DENVER (CBS4) – There’s one notable record a Denver Broncos receiver could break this season. And not just break. Crush. Destroy. Annihilate.
Julius Thomas, with nine receiving touchdowns this season, is on an astonishing pace to obliterate the team’s single-season mark for touchdowns catches.
Assuming he maintains his 1.8 touchdowns a game, he’d finish with roughly 29 — more than double the record of 14 held by Demaryius Thomas (2013) and Anthony Miller (1995).
But records like that are too obvious to mention. What about the more unusual marks that could fall this season? Here’s a look at five single-season records that, if they’re extinguished, would make for good water-cooler conversation.
Highest Home Attendance
614,977 fans attended the Broncos’ eight regular season home games in 2013. They’ve played only three so far this season, but if they maintain their pace, they’ll set another attendance mark with 615,291.
The Broncos dipped below 600,000 fans in a season only once since 1999.
Fewest Fumbles Lost
The Broncos have lost just six fumbles twice, in 1998 and 2003, a team best. They’ve only turned the ball over on the ground once this season. If they keep that up, they’ll surrender roughly three fumbles to set a new mark.
Keep in mind, though: The Broncos’ defense has also only recovered one fumble this season so far, so if they don’t start pouncing on more, they’ll set another record — one much more ignoble — for the fewest recovered. That mark is seven in 2008.
Most Penalties Committed
But while the Broncos have excelled in not putting the ball on the ground, they’re collecting a lot of yellow laundry. In 1978, the Broncos committed 132 penalties, the most in a season in team history. Officials have flagged them 40 times this season, and on that pace, they’d be guilty 128 times — not too far off the record. It’ll depend on the team that shows up — the one that committed four against the Seahawks or the one that had 11 each against the Chiefs and Jets.
Most Interceptions Returned For A Touchdown By A Single Player
When Aqib Talib took an interception to the house on Sunday and stuffed any chance at a Jets’ rally, he drew closer to a Broncos record that’s equally difficult and easy to break — depending on how you view it.
If he maintains his pace — and, sure, that’s an odd way to describe it — he’ll have three before the season ends. That would set a Broncos record. Calling that a “pace” is strange, of course: There’s no way to tell if Talib will even pick off another pass, let alone return one for a touchdown. That said, he’s only one from tying the team record, and there’s a lot of football left to play.
In NFL history, three players have scored four touchdowns off picks in one season, and 24 have three pick-6 seasons. Seven Broncos have returned two picks for scores in one season, Chris Harris doing it most recently in 2012.
Most Yards Per Punt
Through five games, punter Britton Colquitt has averaged 46.3 yards per kick, close to his personal and team best of 47.4.
Colquitt broke the team mark in 2011. That season, he also kicked a team-record 4,783 yards on 101 punts, second in Broncos history.
Of course, a punter’s average depends on a lot, and it’s not just his leg strength. Where the Broncos punt from is significant, and if the Broncos kick often from their own side of the field the rest of the season, Colquitt could increase his average.
Broncos’ punters have kicked for more than 46 yards per punt over a season only seven times in team history.
– Written by Tim Skillern for CBSDenver.com