Peyton Manning set an NFL record for touchdown passes in a single season on Sunday with a beautiful 25-yard strike to tight end Julius Thomas, who deserves credit for making a nice over-the-shoulder grab. However, Thomas almost blew one of his most important assignments after scoring.
When Thomas got back to his feet after securing the touchdown, he dropped the ball on the ground and went to celebrate. Fortunately for the third-year player out of Portland State, teammate Eric Decker was quick to scoop it up. Decker stuffed the ball under his jersey and headed toward the sideline to give it to Manning.
— Paige Miller (@paigemillerr24) December 23, 2013
“I dropped the ball so fast to do my usual thing and Deck picked the ball up so fast,” Thomas said, via Anwar S. Richardson of Yahoo! Sports. “I was like, ‘Why did Deck picked the ball up so fast?’ I’m not paying any attention and I came back to the sidelines and I’m sitting down on the bench and somebody said, ‘That was the one!’ Maybe I shouldn’t have dropped it so carelessly, I should’ve kept it.”
Crisis averted. Manning, who said he didn’t see Decker scoop the ball up and hide it under his jersey, joked that he was glad Thomas was unaware of the situation.
“Julius, it wouldn’t have surprised me if he had handed it to some babe up in the stands and tried to get her phone number in exchange for the ball,” Manning said. “That’d be right up Julius’ alley. That’s pretty in line with his thinking often times. Great catch, great route by him and, like I said, Decker’s catch was awesome, that’s probably one of the best ones of the year in my opinion.”
The fact that he used the word “babe” is so Peyton Manning it hurts. Kudos to Decker for paying attention. Thomas almost learned a valuable lesson the hard way.
Photo via @cjzero