The Broncos wide receivers made some rare ripples in the pond this past week when they said they needed the ball more. Sanders went as far as to say the Broncos needed to take a look at the playcalling if "things don’t work."
The Broncos looked at Sanders and Thomas plenty Sunday, with both going over 100 yards receiving, and appeared to take a long look at the playcalling as well in a 29-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Paul Brown Stadium.
Quarterback Trevor Siemian, obviously, was also prominent in the game plan in the first road start of his career. Siemian topped 300 yards passing and threw four touchdown passes. Siemian was especially dialed-in with Sanders in the early going, as seven of first 13 completions went to him. Sanders also caught both of Siemian’s touchdown passes in the first half. Siemian closed the deal with a 55-yard touchdown pass to Thomas in the game's closing minutes.
The 100-yard receiving games were the first this season for Sanders and Thomas, and they came against a Bengals defense that came in ranked last in the league in run defense.
The Broncos sported a bevy of three-, four- and even five-wide-receiver looks on the day with Siemian in the shotgun and throwing in several short-yardage situations. It all meant that by the end of the third quarter, the Broncos had run the ball just 13 times for 40 yards, and Siemian, who led a scoring drive just before halftime as well as a 13-play affair in the fourth quarter, threw four touchdown passes overall.
Still, a hot, humid day had the feel of an escape at times for the 3-0 Broncos. Siemian, who has lived on the edge at times with several near interceptions this season, did so again Sunday. The Bengals missed two chances to intercept Siemian on a Broncos scoring drive just before halftime. One time was on a wobbly popup after Siemian’s arm was hit on the throw. But Bengals defenders, including linebacker Rey Maualuga, collided as the ball fell to the turf. Bengals safety Shawn Williams dropped a potential interception on the same drive only to see the Broncos turn that into a touchdown six plays later.
Right tackle Donald Stephenson didn't play because of a calf injury, and left tackle Russell Okung left the game in the first half with a back injury before he returned to play the entire second half.