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Brief profiles of key Denver Broncos in Sunday's Super Bowl


(Reuters) - Brief profiles of key Denver Broncos players for Sunday's Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks in East Rutherford, New Jersey:

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Peyton Manning (quarterback)

The four-time league most valuable player needs 116 yards to surpass New England's Tom Brady (6,424) for most postseason pass yards in NFL history. The 13-time All Pro selection and future Hall of Famer set NFL records for passing yards and touchdowns in the 2013 regular season. He won his only Super Bowl in 2007 with the Indianapolis Colts and is now in his second year with Denver as part of a comeback after neck surgery.

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Demaryius Thomas (wide receiver)

One of a host of talented Denver receivers, the 2010 first-round draft choice is a favorite target of Manning's (along with Eric Decker), having caught 92 passes for 1,430 yards and 14 touchdowns in the regular season. The two-time Pro Bowl selection "does a great job catching the football on his face, being explosive, getting yards after the catch," according to Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman.

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Julius Thomas (tight end)

No Denver tight end has caught more touchdown passes in a season than Thomas, who had 12 in 2013. A former college basketball player, he was not drafted until the fourth round in 2011 but earned Pro Bowl honors this season after 65 catches for 788 yards.

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Wes Welker (wide receiver)

A favorite target for Tom Brady during his six seasons with the New England Patriots, the five-time Pro Bowl selection has fitted in nicely with the Broncos, catching 73 passes for 778 yards and 10 touchdowns in his first season wearing the orange and blue. "Welker does a great job finding his spots on the field and also getting yards after the catch," said Seattle's Richard Sherman.

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Knowshon Moreno (running back)

The Broncos' primary ball carrier, Moreno rushed for a career best 1,038 yards and scored 13 touchdowns, 10 rushing and three receiving, during the regular season. The 2009 first-round draft choice is the first Denver player to rush for over 1,000 yards and have more than 500 yards (548) receiving in the same season.

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Matt Prater (kicker)

Prater kicked the longest field goal in NFL history with his 64-yarder against the Tennessee Titans in Denver on December 8. The Pro Bowl selection made 25 of 26 field goal attempts and all 75 points after touchdown to lead the Broncos in scoring with 150 points.

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Shaun Phillips (linebacker)

Denver's sack king, Phillips recorded 10 in his first year with the Broncos after nine seasons with the San Diego Chargers. His pass rushing will be needed against scrambling Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson.

(Compiled by Gene Cherry; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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