Numbers, though, weren't the first thing Smith and McCaffrey mentioned when asked what Thomas and Decker have in common with them.
"I was blessed to play alongside a guy like Rod because of his hard work and his unselfishness," McCaffrey said. "And it's not always that way in the league. I think Demaryius and Eric are both hardworking, likable guys. Unselfish. They work hard in the run game. They're good teammates.
"There are selfish receivers who want the ball all the time. But when you want to win championships, you can't worry about how you only got targeted two times one
Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is ready to make the catch as Raiders cornerback Ron Bartell watches Dec. 6 in Oakland, Calif. (John Leyba, The Denver Post)
week because you know when you have a guy like Peyton Manning, he's going to go to the open receiver. He trusts all of his weapons."
The presence of Manning brings up another similarity.
"About the only way I would compare is we played with a guaranteed Hall of Famer, just like those guys are playing with a guaranteed Hall of Famer," Smith said, referring to Elway then and Manning now. "Not that you don't have the talent, but your game gets elevated when you play with a guy like that."
Double trouble for defenses
People might have it wrong about NFL receivers. The team with the best receiver in 2011 was not Detroit with Calvin Johnson. It was the Super Bowl champion New York Giants with Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.
The most lethal receiver in 2008 was not Houston's Andre Johnson, even though he led the league in receptions and yards. It was Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin and Pittsburgh's Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes. Those two receiving tandems wound up squaring off in one of the most exciting games in Super Bowl history.
Brandon Marshall had three consecutive 100-catch seasons for the Broncos from 2007-09. What did that get the Broncos besides 7-9, 8-8 and 8-8?
"You've got to have two," Thomas said.
Demaryius and Decker, Decker and Demaryius aren't just a tandem that splits wide to each side of Manning. As rookies in 2010, Decker, a third-round draft pick, shared the home owned by the first-round pick, Thomas.
Read more: Broncos' Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas have gift of grab, just like two Denver legends - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci...#ixzz2F2uEzP7q