MILE HIGH PASS­ING GAME

The Bron­cos in­sist their star wide re­ceivers will get their chances to make plays

Albuquerque Journal - - SPORTS -

EN­GLE­WOOD, Colo. — Em­manuel San­ders called Den­ver “wide re­ceiver heaven” af­ter Mike McCoy re­turned this year for a sec­ond stint as the Bron­cos’ of­fen­sive ar­chi­tect.

It hasn’t ex­actly been nir­vana for San­ders and fel­low star De­mary­ius Thomas so far.

Blan­keted by de­fen­sive backs, the vet­eran re­ceivers have com­bined for just 38 catches and two touch­downs.

San­ders has both of the scores but his 20 catches for 190 yards work out to 9.5 yards per catch, well be­low his ca­reer av­er­age of 13.4.

He is on pace for a 760-yard sea­son, which would be his worst since join­ing the Bron­cos in 2014 and em­bark­ing on three con­sec­u­tive 1,000-yard sea­sons.

Thomas is av­er­ag­ing 13.7 yards a catch on 18 grabs, right around his ca­reer av­er­age of 14.1. But he’s on pace for 72 catches and 988 yards. While most re­ceivers would rel­ish those num­bers, Thomas has five con­sec­u­tive 1,000-yard sea­sons with at least 90 catches.

Thomas has now gone 10 games with­out a touch­down and seven with­out a 100-yard per­for­mance, both of which are ca­reer highs.

That’s not the kind of pro­duc­tion ex­pected from a pair of re­ceivers pulling in a com­bined $15.25 mil­lion in salaries this sea­son.

“They’re go­ing to get their chances,” quar­ter­back Trevor Siemian in­sisted Wed­nes­day as the Bron­cos (3-1) in­stalled their game plan for the reel­ing New York Gi­ants (0-5). “It’s only a mat­ter of time. I know it’s im­por­tant for those guys to win, which we’ve been do­ing, which is good. I think when you’re los­ing a bunch of games it makes it harder on ev­ery­body. But we’re win­ning. I’m not wor­ried. Those guys are go­ing to get their touches.”

The an­swer isn’t force-feed­ing the foot­ball to San­ders and Thomas, ei­ther.

Coach Vance Joseph said if teams con­tinue to fo­cus on his star re­ceivers, “we’re go­ing to (con­tinue to) pound the foot­ball.” Siemian is cer­tainly on board. “They’re two of our best play­ers, so you want to get them the ball and usu­ally with your best play­ers, to win you’ve got to get it to them a bunch. But the other teams are smart, too, and they un­der­stand what we’re try­ing to do,” Siemian said. “So, that’s the back and forth. … and other guys step­ping up re­ally helps.”

RAIDERS: The NFL is keep­ing an eye on the wild­fires in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia and has been ex­plor­ing op­tions to move Sun­day’s game between the Oakland Raiders and Los An­ge­les Charg­ers if it be­comes nec­es­sary.

Michael Sig­nora, the NFL’s vice pres­i­dent of foot­ball com­mu­ni­ca­tions, said Thurs­day that the league is get­ting up­dates on the sit­u­a­tion from both teams and from city of­fi­cials in Oakland. Oakland, which is some 45 miles south of the fires, has been blan­keted by smoke.

If the NFL de­cides that con­di­tions in Oakland are too un­healthy to play Sun­day, the game could be moved to Levi’s Sta­dium in Santa Clara.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has also of­fered up Qual­comm Sta­dium, where the Charg­ers used to play be­fore re­lo­cat­ing to Los An­ge­les this year.

MEX­ICO: The NFL and the Pa­tri­ots, Raiders and Steel­ers will to­gether con­trib­ute $200,000 to sup­port dis­as­ter re­lief ef­forts fol­low­ing last month’s earth­quake in Mex­ico City.

The money will go to Banorte’s Fun­dación Banorte, which is a lo­cal bank in­volved with re­lief ef­forts. They will match th­ese do­na­tions dol­lar for dol­lar.

GI­ANTS: Sus­pended cor­ner­back Do­minique Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie has met with New York Gi­ants coach Ben McA­doo and has been told that his sus­pen­sion is in­def­i­nite.

The Gi­ants said the meet­ing took place Thurs­day morn­ing.

Nei­ther Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie nor McA­doo was im­me­di­ately avail­able for com­ment.

Play­ers can be sus­pended a max­i­mum of four weeks un­der the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.