Patriots start the Super Bowl with the ball

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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- The New England Patriots started the Super Bowl with the ball after losing the coin toss and Seattle deferred to the second half.

After getting one first down, New England punted.

The teams got down to football under the open retractable roof at University of Phoenix Stadium after dealing with distractions far beyond typical Super Bowl over the past two weeks.

The Patriots are being investigated for using under-inflated footballs in their 45-7 win over Indianapolis in the AFC championship game. Meanwhile, star running back Marshawn Lynch was a daily sideshow for the Seahawks this week because he refused to answer questions from the media.

In the 12th matchup between No. 1 seeds since 1975 and the second in a row, the Seahawks (14-4) are trying to become the first team to win consecutive Super Bowls since the Patriots (14-4) a decade ago. Seattle routed Denver 43-8 last year.

The Patriots have tied Dallas and Pittsburgh for most Super Bowl appearances with eight. They're trying to become the sixth franchise to win at least four. Brady and coach Bill Belichick - the only coach-QB combo to reach six together - led the Patriots to three Super Bowl titles from 2001-04, but lost twice to the New York Giants in 2008 and 2011.

Brady and New England's prolific passing attack are facing a tough challenge against Seattle's "Legion of Boom" secondary. All-Pros Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas were in the starting lineup after both were injured in the NFC championship game against Green Bay. Kam Chancellor, a three-time Pro Bowl safety, also started after hurting his knee in Friday's practice.

Seattle's stingy defense was the first since the 1985-86 Chicago Bears to give up the fewest points per game and fewest yards per game in back-to-back seasons.

After John Legend delivered a stirring rendition of "America The Beautiful," Idina Menzel followed with a rousing performance of the national anthem. A pro-Seahawks crowd booed when Belichick was shown on the video screen during the anthem.

Former Seahawks safety Kenny Easley and former Patriots linebacker Teddy Bruschi served as honorary captains on a perfect day with temperature in the upper 60s after rain fell most of the week. 



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