>>Seahawks Square Off With Patriots Sunday In Super Bowl 49
(Glendale, AZ) -- Super Bowl 49 is just days away. The defending champion Seattle Seahawks play the New England Patriots Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The Seahawks are seeking their second straight Lombardi Trophy after beating the Denver Broncos 43-8 in last year's championship game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. It's the third Super Bowl appearance overall for Seattle, which lost 21-10 to the Pittsburgh Steelers in February 2006 in Detroit. Led by quarterback Russell Wilson, running back Marshawn Lynch and a vaunted defense known as the "Legion of Boom," the Seahawks are trying to become the first repeat champion since the Patriots won back-to-back Super Bowls in February of 2004 and 2005. New England is in the big game for a record-tying eighth time and the sixth time under head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. The Patriots are 3-and-4 in the Super Bowl all-time, including 3-and-2 in the Belichick-Brady era. If Brady and the Patriots win on Sunday, he would tie the 49ers' Joe Montana and Steelers' Terry Bradshaw for the most Super Bowl victories by a quarterback with four.
>>Goodell To Give Annual Pre-Super Bowl Address Today
(Phoenix, AZ) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will give his annual pre-Super Bowl state of the league address today at 1 p.m. Eastern. He's expected to comment on "Deflate-gate" for the first time and the investigation into the under-iNFLated footballs used by the Patriots in the AFC championship against the Colts. The Patriots won the game 45-7 to advance to Super Bowl 49. Goodell is also likely to be asked about the uncooperative press conferences this week by Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, and whether he'll be fined for wearing his "Beast Mode" brand hat without league approval. Other topics are expected to include officiating, potential rule changes, the London Series, and possible relocation of the St. Louis Rams or Oakland Raiders to Los Angeles.
>>Seahawks' Sherman Has Baby Plan In Place
(Phoenix, AZ) -- Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is getting ready to be a new dad, but he's hoping to win another Super Bowl first. His girlfriend is expected to give birth to the couple's first child next week. Sherman says she is with him in Arizona and will give birth at a Phoenix hospital if she goes into labor before the big game. Asked if he would miss the game for the birth of his son, Sherman said he's confident it won't come to that but he'll cross that bridge if he gets to it. The Seahawks play the Patriots in Super Bowl 49 Sunday night in Glendale, Arizona.
>>Lynch's Beast Mode Gear A Hot Seller
(Scottsdale, AZ) -- Whatever Marshawn Lynch might be fined, he'll likely more than make up for sales of his "Beast Mode" clothing line. The Seattle Seahawks running back is selling hats, shirts and other items at the Beast Mode Pop Up Shop inside a juice store in Scottsdale, Arizona. Much of the gear with the multicolored "BM" logo has been selling out. Lynch has worn the hat three straight days at Super Bowl media appearances this week and even mentioned his online website. Already fined multiple times for not talking to reporters, he could now be fined for wearing and promoting a non-league-approved brand.
>>Testimony Expected To Begin In Hernandez Trial
(Boston, MA) -- The trial for former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is underway, with opening statements wrapping up Thursday. Prosecutor Patrick Blomberg brought forth DNA evidence, saying a joint and shell casing place the former NFL star at the murder scene. Hernandez's defense team took a different approach, calling prosecutors "sloppy and unprofessional." His team went on to say that DNA evidence does not prove that Hernandez killed, conspired to kill or wanted to kill the victim, Odin Lloyd. Under Massachusetts law, prosecutors do not have to prove Hernandez committed the murder, but they must prove that he "knowingly participated" and did so "with intent required to commit the crime."
>>NFL Data: Concussion Rate On Decline
(Phoenix, AZ) -- The number of concussions in the NFL is on the decline. The league has released data showing 111 reported concussions during the 2014 regular season. That's a 25-percent decrease from the 148 concussions in 2013 and a 36-percent decline from the year before when there were 173. League officials attribute the decrease to greater awareness of potential symptoms and rule changes focused on preventing hits to the neck and head.
>>NY Giants WR Sets "One Handed Catch Record"
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has set a world record for one-handed catches in a minute.
Beckham caught 33 10-yard passes from New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees on ESPN's "NFL Live" Thursday.
Guinness World Records had set the benchmark in the newly established category at 10 catches, spokeswoman Jamie Panas Antoniou said.
Beckham had a star-making rookie season in which the electric receiver built a reputation for making spectacular catches, including an acrobatic one-handed grab during a Nov. 23 game against the Dallas Cowboys that some have called the best in league history.
The first-round draft pick had 91 receptions for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl.