The Denver Post - - SPORTS - — Nick Kos­mider, The Den­ver Post

Em­manuel San­ders watched the Bron­cos pound the ball with suc­cess dur­ing the first four games and saw an of­fense built for the cold weather of the sea­son’s clos­ing stretch.

“I’ve been on two Su­per Bowl teams, and in the months of De­cem­ber and Jan­uary, you’ve got to be able to run the foot­ball be­cause of the weather con­di­tions,” the wide re­ceiver said. “That’s just smash­mouth foot­ball.”

That doesn’t mean San­ders and fel­low top re­ceiver De­mary­ius Thomas don’t want to see an in­creased role in the of­fense af­ter catch­ing a com­bined five passes (four of them by San­ders) for 38 yards in their last game, a 16-10 win over the Raiders.

Teams through the first four games, Bron­cos op­po­nents have of­ten blan­keted Thomas and San­ders with their cov­er­age, leav­ing a suc­cess­ful run­ning game as the team’s most vi­able of­fen­sive op­tion.

“Me and De­mary­ius and the en­tire wide re­ceiver crew, we know that when we get our op­por­tu­ni­ties, we have to make the most of it,” San­ders said. “Ob­vi­ously, teams are play­ing us to say, ‘Hey, run the ball — we’re not go­ing to let the re­ceivers beat us.’ As frus­trat­ing as it is, you can’t be frus­trated when you win.”

Thomas has yet to catch a touch­down pass this sea­son, and his emer­gence could help the Bron­cos in the red zone, where they’ve scored a touch­down on just one of their last seven trips. But when it comes to strik­ing a bal­ance between tak­ing what the de­fense gives them and get­ting their top re­ceivers in­volved, of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Mike McCoy said the Bron­cos have to re­main loyal to one mis­sion.

“We’re try­ing to score points any way we can,” he said. “There’s only one foot­ball out there, and we’ve got two of the best wide re­ceivers in the league. Ev­ery­body knows that. I think we’ve ef­fi­ciently moved the ball up and down the field in the first four weeks of the sea­son with bal­ance in ev­ery­thing we do.”

Hon­or­ing cancer sur­vivors.

The Bron­cos will honor 125 sur­vivors of var­i­ous can­cers be­fore Sun­day’s game against the Gi­ants, part of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s “Fight Like A Bronco” cam­paign.

Whereas Oc­to­ber has tra­di­tion­ally been ob­served as Breast Cancer Aware­ness month in the NFL, the league and the Amer­i­can Cancer So­ci­ety have part­nered this sea­son to cre­ate an all-in­clu­sive cancer plat­form. Play­ers are able this year to ac­cent their game day uni­form with colors that rep­re­sent var­i­ous can­cers.

The Bron­cos will present each sur­vivor with a towel of a color that cor­re­sponds with the cancer they have fought.

“This is just our great way on game day to bring aware­ness by cel­e­brat­ing those who have sur­vived,” said Al­lie Pisching, the Bron­cos’ ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment.

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