Oct 6, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Denver Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) makes a leaping catch late in the fourth quarter against Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr (39) at AT

Broncos Have Four Receivers on Pace for 1,000 Yards or More

I don’t need to keep beating the dead horse–the Broncos have a dominant, historical offense.

That being said, there are things happening in the Mile High City that are beyond anything we’ve ever seen or imagined as Broncos fans or even as NFL fans.

Of course, Peyton Manning has been absolutely dominant, brilliant, or whatever adjective you’d prefer to use to describe his record 20 touchdowns in five games compared to just one interception. The fact is, Manning hasn’t done it alone, and the Broncos have build a crew around him that is clearly the best in the NFL.

Before the season, there were some people arguing that Green Bay or Atlanta or whomever had as good or better a trio of receivers than Denver, an argument that was as pointless and wrong back then as it is now.

In fact, not only do the Broncos have the best three-man wide receiver group in the NFL, they have added a fourth “Horseman” in Julius Thomas, who has developed in his third season into one of the most effective weapons at the tight end position in the NFL.

Not even the historic Patriots offense from a few years ago–you remember, the team that went 16-0?–had what the Broncos have, and the stats you are about to see may shock you. The Broncos are obviously on a torrid pace, and the scary thing is, they could get even better.

Depending on how the rest of the season unfolds, the Broncos are currently on pace to have four receivers–including Julius Thomas–with 1,000 or more receiving yards.

Having three receivers with 1,000 yards has only been done a few times, and is considered pretty remarkable when it happens. Having four players with 1,000 yards receiving is nearly unheard of, but look at the numbers for yourself. (s/o to the good folks at Mile High Report for the stat tables).

So Far This Season

Player T Rec Yards AVG YAC TD INT Drop Drop %
D. Thomas 43 34 450 13.2 261 4 0 2 4.7
Decker 42 29 427 14.7 168 2 1 6 14.3
Welker 42 31 315 10.2 142 7 0 4 9.5
J. Thomas 36 27 359 13.3 198 6 0 3 8.3

These are dominant numbers. Decker’s first game against the Ravens has proven to be an outlier as he has significantly picked things up with 27 catches in the four games since his two-catch debacle against Baltimore. Still, his drop rate is pretty annoyingly high.

Amazingly, the Broncos have managed to multiply the football, spreading it almost exactly evenly between Demaryius Thomas, Decker, and newly acquired Wes Welker. That was a huge concern going into the year, but obviously the formula for getting everyone involved has been a great success.

Additionally, the Broncos have been able to involve their other new toy in the offense a good amount, getting tight end Julius Thomas an average of seven targets per game. Julius was targeted a team-high 12 times against the Cowboys, notching his fifth and sixth touchdowns of the season.

The production from these four guys is incredible, but even more impressive when you spread their current pace out across an entire season.

Projections (at current pace)

Player T Rec Yards TD
D. Thomas 138 109 1440 13
Decker 134 93 1366 6
Welker 134 99 1008 22
J. Thomas 115 86 1149 19

Now, it may not be reasonable to expect the Broncos to hit on these numbers as the season continues to progress, but I don’t think it would have been reasonable to expect anything we’ve seen so far this season. We all knew the Broncos were going to be very good offensively, but we didn’t know they would be the most dominant unit the NFL has ever seen.

The Broncos have a game against Jacksonville at home this weekend, one that has been expected by many to get out of hand. If the Broncos can get a big lead going into halftime, they may rest their starters at some point but I don’t think it would happen before the fourth quarter. If they have a 30 point lead going into the fourth, I think you’d see one or two more series for the starters before Brock Osweiler and the backups would come in, but they wouldn’t be able to take all of the receivers out of the game since they only carry four on the roster.

These guys are unreal, and a whole lot of fun to watch.

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Tags: Denver Broncos Peyton Manning Stats

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