Emmanuel Sanders had the Chargers reeling early and often, and Juwan Thompson delivered the knockout blows.
That duo combined for five touchdowns in Denver’s 35-21 win over San Diego on Thursday, with Sanders scoring the first three touchdowns, and Thompson hammering home the final two.
“It’s a blessing,” Thompson said on Ferrall on the Bench. “It’s the package that they called. When we get down there, it can go either way. I can end up blocking for (Ronnie) Hillman, or he can pull the defense away so I can get in there. You never really know what we’re going to call. But this week we planned on it happening. (We) made the call and we got in there twice.”
Thompson’s 2-yard score in the third quarter made it 28-7, and his 1-yard score in the fourth made it 35-14. He finished with seven carries for 24 yards, as the Broncos (6-1) have won four straight – all by double digits.
“It’s a blessing,” reiterated Thompson, an undrafted rookie. “I’m just trying to make the best of it and continue to learn and continue to get better as a player and as a teammate so I can do what I can to help the team win.”
Sanders has had that same mindset. He finished with game-highs in catches (nine), yards (120) and touchdowns (three). After failing to score a touchdown in each of his first five games, he now has four in the last two.
“He’s probably the fastest guy on the team and he continues to show it,” Thompson said. “And he’s been patiently waiting for those touchdowns. He has a lot of yards and he’s been waiting to get his time in the end zone and it just so happened that it’s three times tonight.”
Thompson, who played at Duke, has never played on a team with the offensive firepower of the Broncos.
“Not at all,” he said. “There was a point at Duke where we had like three receivers that were pretty close to 1,000 yards or at least 100 catches each. But when they came to Duke last year and I noticed who those guys were, I was like, that’s a lot of different weapons. You can’t double everyone, but then you’re really going to have problems. I mean, you have Julius (Thomas) in there, too. So it’s like, top tight end, top receivers, top slot and then a top quarterback? It’s like, woah. What can you do? You really have to think of something on defense.”
The Broncos play their next three on the road, but the next one is the toughest of all: at Foxboro on Nov. 2. Win or lose, the Broncos have a great chance of getting home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but with Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, it’s always special – and perhaps even a little personal.
“Every day, we have a chance,” Thompson said. “Every game that we come into, it’s always 50/50. You’re in the NFL, where a lot of guys are good and you never know how the game is going to go. It depends on how the cards are playing, but at the end of the day, we’re going to continue to play Broncos football. We’re going to remain humble and continue to play football the way we play football.”