The Denver Broncos may be led by Peyton Manning, but the two players with ‘Thomas’ on the backs of their jerseys are his right and left hand men.
Demaryius Thomas leads the team in receiving yards (914) while tight end Julius Thomas leads them in receiving touchdowns (10). Thomas and Thomas are the outreaching arms and powerful legs that have given Manning’s arm gusto this season.
In the Broncos’ 27-17 win over the previously undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, it was Thomas and Thomas that got things going. Demaryius had a 70-yard reception in the first quarter, which was the team’s third longest play of the season. His catch set up Julius, who hauled in a 9-yard touchdown to put the Broncos up 10-0. The score tied him with Shannon Sharpe for the most touchdown receptions in a single season by a tight end.
Demaryius, meanwhile, had his 12th career regular-season 100-yard game with five receptions for 121 yards. With Demaryius being the long ball threat, it gave Manning more room to operate underneath. Wes Welker and Eric Decker combined for 13 receptions for 143 yards thanks in large part to Demaryius and Julius being big yards-after-the-catch threats.
All of this was done against a Chiefs defense that had not allowed more than 17 points all season.
Demaryius and Julius are not related despite having the same last name, but they’re brothers that burden secondaries week in and week out.