Emmanuel Sanders watched the Broncos pound the ball with success during the first four games of the season and saw an offense built for the cold weather of the season’s closing stretch.
“I’ve been on two Super Bowl teams, and in the months of December and January, you’ve got to be able to run the football because of the weather conditions,” the wide receiver said. “That’s just smashmouth football.”
That doesn’t mean Sanders and fellow top receiver Demaryius Thomas don’t want to see an increased role in the offense after catching a combined five passes (four of them by Sanders) for 38 yards in a 16-10 win over the Raiders.
Teams through the first four games of the season have often blanketed Thomas and Sanders with their coverage, leaving a successful running game as the team’s most viable offensive option.
“Me and Demaryius and the entire wide receiver crew, we know that when we get our opportunities, we have to make the most of it,” Sanders said. “Obviously, teams are playing us to say, ‘Hey, run the ball — we’re not going to let the receivers beat us. As frustrating as it is, you can’t be frustrated when you win.”
Thomas has yet to catch a touchdown pass this season, and his emergence could help the Broncos in the red zone, where they’ve scored a touchdown on just one of their last seven trips. But when it comes to striking a balance between taking what the defense gives them and getting their top receivers involved, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said the Broncos have to remain loyal to one mission.
“We’re trying to score points any way we can,” he said. “There’s only one football out there, and we’ve got two of the best wide receivers in the league. Everybody knows that. I think we’ve efficiently moved the ball up and down the field in the first four weeks of the season with balance in everything we do.”
Honoring cancer survivors. The Broncos will honor 125 survivors of various cancers before Sunday’s game against the Giants, part of the organization’s “Fight Like A Bronco” campaign.
Whereas October has traditionally been observed as Breast Cancer Awareness month in the NFL, the league and the American Cancer Society have partnered this season to create an all-inclusive cancer platform. Players are able this year to accent their game day uniform with colors that represent various cancers.
The Broncos will present each survivor with a towel of a color that corresponds with the cancer they have fought.
“This is just our great way on game day to bring awareness by celebrating those who have survived,” said Allie Pisching, the Broncos’ executive director of community development.