rushing per game in the regular season (3rd in NFL), the Seahawks yielded more than 130 to both the Panthers and Packers. While these two teams needed 60 carries to get those 267 yards (4.5 ypc), this is still an area Seattle needs to shore up before facing LeGarrette Blount and company Sunday.
7: Rushing touchdowns New England’s defense has allowed this season
The Patriots have allowed a total of seven touchdowns on the ground this season. Six of those were in the regular season with the other coming against Indianapolis in the AFC Championship Game.
22: Rushing touchdowns scored by Seattle this season
The Seahawks led the league with 20 rushing touchdowns during the regular season and added two more in their comeback victory in overtime over Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game. Marshawn Lynch is responsible for 14 of these with six of them coming in a two-game span earlier this season.
20: Touchdown passes caught by New England tight ends this season
All-Pro Rob Gronkowski is responsible for 14 of these, while Tim Wright has the other six TDs. Combined, Gronkowski, Wright and Michael Hoomanawanui have caught 126 passes for 1,612 yards (12.8 ypr) and the 20 scores in 18 games. Compare that to Seattle, which has allowed 74 receptions for 752 yards (10.2 ypr) and 11 touchdowns to opposing tight ends.
+24: New England’s and Seattle’s combined turnover margin
In the regular season, the Patriots and Seahawks finished tied for second (plus-12) and fourth (plus-nine), respectively, in turnover margin. Both teams have a knack for forcing turnovers while doing a good job of protecting the football. In the playoffs, New England has five takeaways and just two giveaways, while Seattle has had five of each. All of Seattle’s turnovers happened in the NFC Championship Game against Green Bay.
Related: 5 X-Factors for Super Bowl XLIX
61.8: Percentage of drafted players on New England’s and Seattle’s rosters combined
Between each team’s active 53-man roster and those on injured reserve, the Patriots (10 on IR) and Seahawks (15) are made up of a total of 131 players. Of those 131, 81 or 61.8 percent were drafted. New England leads the way with 41 drafted players, 31 of them being their own picks. Seattle’s roster is comprised of 40 drafted players, 28 of them homegrown Seahawks.
17: Second-round draft picks on New England’s and Seattle’s rosters combined
Seventeen of the 81 total drafted players (active roster and injured reserve) on the Patriots’ and Seahawks’ rosters were taken in the second round. Not surprisingly, the first round is next with 14 selections, followed by the fourth round (11). For what it’s worth, 40 of the 81 picks were “Day 3” selections, meaning they were taken in one of the last four rounds.