Oct 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) in the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver’s unofficially adopted son and beloved hero has been the Broncos’ most productive player in the past three seasons (counting this season). Out of both the offense and defense, there’s no one that has been as consistent and reliable as “DT”.
While labeled as a bust for the early years of his career, Thomas’ track to stardom took off when he caught the game-winning 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play in overtime versus the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2012 Wild Card round.
After Peyton Manning was added that offseason, the rest has been history.
Under Manning’s tutelage, Thomas has risen to greater heights than anyone ever could’ve imagined after his mediocre rookie and sophomore seasons. He’s benefited from Manning, certainly, but with his raw athleticism and knack for making a big-time play out of an assumed to be small one, Manning soon reaped the rewards of having “DT”.
Many would even agree that Demaryius Thomas is the best receiver Manning has ever had.
Yes, I know who Marvin Harrison is and that he played with Manning in Indianapolis.
Thomas has been the most targeted receiver by Manning since he arrived in Denver. Through 2012-2013, he recorded 186 catches that went for nearly 3,000 yards and added 24 touchdowns for good measure.
Despite getting annihilated in the Super Bowl, Thomas stood out amongst his peers once again. He set a Super Bowl record for receptions with 13 and reportedly did it whilst playing with a separated shoulder the whole game.
This season, Thomas has been nearly unstoppable.
He’s third in the NFL in receiving yards and his yards per catch average is second highest among those who have more than 50 receptions, sitting next to T.Y. Hilton of the Colts, who averages 16.7 yards a catch as opposed to Thomas’ 16.6.
Considering the sheer amount of talented playmakers that are at the disposal of Manning, it really shows just how valuable Thomas is to Manning and the rest of the offense.
Sure, Thomas benefits from all of the other weapons opposing defenses have to account for. It’s more than understandable to assume that a good amount of his success has come from having Manning at quarterback and guys to take pressure off of him like Emmanuel Sanders, Eric Decker, Wes Welker, and Julius Thomas.
Yet, Demaryius Thomas still rises to the top.
There’s no one that has been more reliable, explosive, dynamic and as consistent as him on the offense. His high work-rate and statistical production speaks for itself.
Demaryius clearly has the edge in the Thomas v. Thomas debate.
With the being said, let’s find out what the verdict is.