TE Julius Thomas - Free Agent
|6-5, 246||Born: 6-27-1988||College: Portland St.||Drafted: Round 4, pick 129 (2011)|
2017 Week 2 vs LAC (3 / 3 / 26 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas caught three passes for 26 yards on three targets, but was more of an afterthought in the Dolphins passing game. Adam Gase's offense does like to target tight ends in the red zone, and that will be where Thomas sees the majority of his targets. Thomas did show that he still has something left in the tank on a ten yard catch, where he was able to shake off one defender before turning the ball up the field. He is not the same game breaking player he was in Denver, but that is also because he won't see the same opportunities. With the Dolphins have diverse options in the passing game, Thomas can certainly make his mark in single coverage, especially in the red zone where his size and catch radius is something that Jay Cutler can exploit.
2017 Week 3 vs NYJ (5 / 3 / 16 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas caught three passes for 16 yards on five targets. The five targets were a season high for Thomas, but that was also a function of Jay Cutler having to throw the ball 44 times. Thomas is a solid option, showing he can catch the ball in traffic, but it looks as though his previous injuries have robbed him of the athleticism we saw when he played in Denver.
2017 Week 4 vs NO (4 / 2 / 29 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas caught two passes for 29 yards on four targets against the Saints on Sunday. Thomas had the long gain of the day for the Dolphins offense, turning a short six yard catch into a 23 yard gain that went all the way down to the four yard line. Unfortunately, Thomas saw Jay Cutler target him on a jump ball on the very next play that was intercepted when Thomas was unable to get proper position on his defender, despite the fact that he had at least a five inch height advantage and forty pounds on his defender. This wasn't exactly Thomas's fault though, as Cutler did not give him time to establish position, nor did he give him time to make a play on a jump ball fade in the corner of the end zone. Cutler's pass was intercepted, and that ended the only red zone opportunity of the day for the Dolphins.
2017 Week 5 vs TEN (4 / 1 / 15 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas caught one of his four targets for 15 yards against a stout Titans secondary on Sunday. With DeVante Parker out with an injury, Thomas saw a target or two more than he normally would, but was unable to make them mean anything. Thomas's only catch showed that he had a little more left in the tank that I had originally thought, as he took a short pass over the middle and managed to fake out a defender, lowering his shoulder and running over a Titans defender before being tackled at the Tennessee five yard line. The play set up Jarvis Landry's touchdown, which ended up being the deciding factor in the game.
2017 Week 6 vs ATL (5 / 3 / 22 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas caught three passes for 22 yards on five targets against the Falcons. While Thomas has mainly be used in the short passing game, he did get targeted down the field once, but was unable to come down with the catch. With the exception of DeVante Parker, the Miami receivers are undersized, so Thomas is an important part of the Miami passing game, despite not seeing a heavy volume of targets. Three of Thomas's five targets came on third down, but two of those passes were incompletions (the only two passes that Thomas did not catch).
2017 Week 7 vs NYJ (4 / 3 / 58 / 0 rec)
Thomas caught a ball downfield to open the game on a nicely executed rollout play, but wasn't able to reel in another downfield target from Jay Cutler when the adjustment to the ball was too much for him. He later made a highlight reel one-handed catch on a ball from Moore and had a two-minute drill reception to give him his best fantasy day of the season, which isn't saying much.
2017 Week 8 vs BAL (3 / 2 / 2 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas caught two passes for two yards on three targets against the Ravens. Thomas was not a factor at all in this game, but it was not his fault. He was asked to block frequently against an aggressive Ravens pass rush that was daring the Dolphins to throw the ball all game. Thomas is not being used in the same capacity as we saw in Denver, although he has shown flashes of the athleticism that he displayed early in his career. The Dolphins passing game cannot consistently sustain more than two fantasy worthy receivers as they just don't pass the ball enough. Unfortunately for Thomas, he is the most likely victim.
2017 Week 9 vs OAK (8 / 6 / 84 / 1 rec)
Julius Thomas caught six of eight passes for 84 yards a touchdown, leading Dolphins receivers in receptions, yards and touchdowns. It was the first time that Thomas had seen five or more targets in a game, and he responded like the player we remember in Denver. He has a lost a step in terms of his speed, but he is still very quick for a big guy and runs precise routes. On Thomas's 15 yard touchdown, he lined up on the right side of the formation and ran a deep crossing route. Thomas made a subtle move to the inside of the field and instead of cutting sharply, he rounded his route so that he could be three yards deeper than the Raiders linebackers. Cutler delivered an accurate pass and Thomas made an easy touchdown catch, his first of the season.
2017 Week 10 vs CAR (5 / 2 / 8 / 1 rec)
Julius Thomas caught two passes for eight yards and a touchdown on five targets against the Panthers. Thomas's touchdown catch came on an interesting play where he lined up on the right side of the formation and ran behind his offensive line while Jay Cutler scrambled left and then threw him a shovel pass. Thomas was used mostly as a blocker against the Panthers and the small number of targets he did see were either thrown inaccurately by Cutler where he had no chance of making the catch, or dropped by Thomas, including one easy pass where he just took his eye off the ball trying to look downfield before securing the catch.
2017 Week 11 vs TB (4 / 4 / 30 / 0 rec)
Thomas was more involved with Matt Moore in during the second half. He had a few catches in the red zone and showed some stubbornness running after the catch, even breaking a tackle on one of his receptions.
2017 Week 12 vs NE (6 / 5 / 52 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas caught five passes for 52 yards on six targets against the Patriots. The 52 yards was the third most yards that Thomas has gained this year. He was targeted in the middle of the field and did get open frequently with the Patriots electing to put more men in the box and put pressure on Matt Moore. Thomas is more involved in the offense than he was in the first half of the season, but that doesn't mean much when you are the fourth or fifth option in the passing game. He does have a positive matchup against the Broncos next week, but it is hard to predict whether he will be worthy of playing in your fantasy matchup.
2017 Week 13 vs DEN (3 / 3 / 20 / 1 rec)
Julius Thomas caught all three of his targets for 21 yards and a touchdown. Thomas was targeted on a back shoulder fade in the red zone where he was lined up on the right side of the formation. He is too big for the average cornerback, but he also has the athleticism to line up on the outside and run a precise route as he did on this play. It says something that the Dolphins (and Jay Cutler) targeted Thomas on this type of route, and he remains a big part of their red zone offense. He doesn't quite have the upside to be a weekly fantasy play, but with touchdowns in three of his last five games he can be a desperation play.
2017 Week 14 vs NE (4 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas two of his four targets for 11 yards against the Patriots, although his stat line could have very easily been much bigger had Jay Cutler not missed him on two deep throws. The Dolphins lined Thomas up on the outside looking to exploit the matchup against the Patriots cornerbacks where he has the size and strength to outmuscle them down the field. On one such play, Thomas actually had a step on his defender but Cutler led him too far down the field. Cutler also had Thomas wide open down the field when the Patriots safeties took a poor angle, but once again he threw the ball too high for Thomas to corral and it went as an incompletion. Thomas also did not help his cause by fumbling the ball on one of his two catches, although he did recover the ball to keep the Dolphins drive alive. Thomas is never going to be a high volume receiver in the Dolphins offense, and he is nothing more than a touchdown dependent option at this point in the season.
2017 Week 15 vs BUF (4 / 2 / 15 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas caught two of four targets for 15 yards against the Bills on Sunday. Thomas is usually given one or two isolation plays where he lines up on the outside and has a chance to make a play down the field, he has only been able to take advantage of those plays once this season, while also drawing one pass interference call. Cutler likes to look his way in the red zone, but the Dolphins have not been down there nearly enough to make him a viable fantasy starter, and in this game, Thomas dropped what should have been an easy touchdown catch. Even worse, it looks as though he will be an off-season cap casualty, so the Dolphins coaching staff could be looking at some of the other younger tight ends on the roster in the last two games.
2016 Week 1 vs GB (5 / 5 / 64 / 1 rec)
Thomas had one of the best, if not the best, games of his Jaguar career from a consistency and efficiency standpoint. He did not drop a single target that came his way and showed his terrific versatility throughout the game, lining up both in-line, in the slot, and flexed out wide. He converted several first down receptions for the offense and was a constant threat up the seam of the defense. His big play of the day came when he was flexed out wide in the redzone and beat the defender by a step, creating a deep window for Bortles to place the touchdown pass in. If this game showed anything, it is that the Jaguars are going to use Thomas all over the field to ensure that they get the ball in his hands.
2016 Week 2 vs SD (7 / 4 / 71 / 0 rec)
Thomas, along with Hurns, was one of the view offensive players who showed up. They used him to stretch the middle of the field to some success but for some reason went away from it. He was able to get open on a go route near the end zone but Bortles overthrew him by a country mile. If you evaluate him with the context of his situation, he has had a very good start to the season.
2016 Week 3 vs BAL (5 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)
Thomas and Bortles just were not on the same page today. Thomas failed to create much separation and when he did, Bortles failed to capitalize. A day to forget.
2016 Week 6 vs CHI (4 / 2 / 28 / 0 rec)
Thomas did not have a catch until late in the game and he did not see a single red zone target.
2016 Week 7 vs OAK (7 / 3 / 20 / 1 rec)
The Jaguars tried to get Thomas involved, both early and often, but nothing is coming of it. Again, it has more to do with the quarterback play than the skill player. He did see multiple redzone targets for the first time all season, and his late touchdown was one of the best plays he has made as a Jaguar.
2016 Week 8 vs TEN (6 / 3 / 28 / 1 rec)
Thomas remains a reliable target in the redzone; that is where all of his touchdowns have come from. He does a good job of erasing some of Bortles inaccuracy but he is simply not being used to his full potential because of the lack of downfield passing from the offense as a whole.
2016 Week 9 vs KC (2 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)
Thomas is either catching a touchdown pass or he is doing absolutely nothing. He is looking like a major FA bust. He does not consistently get open, due to both lack of speed and effort.
2016 Week 10 vs HOU (10 / 6 / 24 / 1 rec)
Thomas got his weekly redzone target but he is useless between the 20s. Bortles can't get the ball to him and he does not break any tackles when they try to force him the ball. He has also been taken off the field constantly on non-passing downs.
2016 Week 11 vs DET (5 / 3 / 12 / 0 rec)
Another week, the same story for Thomas. They only use him on short routes, which gain nothing because he is terrible at getting YAC. The QB is too bad to get him the ball where he shines, and he is playing like a player who knows the season is a lost cause.
2015 Week 5 vs TB (2 / 2 / 20 / 0 rec)
Thomas suited up for the first time since week one of the preseason. He played no inline snaps, mixing in at slot, outside wide receiver, and as a wing tight end. His first target came on the second drive of the game, a mini-curl for about seven yards. He made a big 3rd down conversion, sitting in a hole in the zone on a Bortles scramble (he also drew an illegal hands to the face from the defender while running his route).
2015 Week 6 vs HOU (13 / 7 / 78 / 1 rec)
Thomas received a lot of targets to the detriment of the offense. Tight end continues to be a black hole for the Jaguars passing offense. Two of Bortles' interceptions came from targeting Thomas - one a predetermined throw/bad decision in the redzone and the second a miscommunication on a Stick/option route (likely Thomas' fault). He did catch a TD pass deep down the seam, splitting the safeties vs zone. He is a very finesse player that goes down easily on contact.
2015 Week 7 vs BUF (5 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
Thomas really had one noteworthy play in this game - a bobbled catch-and-run over the middle of the field, but was a big gainer. He also drew a defensive pass interference on a redzone target (endzone fade where he lined up from the slot). While he is lining up more as a tight end/wing, his primary usage still comes as an outside wide receiver.
2015 Week 9 vs NYJ (8 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)
Thomas remains a non-factor in the Jaguar offense, despite seeing a healthy target load and snap count. During the game, pictures started surfacing of Thomas looking overweight compared to last year, and on the field he does look bigger and more sluggish than he did while in Denver.
2015 Week 10 vs BAL (5 / 2 / 23 / 0 rec)
Another very quiet game for Thomas. He had a target along the sidelines on first drive, but Bortles placed it too far inside and the defender broke it up. Very nice third down conversion on a Bortles scramble in the second quarter.
2015 Week 11 vs TEN (8 / 5 / 28 / 1 rec)
Early involvement - first two targets of the game. One a deep shot play off play action. Slipped and fell in the open field (rainy game) on his third catch. He the game winning catch on a stick route from the five yard line.
2015 Week 12 vs SD (10 / 9 / 116 / 1 rec)
Thomas has been getting more and more productive every week, and had one of the best games of his career against San Diego. As Hurns continues to battle injuries, Thomas should theoretically keep assuming a larger share of the passing workload. Gus Bradley said in his press conference on Monday that Thomas looks to be going every play at full speed, which wasn't necessarily the case earlier in the season.
2015 Week 13 vs TEN (5 / 2 / 15 / 1 rec)
Like Lee, Thomas had a poor performance. He had an early drop on an open pass and couldn't bring his first redzone target down in bounds. He was also almost responsible for an interception on a play where he slipped on his break. He did score a touchdown on a play-action pop pass in the fourth quarter (same concept he almost scored on earlier in the game when he went out of bounds).
2015 Week 14 vs IND (7 / 5 / 54 / 1 rec)
Thomas was steadily involved in the offense in terms of targets throughout the day. He had a big catch-and-run in the two minute drill on a slant where he was lined up in the slot, 30 yard gain. He got targeted multiple times throughout the drive he ended up scoring on. His touchdown came inside the five where the Jaguars split him out wide on the backside and let him run a slant, where he could just use his body to box out the defensive back for an easy touchdown.
2015 Week 15 vs ATL (9 / 6 / 79 / 0 rec)
Thomas saw a ton of targets on the day but unfortunately did not make many big plays, being more of a short yardage target. He made an athletic catch along the left sideline for a long gain in the 2nd quarter, but this was the extent of the damage he did. He was able to separate and get open deep for what should have been a TD, but Bortles overthrew him. He looked like he is finally getting back into shape, but him and Bortles are clearly still not on the same page.
2015 Week 16 vs NO (2 / 2 / 12 / 0 rec)
This was a very quiet game for Thomas, as his only targets were short zone-beaters. He was also targeted on a Fade for a two-point conversion attempt, which was underthrown and intercepted.
2015 Week 17 vs HOU (6 / 2 / 12 / 0 rec)
Thomas didn't see many targets and left the game at one point due to injury. The targets he did see were of the short-yardage variety though he had one bad drop on a 3rd down that would have been enough to convert for a first down.
2014 Week 1 vs IND (8 / 7 / 104 / 3 rec)
For the second straight season, Julius Thomas exploded out of the gates with a 100-yard, multiple-touchdown game on national television to start the season. Thomas dominated everyone in the middle of Indianapolis' defense, scoring touchdowns against safety LaRon Landry and inside linebackers D'Qwell Jackson and Jerrell Freeman as none had the speed to keep up with him or bring him down after the catch. The lone pass in Thomas' direction to fall incomplete was an intermediate throw on 2nd-and-10 that glanced just off of his fingertips, but Thomas made up for it by converting 3rd-and-10 on the next play. There were only two real blemishes on an otherwise dominant performance. The first was a fumble after an impressive catch-and-run, but the ball took a very fortunate bounce and wound up back in Denver's hands for a first down, anyway. The second was an onside kick from the Colts that Thomas got his hands on but failed to secure, leading to an Indianapolis recovery.
2014 Week 2 vs KC (5 / 4 / 39 / 1 rec)
Against the Kansas City Chiefs, Julius Thomas had the opportunity to move around the formation a bit more than usual. Instead of mostly going over the middle, Thomas' targets came from all over the field, including one where he motioned into the backfield before the snap. Thomas also had a pair of targets on the outside, with one overthrown on a short 3rd down pass that had no hope of converting anyway, and the other resulting in a fade pass for a touchdown to open the game.
2014 Week 3 vs SEA (4 / 3 / 17 / 1 rec)
With Seattle sporting an impressive pair of safeties, Denver's game plan did not feature Julius Thomas as much as usual. All four of Julius' targets were close to the line of scrimmage. Julius came up with a nice conversion on 3rd down early, and had a potential touchdown reception that was just a bit low and away. Otherwise, he had a quiet day until Denver ran a deceptive shovel pass for a touchdown late in the game.
2014 Week 5 vs ARI (7 / 6 / 66 / 2 rec)
With Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders proving so effective against Arizona's cornerbacks, Peyton Manning did not look Julius Thomas' way often against the Arizona Cardinals. When Thomas did receive targets, though, he made them count; three of Thomas' targets came inside the red zone, and those targets resulted in two touchdowns and a third-down conversion as Arizona's safeties had no answer to Thomas' size on a short field. While Thomas remains one of the league's biggest mismatches in the passing game, his blocking continues to be atrocious. Thomas gave up a hurry, frequently lost at the point of attack in the run game, and committed an illegal chop block that negated a 77-yard touchdown pass and injured Cardinals defender Calais Campbell. While it appears he meant no harm with the block, Thomas is a danger to teammates and opponents alike when he is kept in to block instead of releasing into a pass pattern.
2014 Week 6 vs NYJ (6 / 4 / 51 / 2 rec)
Julius Thomas continues to make the most of his limited opportunities. He matched his season average with six targets against New York, but converted two of those six targets into touchdowns, giving him a league-leading nine for the season on just thirty targets. The fact that he is on pace to demolish scoring records is likely not lost on Thomas; after his second touchdown of the day, microphones picked up Julius yelling "It's so easy!" during his celebration.
2014 Week 7 vs SF (6 / 4 / 27 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas, Manning's favorite red-zone receiver this season, had a quiet night overall but came just inches away from securing the record-breaking touchdown pass. Lining up outside from the 1-yard line, Thomas drew single-coverage from a 49ers CB and managed to beat him, but the pass was just a little bit behind and Thomas could not quite bring it in. Outside of his near-miss, Thomas finished second on the team in targets but mostly just ran short routes against San Francisco's reserve linebackers; none of Thomas' four catches gained more than 10 yards.
2014 Week 8 vs SD (6 / 2 / 23 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas' quiet streak continued against the Chargers, as Thomas had just 6 targets for the third consecutive week, catching a season-low two passes. Thomas was held under 30 yards for the third time this season, and was held out of the end zone for the second straight week after scoring in each of the first five. Once again, Denver faced a team with injuries at cornerback and Julius Thomas was de-emphasized in favor of Denver's outside receivers.
2014 Week 9 vs NE (2 / 2 / 33 / 1 rec)
Julius Thomas continued his low-volume role in Denver offense, receiving just two targets against the New England Patriots. Thomas did earn his 10th touchdown of the season as, on 3rd-and-2, Denver surprised New England by going deep over the top. Thomas also converted a 3rd-and-10 on Denver's penultimate drive when the team was attempting to mount a desperate comeback. Otherwise, Manning never even looked his way against the middle of the New England defense.
2014 Week 10 vs OAK (7 / 6 / 63 / 2 rec)
After a week where he was shockingly uninvolved in the passing game, Julius Thomas returned to his usual role against the Oakland Raiders. Thomas had seven targets on Sunday, his sixth game of the season with between six and eight. He also extended his league-leading touchdown total to 12. Thomas' first touchdown came on a quick slant over the middle where Thomas used his superior size to drag two defenders into the end zone. Thomas' second touchdown came when Denver opted to go for it on 4th-and-1; Oakland's defense crowded the line of scrimmage, Peyton Manning surprised them by going down the field to Julius Thomas, and Thomas was able to run 32 yards untouched for the score.
2014 Week 11 vs STL (3 / 2 / 3 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas injured his ankle on Denver's second drive. His return was initially ruled as questionable, but at halftime the Broncos downgraded his status to "out" for the rest of the game. Despite that, reports after the game were generally positive, with his sprained ankle being termed "minor".
2014 Week 15 vs SD (2 / 1 / 30 / 0 rec)
In his first game back from an ankle injury that had sidelined him for three weeks, Julius Thomas received a very limited workload against the San Diego Chargers. Thomas played on less than half of Denver's offensive snaps, including just one of their first twelve, and ran only 10 routes all game. Thomas did have a beautiful catch 30 yards down the sideline where he showed off his impressive catch radius to convert 3rd-and-6.
2014 Week 16 vs CIN (6 / 2 / 33 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas played against the Bengals, but it seemed as if he's still not fully healthy, as he only made a half-hearted effort at several of his targets. His first target of the night was a short pass on 3rd-and-5 where Manning threw the ball into tight coverage and Thomas hardly fought the defender on the pass. Thomas had another pass later that was ripped right out of his hands for an interception. All told, he was on the field, but he looked like a far cry from the touchdown-scoring behemoth from early in the season.
2014 Week 17 vs OAK (0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas played on about half of Denver's offensive snaps against the Raiders, but only received one target all game. The one target didn't even wind up counting, as Oakland's defense committed a defensive holding penalty against Thomas, giving Denver five yards and the automatic first down.
2014 Week 19 vs IND (7 / 6 / 53 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas, who has been playing through injury for the latter half of the season, opened against the Colts with a phenomenal deep catch down the left sideline for 32 yards. Thomas nearly ran it into the end zone, but was forced out at the two yard line. He drew defensive holding on his next play to give Denver an extra yard, setting them up with first-and-goal on the 1. After that big splash, Thomas returned to his infrequently-targeted ways, with all six of his remaining targets coming within five yards of the line of scrimmage. Thomas didn't play poorly, but he didn't have any opportunities to make any great plays, either.
2013 Week 1 vs BAL (7 / 5 / 110 / 2 rec)
Outside of Peyton Manning, Julius Thomas was the only skill-position player on the field for every one of Denver's 74 offensive plays. Julius spent most of his evening blocking, only running a route on about a third of his snaps, but he made the most of those limited opportunities as he led all Broncos in receptions, yards, and touchdowns at halftime. Thomas was a huge mismatch in the middle of the field in the first half as Baltimore focused attention on shutting down Denver's outside receivers. Julius Thomas is so big, strong, and athletic that at times it's easy to mistake him for Denver's other Thomas, receiver Demaryius. As a blocker, Julius Thomas remains a work in progress. When he was moving forward in run blocking, Thomas did an adequate if unspectacular job. When asked to hold his ground in pass protection, Thomas was often overmatched, allowing several pressures on Peyton Manning through the night.
2013 Week 2 vs NYG (9 / 6 / 47 / 1 rec)
Once again, tight end Joel Dreessen could not dress for the game, and once again Julius Thomas became the only skill player other than Peyton Manning to play every offensive snap. Julius Thomas struggles mightily in pass protection, which means Denver is more likely to send him out into pass patterns, where he's one of Peyton Manning's favorite targets. The sure-handed Thomas didn't dissect the Giants as he did the Ravens, but he still finished his day with 47 yards and a touchdown.
2013 Week 3 vs OAK (4 / 3 / 37 / 1 rec)
Julius Thomas reached the end zone for a third consecutive week, but otherwise was an afterthought as Denver focused more on their other offensive weapons against Oakland. Despite playing almost every snap once again, Thomas saw just four targets, and he joined Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, and Knowshon Moreno with a drop of a well-thrown Manning pass. Interestingly, all four of Thomas' touchdowns this season have come on balls thrown short of the end zone where Thomas has had to run it in the rest of the way himself.
2013 Week 4 vs PHI (4 / 4 / 43 / 0 rec)
The return of Joel Dreessen and Denver's huge lead led to Julius Thomas seeing the sideline more against Philadelphia than he had all season long, as he appeared in just 62 of Denver's 76 offensive snaps. Nevertheless, Thomas remained just as involved in the passing game, as for the fourth consecutive game he was out in a pass pattern between 27 and 31 times. As expected, Denver's glut of offensive weapons has left Julius Thomas' targets inconsistent, but Thomas managed to haul in all four of his targets against Philadelphia, earning three first downs in the process, including a key conversion on 3rd-and-long on Denver's first drive. Even though he failed to score a touchdown for the first time all season, Denver made it clear that Julius Thomas remained an important part of their passing game.
2013 Week 5 vs DAL (12 / 9 / 122 / 2 rec)
After receiving only 8 targets in the last two games combined, Julius Thomas reminded everyone that he's still a matchup nightmare waiting to be unleashed. Dallas' linebackers had no answer for Thomas, who led all Broncos in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns. In addition to his 9 receptions, Thomas also drew 21-yard pass interference penalty. Thomas's first touchdown was a beautiful backside shovel pass ripped straight from the pages of Urban Meyer's playbook, and it shows the number of ways Denver is willing to use Thomas to get him involved. Thomas also proved unstoppable on slant routes over the middle, as no Dallas defender was capable of handling his size at the line of scrimmage. Both of Julius' touchdowns came on short passes and after-the-catch efforts, which means for the season each of his six touchdowns have come on passes that he caught outside the end zone and ran in himself.
2013 Week 6 vs JAX (7 / 4 / 22 / 1 rec)
Julius Thomas began his day on a high note, catching his first target of the game for a 3-yard touchdown reception on 3rd down. His final play of the game was another good one, as Thomas caught an 11 yard reception on 3rd and 8 and put Denver inside Jacksonville's 5 yard line. In between, though, Julius Thomas had a very forgettable outing. Thomas' other five targets yielded just two receptions for 8 yards and no first downs. Thomas briefly had another touchdown reception, but he slightly bobbled the ball as he was going out of bounds and the initial ruling was overturned on replay. The catch had a relatively high degree of difficulty, and Thomas made up for it by drawing a pass interference penalty in the end zone on the next snap. Julius Thomas' blocking, which has been up and down through the season, was just down against Jacksonville as Thomas struggles to show consistent improvement in the area. On a brighter note, even with blocking specialist Joel Dreessen back healthy, Denver still had Thomas play every snap on offense.
2013 Week 7 vs IND (6 / 5 / 41 / 1 rec)
Julius Thomas had a chance to show off his basketball background early, as his first target of the day was a high pass over the middle in 3rd and 6 that Thomas converted for a 12-yard touchdown. Thomas managed to grab the ball and immediately secure it with just his fingertips before his momentum carried him out of the back of the end zone. After that, targets were hard to come by on the day, as Thomas drew just 6 of Peyton Manning's 49 pass attempts. Outside of his first touchdown, Thomas did not do much to distinguish himself as a receiver, but he did get manhandled in pass protection late; after Denver get the ball back while down just 6 points, Thomas allowed his defender to get a hand on Manning's arm to force an interception, ending Denver's last best chance at a victory. Thomas drew some tough assignments in pass protection, as Denver several times left him one-on-one on an island, but ultimately, while he is a weapon as a receiver, he is still struggling mightily with his blocking.
2013 Week 8 vs WAS (3 / 3 / 29 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas' day was cut short by an ankle injury early in the 3rd quarter. Prior to his injury, Thomas had been targeted three times, hauling in all three for 29 yards, including a 19-yard catch-and-run conversion of 3rd and 1 to set up Denver's first touchdown of the day. Thomas sounded optimistic after the game, but the team scheduled an MRI for his ankle on Monday. In Thomas' absence, Denver relied more heavily on blocking specialist Joel Dreessen, who did manage to get open for a 1-yard touchdown on 4th and goal.
2013 Week 10 vs SD (5 / 3 / 96 / 1 rec)
Julius Thomas didn't receive many looks in the passing game, but he made the most of the targets he got. All three of Thomas' receptions converted for a new set of downs, including a 4-yard gain on 3rd and 3. One of the incomplete passes thrown Thomas' way was overthrown, while the second was well defended by the Chargers. The highlight of his day, however, and the difference between a forgettable and a fantastic game, came on Denver's 3rd play from scrimmage. Denver ran a play fake and Manning did a simple toss to a wide-open Thomas in the flat after San Diego's defense bit. Thomas continued on and managed to squeeze through a very tight window between a blocker and the sideline, tight-roping as he went, before reaching the open field and turning on the jets. The result was a 74-yard touchdown, with 70 of those yards coming after the catch. Aside from his work as a receiver, Denver dramatically reduced Thomas' work as a blocker, keeping him in for pass protection on just one of his 61 snaps.
2013 Week 11 vs KC (5 / 3 / 43 / 1 rec)
Julius was used sparingly against the Chiefs, but he demonstrated what a tough matchup he is on his first reception of the night. Safety Eric Berry played him well, but Thomas managed to use his massive frame to block Berry out for the reception and then run the ball into the end zone for his 10th touchdown of the year. Thomas also added 34 more yards and a pair of first downs on two more receptions before halftime. In the third quarter, Thomas received only two targets, both of which were incomplete on 3rd down. During the latter play, Thomas appeared to hyperextend his knee, and trainers came on the field to check him out. Thomas hobbled off the field under his own power and went into the locker room to get checked out. He returned the sidelines shortly thereafter and even played a couple more snaps before deciding that he couldn't play through his injury. Denver then shut him down for the rest of the night.
2013 Week 14 vs TEN (7 / 5 / 35 / 1 rec)
Julius Thomas reached the end zone again, but otherwise had a poor showing against the Tennessee Titans. Outside of his touchdown, Thomas' seven targets produced just one first down, and his 7 yards per reception were the second lowest of the season. More, Thomas' blocking woes continue to haunt him. Denver rarely keeps him in to block on passing plays, but on running plays, Thomas was frequently a liability against a struggling Titans run defense.
2013 Week 15 vs SD (8 / 4 / 49 / 0 rec)
With Wes Welker's concussion leaving Denver lacking options in the intermediate area and over the middle of the field, Julius Thomas received his largest workload since week 5 against Dallas, and Thomas' 8 targets ranked second on the team. Julius Thomas started the day off very well, netting a pair of first downs and 33 receiving yards on the opening drive as Denver marched down for a touchdown, but those would be his last two successful plays of the day, as Thomas was a frequent target on Denver's failed 3rd down attempts. In addition, Thomas remains a very poor run blocker, and also played a role in the struggles of Denver's ground game.
2013 Week 16 vs HOU (8 / 6 / 78 / 1 rec)
With Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker proving too much for Houston to handle, Julius Thomas was once again able to feast on the lessened attention he received. Julius Thomas was targeted on a 4th-and-3 attempt, and he caught the ball for two yards, but he took a step backwards trying to avoid the tackler when he could have converted by simply lowering his shoulder and pushing for the final yard. Otherwise, Denver moved him around to get him some favorable match ups and then took advantage both deep and short. Denver managed to get Thomas lined up with J.J. Watt in coverage, which resulted in a deep throw that fell incomplete. On Peyton Manning's last touchdown of the day, Denver also managed to get Julius Thomas in single coverage with a linebacker with no safety help over top, and Peyton Manning tossed a fade for an easy 25-yard score.
2013 Week 17 vs OAK (5 / 5 / 36 / 0 rec)
Julius Thomas caught all five of the passes thrown his way against the Oakland raiders, three of them gaining a new set of downs and the other two setting Denver up for a much easier conversion on the next play. He wasn't featured as heavily in the passing game as in most weeks, and he didn't have a chance to do much damage with the ball in his hands, but he was a reliable target who helped keep Denver's offense moving. Unfortunately, Julius Thomas continued to struggle with blocking assignments, which has been his big weakness all season long. Several unsuccessful Denver runs came from Thomas failing to seal his edge properly. Unlike most offensive starters, Julius Thomas continued to play with the second team offense after halftime, finally earning a rest when the fourth quarter rolled around.
2013 Week 19 vs SD (7 / 6 / 76 / 0 rec)
In Denver's last meeting with the Chargers, Eric Weddle held Julius Thomas in check. In the divisional round, the return of Wes Welker kept Weddle's focus elsewhere, and allowed Julius Thomas to lead all Broncos in receiving yards. Thomas was workmanlike on the day, hauling in 6 of the 7 passes thrown his way, with the exception being one of Denver's 5 dropped passes on the day. Julius Thomas was responsible for a turnover to start the 2nd quarter after the official ruled that he caught the ball and fumbled, but replays were inconclusive and it seemed as if the pass could have just as easily been ruled incomplete. Regardless, Julius made up for it late, as a blown coverage on 3rd-and-17 allowed Thomas to get open for a 19-yard conversion. Three plays later, Thomas caught a 9-yard gain on 3rd-and-6 to effectively end San Diego's last hope for a comeback.
2013 Week 20 vs NE (11 / 8 / 85 / 0 rec)
Denver's game plan against the Patriots called for Julius Thomas to be featured early and often, as Thomas' 11 targets and 8 receptions both led the team. With the running game struggling to gain traction, Denver relied on short passes to Julius Thomas to pick up short gains on early downs, with Thomas netting four targets on first down in the first half. In the second half, Peyton Manning began targeting Julius Thomas more in the intermediate-to-deep zones, as Thomas gained 71 of his 84 yards after halftime. He proved a difficult matchup for New England's defense and had a strong game all around, although the biggest blemish was a dropped touchdown pass on 3rd and 1 in the 4th quarter, forcing Denver to settle for a field goal and setting the stage for New England to make things close late in the game.
2013 Week 21 vs SEA (6 / 4 / 27 / 0 rec)
Like most Broncos, Julius Thomas found it tough sledding against the fearsome Seattle Seahawks defense in the Super Bowl. Thomas' first reception of the game came on 3rd and 5, and Seattle announced that things were not going to go his way as they immediately swarmed the powerful tight end after a 3-yard reception, preventing any yards after the reception. The rest of the game for Thomas mostly consisted of him struggling to get open against Seattle's talented safeties. Thomas was the target on Manning's first interception, but the ball was tipped slightly and he was badly overthrown. Thomas' year-long struggles blocking for the running game also reared their head, as Thomas joined the rest of his offensive teammates with one of his worst showings of the year.
2011 Week 1 vs OAK (3 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Thomas got a few targets and had a catch nullified by penalty, but overall the team didn't seem to want to use him much on this night.
2011 Week 2 vs CIN (1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
The rookie's only catch of the day came when Orton rolled out to the right and fired a pass to him. Thomas showed good balance along the sideline and avoided a tackler. His involvement was mainly as a blocker as the Broncos had to rely on the ground game given the situation with their wide receivers.
2011 Week 9 vs OAK (2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Thomas came back for his first game since his high ankle sprain. Although he didn't make any catches out there, he got open twice on two deep targets but both times Tebow missed badly