For some good news this week, Emmanuel Sanders has broken the team’s two-year drought of a Denver Broncos player becoming a conference standout after being named AFC Offensive Player of the Week today for his performance in Denver’s 45-10 win against the Arizona Cardinals.
The last time a Bronco won an AFC Player of the Week award was Justin Simmons for special teams in 2016.
Sanders totaled six receptions for 102 yards with one touchdown, and he threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Courtland Sutton - becoming the first player since John Elway in 1986 to throw and catch a TD pass in the same game.
“Definitely throw. How often do you get to throw a touchdown pass?” Sanders said after the game on which kind of touchdown score he preferred, adding that his arm needed some ice though. “I had to go and apologize to John. It feels good. That pass right there is called the pass right. What a great call by Bill Musgrave. We were able to execute for a touchdown, so it felt good.”
The Arizona game also marked Sanders’ 18th career 100-yard receiving game and third this season.
Sanders, who rushed for a 35-yard touchdown in Week 3 against Baltimore, is just the fifth wide receiver since the 1970 NFL merger to record a touchdown throwing, receiving and rushing in the same season. No. 10 is just the seventh Bronco ever to accomplish that feat.
Earning his first conference recognition in his career, Sanders also did his second front flip into the end zone - despite having promised not to do that again.
“I know, man. I caught it and I was like ‘Screw it’. We’re having fun out here right, Steve? That’s what it’s about, man. Having fun and playing football,” Sanders said after the game. “That’s how you win games. To catch that pass, I didn’t have to do anything but run straight. It was probably one of the easiest touchdown passes I’ve caught in terms of a deep ball. [Case Keenum] made it easy for me.”
Sanders is the seventh Broncos wide receiver to be named AFC Offensive Player of the Week since the award was initiated by the NFL in 1984, joining Demaryius Thomas (2014), Eric Decker (2013), Brandon Marshall (2009), Rod Smith (2005), Anthony Miller (1995) and Vance Johnson (1989).
Now if only the NFL had recognized Von Miller’s two strip sacks, one fumble recovery and four QB hits as DPOW-worthy.