We're getting treated to an all-star Super Bowl affair in Glendale come Feb. 1. The defending champion Seattle Seahawks are favorites -- ever-so-slight favorites -- over the mighty New England Patriots. There's no sneaky underdog like the Seahawks against the Broncos last year or the Patriots way back in 2001-02 when Tom Brady and Bill Belichick won their first Super Bowl.

But there are a crazy number of undercurrent themes running between these two teams, including a surprising connection.

Guess the QB through first 3 years as starter
RecordComp %YardsTDINTYPA
Player A 34-12  61.910,227 69386.6
Player B 37-12 63.4 9,950 72267.9

Player A is a guy who just wins games, consistently dominates in the postseason, has a "clutch" feel about him, is a Super Bowl winner and generally disregarded as someone who thrived because of a strong running game and great defense. Or as you know him, Tom Brady for the first three years of his career.

Player B is that same person but in a different body: Russell Wilson, three years into the league and going to his second Super Bowl.

People forget this, but when Brady first burst onto the scene, he wasn't some stat-piling, superstar quarterback. People loved him because he won games, even though attaching entire team wins and losses to a quarterback is a fairly nebulous enterprise.

There weren't many losses to attach, though. Brady went 9-0 during his first three trips to the playoffs (in four years), elevating his game at each succeeding level and helping to construct a legendary reputation before his career even really took off.

Wilson's not too far off in terms of building out his legacy. Dude is a game away from having two Super Bowl rings in his first three years and becoming the highest-paid quarterback in the league. After laying a complete and utter egg -- and a literal one in the first quarter, with a 0.0 passer rating -- Wilson came on strong to hit Jermaine Kearse for the winning touchdown.

"There ain't nothing more beautiful than that last play," Pete Carroll said.

Wilson isn't a stat-gobbling monster under center. He plays more like a point guard and even the best point guards have off days. But like his upcoming opponent, Wilson still manages to rise to the occasion.

After a terrible start against the Packers -- four interceptions in regulation -- Wilson finished strong (6 of 7 for 134 yards and two total TDs from the final 3:52 of regulation on) and still managed to create a fascinating and close comparison in playoff statistics between him and Brady through their first three years.

Stats Through First Three Playoff Years
TeamRecordComp %Yards/GameYards/AttTDINT
Tom Brady* 9-0 62.5 216.7 6.42 11 3
Russell Wilson 6-1 61.3  224.7 8.69 10 5

*Brady's playoff stats are through his first five seasons in the NFL; the Patriots missed the playoffs his second year as a starter in 2002. 

Both of these efforts are very good. You could argue -- could argue -- Wilson has better statistics.

Then people would pelt you with batteries and start screaming the word "rings" in a loud, aggressive Boston accent. It would be terrifying and you would cry while trying to point out Wilson hasn't missed the playoffs yet.

Now he's a win away from two rings in his three years (sound familiar?) and the argument being a lot easier to make. We've always struggled with comps for Wilson because of a general inability to comprehend his mix of skills and size. Brady is an all-time great quarterback. Maybe 60 minutes away from being the all-time great quarterback.

Wilson has a long way to go before he ever approaches Brady's level, much less becoming one of the "elite" quarterbacks in the NFL. But people questioned Brady like that too.

Maybe the obvious comparison for Wilson was there all along. Maybe it's the guy standing in his way as he hunts for a second ring.

Russell ... the new Brady? (USATSI)

Other Storylines from Sunday and heading into the Super Bowl:

2. Chalky White: For the second straight season, the two teams facing off in the Super Bowl are the top seeds from each conference. The No. 1 Broncos met the No. 1 Seahawks last year and now we get the No. 1 AFC seed Patriots squaring off against the No. 1 NFC seed Seahawks.

It's the third time since realignment in 2002 the two top seeds met in the final game of the season and, obviously, the first time since realignment it has happened in back-to-back years. Previously the No. 1 seed Colts and Saints squared off.

Other than that, there's an interesting history, recently anyway, of No. 1 seeds losing. The Patriots fell to the Giants (twice), the Seahawks fell to the Steelers, the Eagles lost to the Pats in the last Belichick/Brady title and the Raiders feel to the Buccaneers in the Gruden Bowl. The last time a No. 1 seed won against a non-No. 1 seed? When the Patriots beat the Panthers.

So for the first time in more than a decade, a No. 1 playoff seed will win the Super Bowl for the second successive year.

3. Meet the New Boss: The most underrated aspect of this Super Bowl matchup? Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick. They are the two most recent Patriots coaches and, when Bob Kraft fired Carroll 15 years ago, he plucked Belichick from the Jets to replace him.

This Super Bowl matchup gives us so many excuses to post photos from back in the day of the two coaches. For instance, Pete Carroll and a TOTALLY different looking Kraft at Carroll's introductory press conference, juxtaposed against Belichick and Kraft announcing a huge deal for Drew Bledsoe in 2001, a year after Belichick was hired.

Pats life. (Getty Images)

Seriously. There will be plenty of these. Sorry, Coach.

Pete Carroll wiggin out as Pats coach. (Getty Images)

4. On To Seattle: Can't WAIT to hear everyone prattle on about how relaxed Bill Belichick is and how he's enjoying himself when he spends 10 minutes talking about the history of the game and chatting up reporters.

DON'T BE FOOLED. He's just filibustering so he can eat up the required time he has to speak with the media. That doesn't make his one-liner to Jim Nantz on the podium after the Patriots finished thumping the Colts any less funny though.

Technically Arizona, but whatever, that was hilarious, especially given when his "on to Cincinnati" line occurred. Feels like 20 years ago.

5. Everyone Believes In You! It's great that Doug Baldwin has this chip on his shoulder about no one believing in the Seahawks. Really, it is. That sort of motivation is critical in sports. But what is he talking about when he says no one believes in the Seahawks?

They were the No. 1 seed in the NFC. They had the best record in football. They were favored by 7.5 points over the Packers and Aaron Rodgers.

Yes, at one point they were 3-3. People were worried. But dude, come on.

6. U Mad Bro Part Deux: It feels like a different time and place but at one point no one knew who Richard Sherman was. He kickstarted his public relations campaign by going at Tom Brady and the Patriots in Seattle; Sherman and that defense beat Brady and the Patriots and afterwards, Sherm got all up in Brady's grill and posted about it on Twitter.

Sherman later deleted the tweet but this was the fuel that ignited the rocketship that is his career. Brady gets a shot at revenge, even though Sherman's dealing with what looks like a serious arm injury.

7. DeflateGate: HERE WE GO AGAIN. The Patriots, headed to a Super Bowl, are embroiled in a controversy. This one involves deflated footballs.

Breaking: A league source tells me the NFL is investigating the possibility the Patriots deflated footballs Sunday night. More to come.

— Bob Kravitz (@bkravitz) January 19, 2015

I'm told at one point the officials took a ball out of play and weighed it. Should hear more tomorrow on this subject.

— Bob Kravitz (@bkravitz) January 19, 2015

Didn't have a chance to talk to colts officials about this. They were long gone when I heard this.

— Bob Kravitz (@bkravitz) January 19, 2015

Nobody is suggesting this is why the colts lost obviously. They were manhandled.

— Bob Kravitz (@bkravitz) January 19, 2015

Told if a league investigation confirms deflated footballs it will result in lost draft picks. Stay tuned.

— Bob Kravitz (@bkravitz) January 19, 2015

So this should be fun for a few days. Definitely spending all of Super Bowl week trying to get Rob Gronkowski to comment on deflated balls. Just for his reaction.