Denver Broncos' Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker Earned Right To Nickname "Salt & Pepper"

By Mark Stringer
Jake Roth – US Presswire

Denver Broncos WRs Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas put up quality seasons with the help of QB Peyton Manning in each player’s third year in the NFL. The young duo was already putting up terrific numbers with QB Tim Tebow under center last season, so many expected them to bust out and produce everything they were capable of with Manning.

Early this season the two WRs spoke about wanting the nickname “Salt & Pepper.” The problem was they really hadn’t done enough at that point to have earned the right for such a name, but they most certainly have earned it now.

It’s easy to give most of the credit to Manning, but remember these guys did what they could with Tebow, who can’t even get a starting nod with the New York Jets, a team that’s struggled at the quarterback position all season. Manning certainly helps, but these guys had tons of potential and they used it the best way they could.

Thomas could easily start being in the conversations of top five WRs in the league. He put up 1,434 yards (fourth-best in the league), 94 receptions (eighth-best) and 10 touchdowns (seventh-best). Thomas managed these numbers with only received 141 targets (13th-most). Players such as Wes Welker, Brandon Marshall, Reggie Wayne and Calvin Johnson received 30-60 more targets.

However, Decker didn’t play second fiddle to Thomas very often as he racked up 1,064 yards (17th-best), 85 receptions (13th-best) and 13 touchdowns (second-best). Decker produced these numbers with only 123 targets (23rd-most).

Both of these guys were able to produce top 10 or better numbers with just an above-average number of targets or less this year. Again, Manning helped tremendously, but these guys are talented and they’ve earned their desired nickname.


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