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Denver Broncos - PlayerWatch

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

TE Jacob Tamme's three-yard touchdown reception put the Broncos in front 10-0. Tamme caught two passes for 24 yards and played 14 snaps Sunday, mostly when the Broncos utilized a two-tight end set.

QB Peyton Manning was nearly flawless, completing 32 of 43 passes for 400 yards and two touchdowns. The only misfire that damaged the Broncos was when he overthrew Eric Decker on a third-and-goal in the first quarter, which forced the Broncos to settle for a field goal.

DE Robert Ayers' third-and-8 sack of Tom Brady in the second quarter proved crucial, forcing the Patriots to settle for a field goal on a drive that advanced as far as the Denver 18-yard line. Ayers did not start, but played 69 percent of the Broncos' defensive plays Sunday.

RB Knowshon Moreno left the AFC Championship Game in the fourth quarter because of a chest injury, but X-rays were negative and showed no damage to his ribs. Moreno will be considered "day-to-day" when the Broncos return to practice Thursday.

S Omar Bolden was limited to special-teams work with Duke Ihenacho returning to full-time duty at strong safety. Bolden played 13 snaps Sunday, all on special teams.

SS Duke Ihenacho returned to his every-down work at strong safety. In the previous three games, Ihenacho had worked in the base defense, but had been pulled in favor of Omar Bolden when the Broncos went into nickel and dime packages. He worked as the every-down safety through most of the regular season's first 12 games.

CB Chris Harris will undergo surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament after the Super Bowl, he said. Harris plans to travel to Super Bowl XLVIII with his team. The Broncos hope to have him back sometime before the start of the 2014 regular season, but must re-sign him first; he is a restricted free agent.

DT Terrance Knighton had the biggest sack of his career when he brought down Tom Brady for a 10-yard loss on a fourth-and-3 from the Denver 29-yard-line. Knighton's sack allowed the Broncos to maintain a three-score lead heading into the fourth quarter, and made a comeback nearly impossible. He also had two tackles for losses to lead the Broncos' run defense.

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was shaken up after being hit by WR Julian Edelman late in the first quarter, but returned on the following possession.

TE Virgil Green briefly lined up at running back and carried once for five yards. The Broncos used a two-tight end, three-wide receiver package, thinking that would keep the Patriots from defending the run, and shifted Green into the backfield, where he carried out of a pistol formation.

CB Kayvon Webster played a second consecutive game after missing two consecutive games following surgery to repair a fractured thumb on Dec. 13. After playing one defensive snap against San Diego, he played 11 against the Patriots, as the Broncos rotated him in to give Champ Bailey and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie some spot rest.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/140121/denver-broncos-playerwatch-0