Offensive Player of the Year: WR Demaryius Thomas (same)
Nov 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
111 receptions, 1,619 yards (a Broncos franchise record), 11 touchdowns, 10 games with over 100 yards including a seven-week streak. Peyton’s favorite target was also able to put up his third consecutive season of at least 90 catches, 1,400 yards, and 10 touchdowns. Demaryius Thomas has been an absolute beast for the Denver Broncos, and not just because Manning is at the helm, but because he is damn good.
Thomas didn’t hit the ground running to start the year, to the worry of no one. Of all the players on the Broncos, it’s hard to find a player more willing to face adversity head on than DT. After three games of “just” 13 catches, 141 yards, and a touchdown, Thomas blew up with a 226-yard game that included two touchdowns. From there, he set the league ablaze going six more weeks with at least 100 yards.
His success this year should come to the surprise of no one. Thomas will play through injuries and play through tough situations. Just look at what he did in the one-sided Super Bowl last year: 13 catches, 118 yards, and the Broncos only score of the game. DT is unquestionably one of the best wide receivers in the league and a commodity that any team would want.
Honorable Mention: WR Emmanuel Sanders (same)
I was worried about replacing Eric Decker after he left for the Jets in the offseason. After all, his production of 87 catches, 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns is hard to match, let alone exceed. But all those worries were put to rest as soon as preseason started.
Emmanuel Sanders, forget the numbers for a second, pound-for-pound might be the toughest player on the Denver offense and the most fun to watch. At 5’11, 186 lbs., he wasn’t afraid of anyone and it showed. He would go up high for passes in which he knew he was going to be nailed and on multiple occasions would stick his head down and fight for extra yards. Impressively, with this type of play style, he only fumbled the ball once.
Sanders did end up out-producing the departed Decker, putting up 101 catches for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns. Along with his teammate Demayrius Thomas, they joined Rod Smith and Ed McCaffrey as the only receiving duo in Broncos history to catch 100 passes in one season.