ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — For the third time in his career, kicker Brandon McManus has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
McManus was perfect on all six of his kicks, including a 52-yard field goal and five PATs, against the Lions in Denver's 38-10 win.
While the end-of-game margin may not indicate it, the field goal was a crucial turning point in the game. The Lions drew within four points midway through the second quarter at 14-10, and if that score held until halftime, Detroit would have a chance to take the lead on the first possession of the second half.
Instead, the Broncos moved downfield quickly, getting eventually to the Detroit 34-yard line. From there, McManus nailed the 52-yarder to push Denver back to a one-touchdown lead. The Broncos would only extend their lead from there.
What may make this even more meaningful was the emotional setting, as the Broncos honored the life and legacy of Demaryius Thomas. Thomas and McManus were teammates for five seasons, and the Broncos kicker paid tribute to his friend in his own way. As he warmed up before the game, McManus wore a Thomas jersey and custom cleats decorated with Thomas' signature and a drawing of his signature smile.
As it just so happened, McManus totaled eight points, equal to his jersey number — and side by side, those numbers mirror the one Thomas wore during his time in Denver: 88.
McManus previously won AFC Special Teams Player of the Week in Week 4 and Week 6 of the 2020 season.