(Reuters) - Profile of the New England Patriots, who defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Founded:1959. The Pats, as they are commonly known, joined the American Football League in 1959 as the Boston Patriots. In 1971 they moved to the current home in Foxborough, Massachusetts and changed their name to the New England Patriots.
AFC titles (season): 8 (1985, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2011, 2014).
Super Bowl titles (season): 4 (2001, 2003, 2004, 2014)
Head coach: Bill Belichick. Has won four Super Bowls and six AFC championships with the Patriots. The NFL’s longest-tenured active head coach, Belichick ranks first in playoff victories with 22.
Starting quarterback: Tom Brady. Like his coach, Brady has won four Super Bowls and six AFC titles. He has also won three Super Bowl most valuable player awards and been selected for 10 Pro Bowls. He holds the NFL record for most postseason touchdown passes (53) and his six Super Bowl appearances are a record for a starting quarterback.
Leading receiver: Rob Gronkowski. Caught 82 passes for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns during regular season.
Leading rusher: Jonas Gray. Rushed 89 times for 412 yards and five touchdowns during regular season
Leading defenders: Linebacker Jamie Collins, 74 solo tackles. Defensive end Rob Ninkovich, eight sacks.
- Last Super Bowl title was consecutive Super Bowls a decade ago(2003 and 2004 seasons)
- The Patriots have not had a losing season since 2000.
- Quarterback Tom Brady was only a sixth round pick in 2000 draft.
- Nick Buoniconti: The linebacker made five American Football League All-Star teams while with the Patriots from 1962 to 1968, before starring with the Miami Dolphins. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
- Gino Cappelletti: A wide receiver and kicker, he lead the American Football League in scoring five times. A five-time AFL All-Star between 1960-70, he was voted the league’s most valuable player in 1964.
- John Hannah: Considered one of the best offensive linemen to play in the NFL, Hannah, an offensive guard, was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection while competing for the Patriots from 1973 through 1985. A member of the NFL’s 75th anniversary team in 1994, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991.
- Mike Hayes: A cornerback and punt returner, Hayes was named to the Pro Bowl six times in seven years (1976-82) with the Patriots before playing for the Oakland Raiders. Selected to the NFL 75th anniversary team in 1994, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
- Andre Tippett: The talented linebacker was the AFC defensive player of the year in 1985. He totaled a franchise record 35 sacks for the 1984-5 seasons and had 100 for his career between 1982-93. He was a member of the NFL’s all-decade team for the 1980s and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
Team name and colors: Patriots name selected in public contest with a drawing of a Minuteman preparing to snap a football the original logo. Once called the Boston Patriots, the team changed its name to New England Patriots after relocating to Foxborough outside of Boston in 1971. Colors: Nautical blue, New Century Silver, Red and White.
Most famous supporter: Brazilian Gisele Bündchen, the wife of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the world’s highest paid model with career earnings of more than $150 million
City of Boston:
- Largest city in New England with a population of 645,966 and a metropolitan population of 7.6 million.
- The city, founded in 1630, played a major role in the American Revolution with the Boston Tea Party and Battle of Bunker Hill.
- Only city ever to have championships in all four major professional leagues within a ten-year span (from the Patriots’ victory in February 2002 to the NHL Boston Bruins’ in June 2011)
Previous Super Bowl appearances - New England had made it to the NFL championship game seven times previously, losing to the Chicago Bears 46-10 in the Super Bowl following the 1985 season, losing to the Green Bay Packers 35-21 in the Super Bowl following the 1996 season, defeating the St. Louis Rams 20-17 in the Super Bowl following the 2001 season, beating the Carolina Panthers 32-29 in the Super Bowl following the 2003 season, beating the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 in the Super Bowl following the 2004 season, losing to the New York Giants 17-14 in the Super Bowl following the 2007 season, losing to the New York Giants 21-17 in the Super Bowl following the 2011 season.
2014 regular season record: 12-4, won AFC East divison
Week 1 - at Miami, lost 33-20
Week 2 - at Minnesota, won 30-7
Week 3 - vs Oakland, won 16-9
Week 4 - at Kansas City, lost 41-14
Week 5 - vs Cincinnati, won 43-17
Week 6 - at Buffalo, won 37-22
Week 7 - vs NY Jets, won 27-25
Week 8 - vs Chicago, won 51-23
Week 9 - vs Denver, won 43-21
Week 10 - bye week
Week 11 - at Indianapolis, won 42-20
Week 12 - vs Detroit, won 34-9
Week 13 - at Green Bay, lost 26-21
Week 14 - at San Diego, won 23-14
Week 15 - vs Miami, won 41-13
Week 16 - at NY Jets. won 17-16
Week 17 - vs Buffalo, lost 17-9
AFC playoff seeding: 1
Path to the Super Bowl - First round bye; Beat the Baltimore Ravens 35-31 in divisional round; Beat the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 for AFC Championship.
Compiled by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina, Edited by Simon Evans/Gene Cherry