The former first-round selection Demaryius Thomas enters his third NFL season with something he has never had before; a quarterback. Now he won’t be entering with just ay quarterback, he will be on the receiving end of Peyton Manning’s passes.
If history has taught us anything, it is that Manning makes irrelevant receivers good, good receivers better, and better receivers excellent. Luckily for Thomas even Tebow made him look like a good receiver, so this season the sky is the limit, and here is why.
Last year Thomas missed about six games due to injury. When he came back he was in the midst of the Tebow era beginning. While it worked out well for the Broncos as a whole, it wasn’t exactly the best news for receivers on the team, especially Thomas who was only entering his 2nd year in the league. However, what little success Tebow has through the air was in large part due to Thomas, and the stats speak for themselves.
Before Thomas came back from injury, Eric Decker was bar-none the team’s stud at WR, but Thomas quickly changed that. Decker’s 4 TDs and almost 300 receiving yards in the first 5 games made it seem he was on his way to a pro-bowl type season. Yet, the final 11 games (when Thomas returned) he only managed 4 TDs and just over 300 yards. The balls Decker was no longer catching were going Thomas’s way.
Over the last 11 games (9 in which Thomas played) he managed to salvage an above average season, reeling in 32 receptions for 551 yards and 4 TDs. Those 32 receptions accounted for 26% of Tebow’s completions, the 551 yards accounted for 32% of Tebow’s yards and 4 TDs accounted for 33% of Tebow’s TDs.
Then of course there was Thomas’s performance in the playoffs where he caught 10 passes for 297 yards and 1 TD in two games.
Despite those more than acceptable numbers, that was with Tebow and now he has Manning who has only gone below 4,000 passing yards twice and 26 TDs in a season once (his rookie season) throughout his entire career. Not to sound redundant, but if Tebow can make Thomas look good, one can only imagine how he’ll look this year with Manning.
Prediction: 72 receptions 1,000 yards and 7 TDs