The (11-4) Denver Broncos got trucked last night, in all three phases, by the (10-4-1) Cincinnati Bengals, losing 37-28. But in frustrating loss, Demaryius Thomas carved himself out a piece of NFL history.
Thomas had 7 receptions for 115 yards against the Bengals, giving him 103 receptions for 1,504 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season. He joins Marvin Harrison (4) and Jerry Rice as the only players in NFL history with three consecutive seasons with at least 1,400 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. He's joined some elite company in rarefied air.
It was Thomas' ninth game of the season over 100 yards receiving, putting him at No. 1 all time for the Broncos, passing Rod Smith (8). He is 99 yards away from breaking Smith's franchise record for receiving yards and 11 receptions away from Smith's single-season franchise record for catches.
Thomas was dominant last night, despite his quarterback, Peyton Manning, struggling uncharacteristically with interceptions. With Thomas' three straight seasons of prolific production, it makes his contract situation all the more urgent.
Broncos fans might be a little big discouraged that Thomas and the Broncos have been unable to consummate an extension, but give it time. Thomas wants to return to the Broncos. He's willing to give the team a hometown discount to make it happen.
Looking at the structure of Chris Harris, Jr's new extension (only $3M toward the salary 2015 salary cap), it seems obvious that at the very least, the Broncos expect Manning to return in 2015. If that's the case, he'll need his trusty No. 1 target back in Orange and Blue.