DENVER —** Had the Broncos' fortunes over the past six weeks been flipped, Demaryius Thomas probably would have been on the phone with Shannon Sharpe on Sunday night.
He'd have been reveling in tying Sharpe's 55 career touchdowns with the Broncos, second in the franchise's record books.
Photos from the Broncos' Week 11 game against the Bengals. (Photos by Gabriel Christus unless noted)
But instead, as the team dropped it's sixth straight game, Thomas found no redemption in the hallmark achievement. With time, it will become something he can celebrate, but right now, it's not something on which to focus.
"It takes some time," Thomas said. "Of course, it just depends, because the situation we're in right now, you don't even want to think about it. You don't want to think about individual anything, because as a team, we've lost six in a row. But if, say, we'd won six in a row, it would probably be a different thing. I'd probably call Shannon Sharpe right now and be like, 'I tied you.' But it's been tough."
But even in the loss, it's easy to appreciate how the touchdown reception unfolded and the talent Thomas showed in executing it.
Thomas lined up in the slot just to the left of the offensive line with two wide receivers set to the left of him. As the other receivers crossed to the right and left Thomas in one-on-one coverage, he ran an out-and-up to the back left corner of the end zone. He battled Dre Kirkpatrick closely for much of the route as he gained a half-step on the cornerback, and as the pass descended, he created just a little more separation for the 21-yard touchdown catch.
"It basically comes down to the end of the thing, when you saw the ball coming down," Thomas said. "You try to figure out where the ball's going to land, and then you try to slow down the DB. You slow down and right when you know it's going to land, you separate from him. It just takes that much. Accelerate or just move your body."
After his five-catch, 64-yard day, Thomas' current touchdown streak is now at three games. A common denominator in that stretch has been Brock Osweiler returning at starting quarterback, which has brought a welcome familiarity that stretches back years.
"Me and Brock have played for a while now," Thomas said. "Even in the days with Peyton in practice, I was at practice with Brock, throwing and catching. The connection is still there. I think that's got a big part to do with it, and hopefully it keeps going. Hopefully we get enough to win a game."
But even as his production has picked up, Thomas sees that it's not enough. The yardage and the touchdowns have started to roll in, but that's not the main thing he wants. "Every week we've been able to move the ball," Thomas said. "It's just [we've] hurt ourselves with the negative plays and the turnovers. You think about it and if you go back and pay attention to how many yards our offense has a game, half of the time we're beating every other team we're playing against, but when you turn the ball over, it don't help. And that's the truth."