Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Broncos fans and football watchers alike witnessed in 2011 the rise of who will surely be Denver's No. 1 wide receiver in seasons to come.
Demaryius Thomas took hold of the receiving corps and acted as Tim Tebow's favorite target in the passing game.
Eric Decker came in as No. 2, but while he was on the field, he could have easily played the part of No. 1 if Thomas was covered.
Both receivers had a breakout season, and it was Thomas' first real shot at having one after recovering from an Achilles injury that held him out of play in 2010.
But what these receivers were so typical of were dropping passes.
Out of 429 passing attempts in 2011—the lowest in the league—there were a total of 28 dropped passes.
At first glance, the number 28 doesn't stand out. But keep in mind how little Denver passed in 2011 and the drops take a much larger role. Consider that the top-ranked team in passing attempts, the Detroit Lions, threw the ball 666 times and suffered only 37 drops.
That gives Denver a 6.5 percent drop rate compared to Detroit's 5.5 percent. More than six percent of Denver's few passes are dropped. That's unacceptable.
With a passing game that takes such a small role in an option offense, it's imperative that when the ball does fly into the receivers' hands that they come down with it.