The stage is set for the Patriots and Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)
GLENDALE, Ariz. — As was the case seven years ago, when the Patriots last took the field here at University of Phoenix Stadium, weather won’t be an issue as the retractable roof is expected to be closed for Super Bowl XLIX against the Seahawks. Weather outside would be ideal for a football game as the forecast is calling for sunshine and 67 degrees. The weather is a nice reward for those in town after one of the wettest weeks in years in Phoenix.
The game will be played on the natural grass surface that has been grown outdoors and rolled in for the game.
The Patriots only other experience in the building came on Feb. 3, 2008 when the Giants beat the Patriots, 17-14, to win Super Bowl XLII and end the Patriots’ bid at a perfect season.
The Patriots enter the game with a chance to join the Giants and Packers as franchises with four Super Bowl titles. Pittsburgh has won six, while Dallas and San Francisco have won five apiece.
The Patriots are also trying to avoid making some dubious history. If they lose, they will match the Broncos for the most losses (5) in the big game. Currently, the Bills, Vikings and Patriots are just behind the Broncos with four Super Bowl losses. Of course, the Patriots are the only ones with four losses that have actually won a Super Bowl.
The Patriots are 3-4 in their seven previous trips while the Bills and Vikings are each 0-4.
The Patriots head into this game as healthy as they have been all season, with seven players officially listed as probable for the game, including starting center Bryan Stork, who was upgraded to probable from questionable on Saturday afternoon. The Seahawks have three key injuries worth monitoring in their secondary as Richard Sherman (elbow), Earl Thomas (shoulder) and Kam Chancellor (knee) practiced this week. Sherman and Thomas were banged up in the NFC title game while Chancellor tweaked his knee on Friday. All three are expected to start and play.