Forty-ninth Super Bowl will pit an NFL dynasty against league’s defending champs

When the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Green Bay Packers in an overtime thriller to punch their ticket to Super Bowl XLIX, they knew they would be playing to defend the title that they won last year, but they didn’t know who their opponent would be, as the AFC Championship game had not yet been played. Unlike the game played at CenturyLink Field earlier today, the AFC Championship was a rout.

Facing the number-one seeded New England Patriots at home, the Indianapolis Colts only managed seven points, while New England put forty-five on the board to earn a trip to Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots have been to the Super Bowl many times, most recently in 2012, when they lost to the New York Giants. The Seahawks, however, are only making their third trip, having failed to make an appearance in the NFL’s championship game for most of their history.

Here’s some interesting trivia regarding the postseason appearances of the Seahawks and their opponents, both this year and in past years.

(Please note that years refer to the postseason that was attached to the regular season of the preceding calendar year.)

  • Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is 10-0 in games against quarterbacks who have started in the Super Bowl.
  • To get to Super Bowl XLIX, the Seahawks had to defeat the Green Bay Packers. The Packers’ previous success in the postseason has earned their home city of Green Bay the moniker Titletown. The Packers have won thirteen league championships and four Super Bowls in their history, and were the team that ended Seattle’s playoff runs in 2003 and 2007.
  • No team in the NFL – the Packers included – has gone on to win it all after knocking the Seahawks out of the playoffs. In fact, with the exception of the Chicago Bears, none of the teams the Seahawks have lost to in past postseasons have even reached the Super Bowl. The history:
    • 1983: Raiders eliminated Seahawks, but didn’t reach Super Bowl
    • 1984: Dolphins eliminated Seahawks, but didn’t reach Super Bowl
    • 1987: Oilers eliminated Seahawks, but didn’t reach Super Bowl
    • 1999: Dolphins eliminated Seahawks, but didn’t reach Super Bowl
    • 2003: Packers eliminated Seahawks, but didn’t reach Super Bowl
    • 2004: Rams eliminated Seahawks, but didn’t reach Super Bowl
    • 2005: The Seahawks were in the Super Bowl (and lost)
    • 2006: Bears eliminated Seahawks, made it to Super Bowl, and lost
    • 2007: Packers eliminated Seahawks, but didn’t reach Super Bowl
    • 2010: Bears eliminated Seahawks, but didn’t reach Super Bowl
    • 2012: Falcons eliminated Seahawks, but didn’t reach Super Bowl
    • 2013: The Seahawks were in the Super Bowl (and won)
  • The last time the Packers were in the Super Bowl was 2011. In that game, they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25. The Steelers, coincidentally, were the team the Seahawks lost to in their Super Bowl appearance in 2006.
  • Prior to 2011, the Packers’ most recent Super Bowl opponents were…. wait for it…. the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos! The Seahawks beat the Broncos last year in their second Super Bowl appearance, and will face the Patriots in two weeks, as mentioned.
  • The Patriots are the last NFL team to have won back-to-back Super Bowls, in 2004 and 2005. The Seahawks are now attempting to replicate their feat, and will ironically have to defeat the Patriots in order to do it.
  • Current Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll used to be the head coach for the Patriots, preceding current head coach Bill Belichick, who was hired in 2000 following Carroll’s dismissal. In his three seasons with them, he took them to the playoffs twice, but that wasn’t good enough for the Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft. Carroll ended up at USC after being fired.
  • The Patriots’ victories in 2004 and 2005 came against the Philadelphia Eagles and the Carolina Panthers. The Seahawks would not have earned the number one seed in the conference had they not defeated each of those teams on the road this year. The Seahawks also had to face Carolina again last week in the divisional round of the playoffs, which they won. (Not to mention that nine years ago, Seattle topped Carolina to win its first NFC Championship.)
  • The Seahawks belonged to the American Football Conference (AFC) from 1977 until 2001, when they moved to the National Football Conference (NFC). The Seahawks went to the playoffs five times while in the AFC, but only once contended for the AFC championship (which they lost). However, since moving to the NFC, they have been in the playoffs nine times. They’ve been in three NFC championship games – and they have won them all.

That’s all the sports trivia for now. Congratulations Seahawks!