Memories, sweet and sour.
The last time the Seahawks and Patriots were on the same field, Malcolm Butler was making a Super Bowl-saving play for New England. His goal-line interception robbed Seattle of a rare second straight NFL crown and gave Tom Brady his record-tying fourth in the Super Bowl era.
They meet in Foxborough with both in solid position to chase another championship, the Patriots more so than the Seahawks.
Butler certainly doesn't mind seeing highlights of his interception, something NBC can't avoid showing Sunday night.
“You know, it always does whenever I think back on it,” Butler says of smiling at the remembrance. “But that's not going to help us win this game. This is bigger than me. It's about this team. And that play will not help us Sunday night. So we got to be ready to play.”
Since Tom Brady returned from his four-game suspension, he's been as ready as at any time of his Hall of Fame-caliber career. He recalls the 2015 Super Bowl as being “in a tough spot against a great, great football team and we pulled it out.”
“It took every blade of grass on that field to keep them from scoring. In 2014, they were an incredible team.”
Seattle isn't incredible right now, but the Seahawks tend to build throughout the season. A win at New England will be a major step in that process.
“Everything that you go through gives you a chance to learn, so we certainly go back and watch all that stuff and how they looked at us and how we looked at them,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says of that bitter Super Bowl loss. “Just like we looked at all the rest of the games, we pay a lot of attention to what's going on now and some of the names and the faces are the same, but quite a few of them aren't. We have to figure all that out.”