Updated: Sunday, October 17, 2004 9:01 AM EDT
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FOXBORO, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- A possible preview of Super Bowl XXXIX will be staged Sunday when the New England Patriots host the Seattle Seahawks in the first meeting between the teams in nearly 11 years.

It was going to be a matchup of unbeaten teams, but that was before the Seahawks underwent a confounding collapse in last week's 33-27 overtime loss to the St. Louis Rams.

Seattle appeared on the verge of starting a season 4-0 for the first time in franchise history, but squandered a 17-point lead in the final six minutes of the fourth quarter before losing in overtime.

"Hopefully, we'll learn from it," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said of the stunning meltdown.

Meanwhile, the Patriots continue to roll. Even with two-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Tom Brady completing just seven passes for 76 yards, New England still found a way to set the NFL record for consecutive wins, including playoffs, last week. Two of Brady's completions went for touchdowns and Corey Dillon rushed for 94 yards to lead the Patriots to their 19th straight win, a 24-10 victory over Miami.

New England won its last 12 regular-season games in 2003, three postseason contests and its first four games this season to eclipse the record of 18 shared by five teams - the 1997-98 Denver Broncos , the 1989-90 San Francisco 49ers, the 1972-73 Dolphins, and the 1933-34 and 1941-42 Chicago Bears .

"We're proud of it because we accomplished something no other team in football has done," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "But that's not our ultimate goal."

The goal is to win a third Super Bowl title in four years. But the approach remains the same under Belichick and that's to take one game at a time.

"It's funny because we refer to our winning streak as a one-game winning streak 19 straight times," Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi said.

The Seahawks will try to prevent that streak from reaching 20. Seattle defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes likes to blitz and can take chances since the Seahawks have the type of quick-strike offense that can score points. But Seattle got stung by a barrage of big plays in blowing last week's game to the Rams, yielding a 41-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Curtis with 3:30 left in the fourth quarter and a 52-yard scoring pass to Shaun McDonald in overtime.

"We had that game in the bag and let it slip away," said Seahawks cornerback Ken Lucas , who had two interceptions. "But we can't dwell on it. We just have to focus on New England."

Brady is no stranger to late-game heroics, fashioning a perfect 7-0 record in overtime in his career. This season, Brady has completed 57.5 percent of his passes for 928 yards and nine touchdowns with four interceptions for a passer rating of 96.0.

Dillon, acquired in the offseason from Cincinnati, is well on his way to a seventh 1,000-yard rushing year. He has 417 yards on 84 carries.

Seattle running back Shaun Alexander is tied with Minnesota Vikings receiver Randy Moss for the league lead in touchdowns with seven. Alexander has rushed for 382 yards on 87 carries.

Matt Hasselbeck has completed 60 percent of his passes for 863 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions for the Seahawks.

Matchup to watch: Seahawks left tackle Walter Jones vs. right end Richard Seymour in a matchup of Pro Bowlers.

Series: Seattle leads, 7-6, but the teams haven't met since 1993. In that season, they played twice and the Seahawks won both.

Next week: Seattle plays at Arizona on October 24 New England hosts the NY Jets on October 24


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