Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas Continue to Shine for Broncos

Nathan Fordyce@natefordyceContributor IIINovember 5, 2012

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 30:  Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas #88 of the Denver Broncos runs with the ball against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on September 30, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Remember last season? Eric Decker had a team-high 44 catches for 612 yards and eight touchdowns. Demaryius Thomas had 32 catches for 551 and four touchdowns. 

That all seems like a distant memory now. 

With Peyton Manning throwing the pigskin and doing it better each week, the Decker/Thomas duo has become one of the best in football. 

Decker already has 46 catches for 583 yards and seven touchdowns this season. And to make it more impressive, Decker has had at least one touchdown catch in five consecutive weeks, which is only one behind the Broncos' franchise record (6).  

It was a season that started out slow for Decker, but as Manning has become more comfortable, the relationship with Decker has grown each week.

Then there's Thomas. Thomas has already eclipsed his totals from a season ago as he has developed into Manning's favorite deep-threat target. 

Thomas has 45 catches for 756 yards (fourth in the NFL) and four touchdowns while averaging 16.8 yards per catch. Thomas also has a league-high 17 catches of 20 or more yards, and his four catches of 40-plus yards is second-most only behind Chris Givens of the St. Louis Rams.

But what has made this duo so effective? Well a lot of it is because they don't have the inconsistency of Tim Tebow throwing the football to them. But of course, the main reason is the fact that Manning is the one who is now behind center throwing the ball.

Manning has a history of making all of his receivers better, and when he has talent like Decker and Thomas, it's even easier to make the wide receivers two of the tops in the game. 

Decker has gained Manning's trust, especially inside the red zone. All seven of Decker's touchdowns have been from within the 20-yard line, and even if he hasn't caught all of the passes that have been thrown his way near the red zone, he's almost always the first target. 

Thomas, on the other hand, has grown even more than Decker. He showed the big-play capability even when Tebow was throwing him the ball and has carried that into his development with Manning. 

Decker and Thomas continue to impress each and every single week, and with eight weeks left, the Bronco duo could end up being one of the best tandems in football.