SEATTLE–The Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson became the first member of the 2012 quarterback draft class to take his team to a Super Bowl, ahead of the Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III and the Indianapolis Colts’ Andrew Luck.
Wilson and the Seahawks reached the Super Bowl with a 23-17 triumph here Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game.

They’ll face the Denver Broncos and quarterback Peyton Manning on Feb. 2 in East Rutherford, N.J.

“To go against a guy that’s definitely going to be a Hall of Famer and one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game is a tremendous honor,” Wilson said late Sunday. “At the same time, it’s not me versus him. It’s the Denver Broncos versus the Seattle Seahawks.

“It will be a great game, great battle. We’ll prepare the right way and make sure we’re ready to come out with a lot of energy.”

Wilson lost a fumble on the game’s first offensive play Sunday, but put the Seahawks ahead to stay with a 35-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jermaine Kearse early in the fourth quarter.

Wilson reaches the Super Bowl in his second NFL season while Griffin and the Redskins went 3-13 and Luck got his first playoff victory but the Colts lost an AFC semifinal to the New England Patriots.

The Seahawks provided Wilson with a superb supporting cast. They had the league’s top-ranked defense and fourth-ranked rushing offense during the regular season.

But Wilson clearly did his part. He was the NFL’s seventh-rated passer this season.

“We’re so fortunate to have him,” Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s such an amazing kid and leader and character and performer and all that stuff…. Look what he did…. Just an incredible run he’s had with us. We’ve all done it. But he’s been in the middle of all of it.”

Wilson was only a third-round pick in the 2012 NFL draft while the Colts took Luck first overall. The Redskins traded up to get Griffin with the second overall choice and all three set or tied rookie passing records and led their teams to the playoffs last season.

But while Luck and Wilson continued to thrive and progress this season, Griffin endured struggles and faced intense scrutiny in his return from offseason knee surgery. He ended the season being deactivated for the final three games by former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan.

Quarterback Nick Foles, also a member of the 2012 draft class, helped the Philadelphia Eagles to reach the playoffs this season. The Eagles lost an opening-round game to the New Orleans Saints.

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