Denver Broncos: Demaryius Thomas needs to bounce back
Denver Broncos: Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas had a productive season in 2015 statistically, but needs a bounce-back year in 2016…
There were a number of contributing factors, but Demaryius Thomas had probably the most interesting year of his professional career in 2015.
The Denver Broncos made Thomas their franchise player last offseason, preventing him from really hitting the open market at his price tag, and wound up getting a huge new contract done with Thomas just before the deadline to re-sign franchise players last July.
Thomas was late to offseason activities after his pro-longed holdout, and had a lot of catching up to do with the new offense and a number of new teammates around him.
That holdout proved to be more detrimental as it originally seemed, as Thomas struggled throughout the year with drops and had two lost fumbles. He hadn’t lost a fumble since 2012, when he had his big breakout season in Peyton Manning’s first year with the team. That year, he lost three fumbles.
In the history of the NFL, I don’t know that any receiver has accumulated 105 catches and over 1,300 yards in a quieter way than Demaryius Thomas did in 2015. I don’t say that to disrespect him or his abilities, but it didn’t feel like he was putting up those kind of numbers on a weekly basis like he did in years prior.
His six touchdown grabs were the lowest number he had over the course of a full season since 2011 when Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton were throwing him passes. His average yards per catch (12.4) was the lowest of his career.
We all love Demaryius Thomas, but something was off last year, and it was plainly obvious for all to see. In the playoffs, he had seven catches for 60 yards.
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That’s simply unacceptable for a player of his caliber. At his size and with his speed and strength, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be the most dominant receiver in the NFL. I see the potential in what Thomas is still capable of being, and I can’t wait for him to get back to the level of play he had shown from 2012-2014, but even beyond that.
As the Broncos break in a new quarterback, Thomas is going to have to be the guy to impose his will more often than not. We need to see him winning those one-on-one matchups against elite cornerbacks and using the incredible gifts he has to become that top five receiver the Broncos are paying him a lot of money to be.
I’m looking forward to seeing how Thomas bounces back in 2016, and how he responds to the criticism he’s received this offseason.