When you are a talented wide receiver in the NFL, it is no doubt that the diva side comes out, and usually around playoff time. Everyone knew the talent that Denver Broncos receivers’ Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker had, they just rarely got to show it in 2011 because of the run first mentality and lack of consistency with Tim Tebow as their quarterback.
The 2012 NFL season though, has been a complete turnaround for both of these young wideouts with the addition of a pretty good quarterback in Peyton Manning. The preseason came around and the dynamic duo from Dove Valley asked that the nickname of “Salt and Pepper” become their calling card, and only a couple of times throughout the year has it been mentioned since. But now, Thomas and Decker would like to be known by a much more clever nickname, “Black and Decker“.
After posting gaudy numbers all year, while making many highlight reel catches, I believe they are deserving of any nickname they would like. Manning has come into Denver and has spread the ball around the offense as not many in the game can, especially after learning a new system and being out of the game with four neck surgeries. But it is no surprise who his favorite targets have become.
Thomas comes into this weekend against the Baltimore Ravens with 94 catches for 1,434 yards and 10TDs. Decker enters Saturday with 85 catches for 1,064 yards and 13TDs. It is safe to say that this is not the same duo as we saw in 2011 with Tebow behind center. But what the duo has proven more than anything in 2012, is that they gained the trust and respect of one of the most demanding quarterbacks ever to grace the gridiron. They have allowed Manning to operate with relative ease because they grew with him, and allowed this Broncos offense to meld into a powerful weapon in all aspects.
Thomas and Decker have chosen an apt name and they deserve their due. This week, Black and Decker will become the Raven wrecker, as once again they bring memories of a forgotten time when the Broncos had another aptly named wide receiver crew, the “Three Amigos”. While Ricky Nattiel, Vance Johnson and Mark Jackson will never be forgotten by true Broncos fans, I do think Thomas and Decker, with longevity, will one day share the same space in Broncos lore.
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