LYING IN WAIT
What’s in Broncos future
Demaryius Thomas will mark more than a game Sunday night when the Broncos play a must-win game against the Chiefs at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium. Sunday is Christmas. And that means it’s also Thomas’ birthday.
Born in a single-story house in tiny Montrose, Ga., a rural town halfway between Atlanta and Savannah, Christmas for Thomas when he was growing up was much warmer than Christmas in Denver or Kansas City. Playing football on Dec. 25 might seem strange for the Broncos’ veteran wide receiver, but he is accustomed to celebrating his birthday and Christmas at the same time.
In the Broncos’ first game against the Chiefs this season, Thomas had five catches for 60 yards. His fellow wide receiver, Emmanuel Sanders, caught seven passes for 162 yards, while quarterback Trevor Siemian threw for 368 yards and three touchdowns.
But the Broncos lost that game in overtime. Thomas talked to reporters last week about celebrating his birthday on Dec. 25 and facing the Chiefs in a crucial AFC game Sunday. Q: Have you played on your birthday before?
A: First time.
Q: What do you think it will be like? A: You never know. We’ll find out. I know it’s going to be cold. But it’s my first time.
Q: What’s it like being a Christmas baby? A: It’s not the best, but it’s not bad either. You feel cool sometimes, but you get robbed when you’re a kid. They used to hit me with “Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas.” I was just like, “OK.” But then as I got older, I was like, you used to get a gift and then you would get Christmas on my birthday. The part that bothers me is when you have to buy gifts for other people on your birthday. I’m still trying to get over that. I’m buying Christmas gifts, but it’s my birthday.
Q: Are you buying gifts for teammates?
Q: Did kicker Brandon McManus set the bar too high giving everybody onesies? A: Well, it’s my birthday. Maybe I’ll buy them gifts for New Year’s, but not my birthday.
Q: Why was the offense so effective against Kansas City in the second half of the first meeting this season? A: I think it was better execution. We didn’t really turn over the ball, we took care of the ball. And we took advantage of short fields when we had them.
Q: Denver put up some big numbers against the Chiefs. A: Yeah, I think as a team we should have won that game. But we have a lot of confidence right now. We know what we need to do. First off, it’s taking care of the ball and not getting turnovers. And then going off of that.
Q: As a team captain, did you have to set the locker room straight between the defense and the offense? A: It’s not just setting them straight. Sometimes you have to be silent and just let it blow over. I’m one of those guys, you be silent and get the guys on your side of the ball working. Get our confidence back and make sure we go back, play as a team and get better.
Demaryius Thomas has 83 catches for 1,016 yards and five touchdowns this season for the Broncos, who have to win out and get help from other teams to qualify for the playoffs. John Leyba, The Denver Post