Julius Thomas tapped in, and just like that, it was his turn again. After a five catch 110-yard, two-touchdown week one performance, Thomas re-emerged as the Broncos’ go-to guy with nine catches for 122 yards and two scores in the Broncos’ 51-48 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
“We talk about all the personnel we have and how teams are really going to have to pick who they want to take away in each game,” Thomas said. “Last game, I had a quieter game. This game, I was able to get some good looks and make some plays. I think that’s how our season is going to go. We’ll have guys that have blowout games. Sometimes teams will do something to slow one of us down. As an offense, we’re really hard to stop as a unit.”
All six Broncos players who had a reception against Dallas had at least 40 yards. Three different receivers scored touchdowns. All receivers but one averaged at least 10.0 yards per catch.
It’s clear that the team’s hands are doing their jobs. They’re doing them so well that the naked bootleg worked for Peyton Manning, which gave him his first rushing score in five years.
“I’ve run it actually a couple of times, believe it or not, but the key is you want to do it about every five years or so,” Manning joked. “I’ll be retired by the time I’m able to do it again.”
The key to the naked bootleg, according to Manning, is not to tell anyone — not even his own team.
“You call the run play and it’s a run play and you just kind of make a decision there as you get to the line of scrimmage based on the right look and you think, they’re going to maybe slant one way. As soon as we brought Julius in motion, the guy covered him, went with him. I kind of said, well, that’s a good look for it…I did not tell anybody, so it’s the only way to get the linemen to fire off. They’re blocking like they’re trying to block an inside play to the right and the harder they go, the more it kind of sells it.”
Clearly the offense is firing on all cylinders. Between last week’s 52 points and this week’s 51 points, the team has posted its two highest single-game totals. Their 230 points this season is the most by an NFL team through the first five weeks on the season.
We may sound like a broken record, but week after week, franchise and league records are being broken. It’s a historical start to the season that has been triggered by the team’s offense and followed through by the team’s defense.