Denver receivers click with QB Peyton Manning
The Denver Broncos possess one of the most talented young receiver tandem in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, a pair of first-round picks in the 2010 drafts have since exponentially developed their game while building strong chemistry with starting quarterback Peyton Manning.
"They are dangerous. They've got the whole package and they've got a guy who can get them the ball,” said Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano. “They understand that when we signed Peyton, the opportunity presented itself to them… It's a dream come true for those guys.”
“From the first day they got here,” added Greg Schiano, “they're one of the first guys on the field and one of the last guys to leave every day.”
Demaryius Thomas has 1,015 yards and 61 receptions into the season, while Eric Decker is currently matching his last season’s total in receptions and eight touchdowns.
The Denver Broncos also have veteran presence in the receiving corps with 36-year-old Brandon Stokley, who has four years’ experience playing alongside Peyton Manning in Indianapolis. Brandon Stokley has 36 receptions and 24 touchdowns in the season, but us listed as questionable for Sunday’s game due to hip and wrist injuries.
Sunday’s exciting game at Sports Authority Field will feature two of NFL’s most experienced defensive backs.
Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey leads the league with 51 interceptions and 199 pass breakups since he entered the league in 1999.
"Champ Bailey's still got it. He's not 24 anymore, but he's still got it,” said Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams.
On the other side, Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Ronde Barber, who was moved to safety after 15 years at the cornerback spot is only two pass breakups short of Champ Bailey’s record. Ronde Barber is the only player in league history to amass at least 25 sacks (28) as well as 40 picks (47), and is currently leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with four interceptions this season.
Although Champ will be no longer direct competition with Ronde Barber, he plans keep a close eye on the five-time Pro-Bowl selection’s exploits Sunday.
"I admire the way he's been able to play at a high level,'' stated Champ Bailey. “I do look up to him, pay attention to how he's playing and what he's doing.''
Manning’s arm strength
Peyton Manning’s nine touchdowns and two intercepts this season has kept the Denver Broncos at a 124-37 scoring advantage during the fourth quarter.
Still critics have questioned one of the only four-time MVP in league history Peyton Manning’s arm strength and ability to accurately zip passes to targets.
"Those people that say that, I'm not sure they ever coached or played against him,’’ stated Greg Schiano. “He's beat a lot of people. His arm looks strong to me.''