Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said in July that he will “for sure have a better year” than he did during the 2015 season and followed that up last month by saying that the Broncos offense will better across the board than it was on the way to a Super Bowl title.
Through the first two weeks, the Broncos’ approach to building a better offense has not been heavily slanted to the passing game. The Broncos have 60 rushes and 59 passing attempts while quarterback Trevor Siemian has been sacked three times. Siemian has also run the ball six times, some of which came on plays that were intended to be passes but not enough to approach the balance of last year’s offense.
The Broncos averaged 37 passing attempts a game last year compared to 25 rushes and the change has limited the opportunities for both Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Thomas has nine catches on 13 targets, leaving him to say he doesn’t know “why the ball is not coming my way” although he says it isn’t a big deal because the team is winning. Sanders — eight catches on 16 targets — has a similar take.
“There’s some frustration, but it’s hard to be frustrated when you’re sitting here 2-0,” Sanders said, via ESPN.com. “I can sit up here and make it all about me and Demaryius, how we’re used to having 100-yard games, we’re used to scoring touchdowns and we’re used to doing this. But we’re sitting here 2-0 … Individually, I would like to have my highlights on ESPN, yeah, I would like to have 100-yard games, be ranked top five, but we’re sitting here 2-0 … I’m waiting for that big game, Demaryius is waiting for that big game — we know it’s going to come.”
As long as the Broncos are winning, there’s not likely to be a radical change to their offensive approach. That may keep Thomas from realizing his goal of a better year, but it won’t make it any easier to complain about an individual role in a successful group effort.