Jan 25 (Reuters) - Profile of the Seattle Seahawks, who play the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl on Feb. 2.
Founded: 1975. The Seahawks, owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, began play in the NFC West in 1976, but switched to the AFC West a year later. They returned to the NFC West in 2002 as a part of NFL realignment. They played home games in the Kingdome (1976-2000) and Husky Stadium (2001) before moving to CenturyLink Field ahead of the 2002 season.
NFC titles (season): 2 (2005, 2013)
Super Bowl titles: none
Head coach: Pete Carroll. The former coach of the New York Jets, New England Patriots and University of Southern California, Carroll has guided the revamped Seahawks to the postseason three of his four years in Seattle.
Starting quarterback: Russell Wilson. Considered too short to be an NFL quarterback by many, the scrambling Wilson led the Seahawks to the NFC's best record in only his second season. He passed for 3,357 yards and 26 touchdowns and rushed for 539 yards and one touchdown during the regular season.
Leading receiver: Golden Tate. Caught 64 passes for 898 yards and five touchdowns during regular season.
Leading rusher: Marshawn Lynch. Rushed 301 times for 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns during regular season.
Leading defenders: Safety Earl Thomas, 78 solo tackles. Defensive end Michael Bennett, 8.5 sacks. Cornerback Richard Sherman, eight interceptions.
- The Seahawks are the only NFL team to play in both the AFC and NFC Championship games, having moved from the AFC to the NFC during league realignment prior to the 2002 season.
- Quarterback Russell Wilson had a difficult time deciding between football and baseball until he transferred to the University of Wisconsin after playing both sports at North Carolina State University and signing a minor league baseball contract with the Colorado Rockies organization. He was a third round pick of the Seahawks in the 2012 NFL Draft.
- Steve Largent: The sure-handed Largent spent 13 seasons as a receiver with the Seahawks and was the first Seattle player selected to the Pro Bowl, an honor he won seven times. Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995, Largent held all major NFL receiving records, including: most receptions in a career (819), most receiving yards in a career (13,089), and most touchdown receptions (100) when he retired.
- Cortez Kennedy: Generally considered one of the best defensive tackles to play in the NFL, Kennedy was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and a member of the NFL's 1990s All-Decade team. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.
Team name and colors: One of the many names of the osprey, a long-wing bird of prey, Seahawks was selected as Seattle's nickname in a fan contest. Colors: Navy, action green and wolf grey.
Most famous supporter: American vocalist Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who according to the gambling site BetUSA are odds-on favorites to win Album of the Year and Best New Artist at Sunday's Grammys.
City of Seattle:
- Seattle is the northernmost U.S city with a population of over half a million (634,535).
- Seattle was the first American city to put police on bicycles.
- The original Starbucks was opened in Pike Place Market in Seattle in 1971.
Previous Super Bowl appearance - Seattle has made it to the NFL championship game only once previously, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-10 in the Super Bowl following the 2005 season. The Seahawks had an NFC-best regular season record of 13-3 in 2005, same as this season.
2013 regular season record: 13-3, won NFC West division
Week 1 - at Carolina, won 12-7
Week 2 - vs San Francisco, won 29-3
Week 3 - vs Jacksonville, won 45-17
Week 4 - at Houston Texans, won 23-20*
Week 5 - at Indianapolis Colts, lost 34-28
Week 6 - vs Tennessee Titans, won 20-13
Week 7 - at Arizona Cardinals, won 34-22
Week 8 - at St. Louis Rams, won 14-9
Week 9 - vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers, won 27-24*
Week 10 - at Atlanta Falcons, won 33-10
Week 11 - vs Minnesota Vikings, won 41-20
Week 12 - Bye Week
Week 13 - vs New Orleans Saints, won 34-7
Week 14 - at San Francisco, lost 19-17
Week 15 - at New York Giants, won 23-0
Week 16 - vs Arizona Cardinals, lost 17-10
Week 17 - vs St. Louis Rams, won 27-8
(*) Denotes overtime
NFC playoff seeding: 1
Path to the Super Bowl - First round bye; Beat New Orleans Saints 23-15 in the divisional round; Beat San Francisco 49ers 23-17 for NFC Championship.
(Compiled by Gene Cherry, Edited by Larry Fine)