Seattle's Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns and the Seahawks' ferocious defence overwhelmed Denver's record-setting offence, forcing four turnovers on the way to a stunning 43-8 victory Sunday in Super Bowl 48.
The Seahawks, owned by Microsoft co-founding billionaire Paul Allen, captured their first NFL crown. Seattle lost to Pittsburgh in 2006 in the team's only prior Super Bowl visit.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Photo: Getty Images
''It's such an amazing feeling to be able to take the Lombardi trophy back to Seattle,'' Allen said.
Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown and recovered a fumble to set up Wilson's first scoring toss to earn Most Valuable Player honours as the Seahawks' defence, which led the NFL in fewest points allowed and takeaways, humbled Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.
Seattle scored the most points by a Super Bowl team since Tampa Bay had 48 in a 2003 victory over Oakland and won by the most lopsided margin since Dallas defeated Buffalo 52-17 in 1993.
Tight end Zach Miller and quarterback Russell Wilson dump Gatorade on head coach Pete Carroll. Photo: Getty Images
''This is an amazing team,'' Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. ''These guys would never take anything but winning this game.''
Wilson, 25, won the title in only his second year in the NFL.
''It feels great to win this title,'' Wilson said.
The Seahawks celebrate a touchdown. Photo: Reuters
Denver suffered a record fifth Super Bowl defeat, but the team's first since 1990. The Broncos won in their two prior trips to the title game in 1998 and 1999.
Smith picked off Manning and scored with 3:21 remaining in the second quarter to give the Seahawks a 22-0 half-time edge.
Seattle's Percy Harvin, who missed most of the season after hip surgery, returned the opening kickoff of the third quarter 87 yards for a touchdown for a 29-0 Seahawks lead.
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Bruno Mars and The Red Hot Chili Peppers perform during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game in New Jersey. Photo: AP
The Broncos surrendered their third turnover when Byron Maxwell knocked the ball from the grasp of Demaryius Thomas and Smith recovered.
Seattle took advantage of the turnover when Wilson tossed a 23-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse for a 36-0 lead.
Denver avoided becoming the first team in Super Bowl history to go scoreless when Manning threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Thomas on the last play of the third quarter.
Thomas set a Super Bowl record with his 12th reception of the game on the play, which was followed by a two-point Manning conversion pass to Wes Welker to trim Seattle's lead to 36-8.
But Wilson answered with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin to stretch Seattle's lead to the final margin.
From there it was only a matter of time until the clock ran out and Seattle's confetti-filled celebration began.
The kickoff temperature of 9.4C was 10 degrees warmer than the coldest-ever Super Bowl in 1972 in New Orleans, a far cry from fears of bitter cold and snow at the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather city.