COMMENTARY| Catch the ball, handsome.
I don't care how good looking Eric Decker is, or how good looking Jessie James is in the stands at Sports Authority Field, he needs to hang on to the football.
The University of Minnesota-product is tied for eighth in the National Football League in passes dropped. He has dropped six balls this season, and those are just the ones officially ruled drops--he has a handful of others that he should have hung on to.
It is not just Decker. In fact, Decker is not even the leader on the team in dropped passes. That dubious honor currently is held by Demaryius Thomas, who has dropped seven Peyton Manning passes in 2012. The pair of young receivers leads a team that has dropped 24 passes this season.
This isn't a new thing for the pair. In 2011, Decker had nine drops in 53 catchable targets, that means Decker dropped just under 17% of the passes he should've caught. Thomas dropped five of the 32 catchable balls, a 13.5% drop rate. Not good, fellas.
Decker has been the Broncos biggest scoring threat through the air, scoring eight touchdowns on 54 receptions for 685 yards. Undoubtedly, if Decker had hung on to those six passes, he would be sitting at 60 receptions and 10 touchdowns.
Drops have been the biggest Achilles heel to the Broncos offense. The Broncos don't have a sure-handed receiver outside of Brandon Stokley.
If Decker, Thomas and the rest of the receiving corps want a lesson on how to catch the football, just watch Stokley.
Reconnected with former Indy teammate Peyton Manning, Stokley has just one drop in 47 targets. He catches 76.6% of the balls thrown in his direction, tied for seventh-best in the league.
Stokley might not be the big-play threat that Decker and Thomas have developed into, but Manning is going to trust his hands before anyone else's. Plus, he gets a first down on 51.1% of his touches.
Manning is currently 277-for-409 (67.7%) for 3,260 yards and 26 scores. If the Broncos receivers cut their drops in half, Manning would be sitting at a 70.6% completion percentage (289-for-409) with at least one more touchdown pass.
While the Broncos have managed an 8-3 record, and a six-game winning streak recently, with the absence of Willis McGahee in the backfield, Knowshon Moreno needs to run and the receivers--namely Decker and Thomas--need to hang on to catchable balls.
Cody is a lifelong Denver Broncos fan living in the Colorado area. He has stayed loyal to orange and blue from Elway to Plummer, Cutler through Tebow and now, finally, Peyton Manning.