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Best player you’ve never heard of
Louis Vasquez, offensive guard. He’s an All-Pro selection as the top performer on a rebuilt line. Manning helps make those guys look good, but they do protect him well.
Sunday’s conference title games
O AFC championship
» New England at Denver, 1 p.m., Ch. 2
» San Francisco at Seattle, 4:30 p.m., Ch. 13
This is the last in a series previewing Sunday’s NFL championship game contestants. Saturday » Denver Broncos
Offensive guard Zane Beadles is from Hillcrest High School and the University of Utah. Beadles has started 62 of 64 regular-season games at guard or tackle since being drafted in the second round in 2010. Denver coach John Fox spent the 1982 season as Utah’s secondary coach during a nomadic career.
Reasons to cheer for them
Denver is the closest NFL team to Salt Lake City, and hundreds of Utahns are season-ticket holders. Manning is the best-known NFL player of his era and one of the top quarterbacks in history, yet he has only one Super Bowl victory. He’s a humble superstar and handled himself wonderfully in defeat last year, waiting a long time to congratulate Baltimore’s Ray Lewis. And the Patriots have played in five Super Bowls since Denver’s last trip.
Reasons to cheer against them
Because of geography, the Broncos are force-fed to a Salt Lake City television market that tires of them, in some cases. The dosage will only increase if Denver wins another championship.
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