ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --The last thing a sellout crowd expected as a flanker screen to Demaryius Thomas developed in the first quarter Sunday was for the pass to skip off his hands.
But with a potential gain of 10 or more yards developing as Julius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders set up to block, the football glanced off Thomas' hands. Audible groans of surprise filled the stands.
It was the beginning of a rough night for Thomas, who dropped two more passes -- one each in the third and fourth quarters.
"It was bothering me after the first one and I guess I let it linger on and bother me the other two," Thomas said.
This is a rarity. Last year, Thomas was credited with just eight dropped passes, according to the data kept by STATS, Inc., against 92 receptions, or one every 12.5 catchable passes. For the two-time Pro Bowler, a single game with three drops was unheard of.
"First time ever," Thomas said.
"I don't know what it was. Probably thinking too much."
All of Thomas' drops came within four yards of the line of scrimmage, where significant yardage after the catch was a possibility. As he watched the tape and listened to his coaches, he saw the pattern.
"My main thing was trying to get the ball up the field too fast," he said. "so this week has been mainly (focused on) watch the ball in before you make the move. I've been doing that, catching balls on the sideline with my coaches, trying to fix the problem."
But while he's focused on that detail, he's tried to delete the memory of the drops from his mental DVR.
"Just erase it from your mind. You can't figure it out," Thomas said. "You know, you've got to let that go. It's done. Once you drop it, it's dropped. You go on to the next play."
Or the next game, as Thomas usually rebounds from sluggish performances with masterworks. He finished with 48 yards on four catches last week. That was his fifth sub-50-yard game since December 2012.
But his per-game averages in the last four games that followed sub-50-yard tallies are 6.25 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown. Given that Thomas has averaged 107.8 yards in his last four games against Kansas City -- including three games of more than 100 yards -- it would be no surprise if he has a similar rebound performance Sunday.
"(Week 1) was tough," said Thomas. "But it's over with now, and I go on to the next (game)."