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Decker and Thomas Wow The Crowd

Posted Dec 30, 2012

Receivers Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas made spectacular touchdown catches on Sunday.

DENVER -- In Sunday's 38-3 win at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, receivers Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas put on a show.

Each third-year wideout hauled in a spectacular, highlight-reel touchdown catch and combined for 14 receptions, 198 yards and three TDs.

"All it is, is (quarterback) Peyton (Manning) throwing the ball up and giving us a chance to make a play," Decker said. "An opportunity presented itself. Our job is to catch it. No matter how you do it, we came up with a couple good catches today, but I think as a team, offensively, we're clicking and playing one of our best games overall."

Head Coach John Fox has seen Decker and Thomas come a long way to reach a point where they can take over a game. The tandem became the first to pair of receivers to top the 1,000-yard receiving mark in Broncos uniforms since 2004. They also entered the game as the third-ranked receiving duo in the NFL this season, combining for more than 2,300 yards.

"Those guys are great young men, very talented young players that I have watched grow in my two-year tenure," Fox said. "Just in the two years I have been here, I have seen tremendous growth and I have great respect for both of them."

With a pair of first-half touchdowns, Decker has caught more TDs in a two-year span than any player in Broncos history. It was his second-straight multi-touchdown game and his fifth score in three contests.

His second one -- a juggling, one-handed grab - "came at a great time," Manning said, as the Broncos were looking to complete a two-minute drill with 15 seconds left in the half.

"Peyton knew it was 2-man (coverage), and he had an opportunity to throw it up," Decker said. "I just had to go and get it."

Thomas topped the 100-yard mark and caught a touchdown pass for the second game in a row, totaling 122 yards on seven receptions. His touchdown came on the first possession of the second half, turning a lead into a rout at 28-3.

Facing third-and-7 from the 13-yard line, Manning took the "our ball or nobody's ball" approach, lofting a pass up high and deep in the back of the end zone. If Thomas didn't come down with it, the only other opportunity belonged to the fans in Row 1.

The 6-foot-3, 229-pound receiver leaped in the air and hung there, waiting for the touch pass to arrive. When the ball came, he had already begun his descent, but was able to reach back with one hand and snatch the pass, just before landing and tapping both feet in bounds.

"His size gives you certain flexibilities that you can throw that high ball to the back of the end zone, where it's our ball or nobody's ball," Manning said. "Fortunately, it was our ball, and Demaryius went up there and made a heck of a catch."

Manning added that as hard as it is to out-throw Thomas' vertical leap and range, he was inches from doing that on Sunday.

"That was probably the limit right there," Manning said. "I've seen in practice now, he can jump. He can really elevate. It's hard to really throw it over his head, I'll say that."