Posted by Scot Berggren
Thursday, August 13, 2015 - 5:50pm
After playing in Pittsburgh for his first five NFL seasons, Emmanuel Sanders burst on the scene last year, his first in Denver. He finished with 101 grabs for over 1,400 yards and nine TDs – all career highs. The Broncos brass wanted to get him the ball in whatever way possible, which also included eight rushing attempts for 44 yards. He posted seven 100-yard games. Of the 141 times Peyton Manning looked his way, Sanders made the reception over 71 percent of the time. He has remained healthy, not missing a game the past three seasons.
Even at just 5’11 and 180 pounds, Emmanuel goes all out on every play, which causes him to get hit hard and bounced around by defensive backs. As the Broncos established their running game during the past month-and-a-half of last season, Sanders numbers definitely dropped off. Over the final six contests – including the playoff loss to the Colts – he averaged only 62 receiving yards per game.
With Gary Kubiak calling the plays, the secondary WR in the system has been pretty average, as only twice in nine years has he had two top 36 PPR WRs in the same season. However, Kubiak’s never had such a dynamic duo like Demaryius Thomas and Sanders, to go along with one of the best all-time in Peyton Manning. With Julius Thomas and Wes Welker no longer wearing Bronco orange, Manning’s main options will be his terrific WRs and TE Owen Daniels. While his numbers will likely take a bit of a hit from last year, Sanders should again be targeted well over 100 times and produce another 1,200 yard season.