— -- Anticipation is building toward what will be the biggest game of the year -- Super Bowl XLIX.
1. How Will the Patriots Respond to Deflate-gate?
Deflate-gate is no longer taking up center stage as the actual game has bumped the controversy out of the spotlight for now. But with many questions still remaining around the scandal, the Patriots are still being asked about the investigation and the state of footballs during the AFC Championship Game two weeks ago.
Whether the Patriots win or lose the Super Bowl, many critics say the scandal is yet another controversy surrounding the team that has tainted their recent run, which includes six Super Bowl appearances and three wins.
Meanwhile, the NFL has reportedly zeroed in on a Patriots locker room attendant who allegedly took the AFC Championship Game balls from the officials' locker room to another area on the way to the field.
2. "U Mad Bro"
It was more than two years ago that the Seahawks and Patriots last played on the same field, and boy, it was a fantastic game filled with good football and a viral moment still being talked about.
The Seahawks came from behind to defeat the Patriots Oct. 14, 2012 by one point. Many point to that game as the moment Russell Wilson and the Seahawks finally arrived in the NFL and became contenders. And since that game, the Seahawks haven't been ignored by anyone.
But the most-talked about moment came when Richard Sherman ran down the field and taunted Brady. After the game, Sherman posted a photo of himself yelling at Brady with the text "U mad bro?" He later deleted the tweet, but as they say, the rest is history. The viral moment also made Sherman, who was already a standout cornerback, a household name.
3. Richard Sherman vs. Darrelle Revis
So who's is the NFL's best cornerback? There's a good chance the Super Bowl can settle that debate as two of the league's very best will face each other on the field.
There are stats that anyone can analyze and say that Sherman is better than Revis and vice versa: Sherman had eight interceptions this season compared to Revis' two. Revis is more versatile when it comes to defensive formations, while Sherman is more of a traditional cornerback.
Sherman and Revis were also involved in an epic Twitter war two years ago over whom the better cornerback was in the league. Here's just a taste of their war or words:
4. Legacies on the Line
With three Super Bowl rings on his hand, Tom Brady's legacy is no doubt secure. However, if Brady can hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy again, he will join hall of famers Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only other quarterback with four Super Bowls. It's an elite class and another achievement on Brady's already decorated resume.
On the other side of the field, Russell Wilson is looking to win back-to-back titles. If he can pull it off, he would be the first quarterback to do so since the man he's facing tonight. That means Wilson would have two Super Bowl titles at 26 years old. Brady was 27 by the time he captured his second ring.
Wilson is drawing a lot of comparisons to Brady's rise to stardom. Another Super Bowl for Wilson puts him in the elite quarterback conversation at a very young age.
5. Will Marshawn Lynch Have Another 'Fine' Performance?
The fines just keep on coming for Seahawks' star running back Marshawn Lynch, who clearly has a beef with the media and tries to avoid them at all costs.
At this past Tuesday's Media Day, Lynch answered every question with some slight variation of: "I'm just here so I won't get fined." When Lynch was in front of the media the next day, it was more of the same.
In November, he was fined $50,000 for not talking to reporters. Lynch was also fined $11,050 for grabbing his crotch after a touchdown in December. He was fined $20,000 for doing the same thing in the NFC Championship Game.
Who knows what Lynch could do tonight that will get under the skin of NFL officials. Stay tuned.