Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday morning. The 35 year old enjoyed a 12 year career and played six years in Denver. His best years came in a Broncos uniform, where he totaled 5361 yards and 28 touchdowns. He ranks 10th in franchise history in receiving yards and 12th in receiving touchdowns. Let’s look back at some of my favorite moments of his Broncos career.
Super Bowl 50
Sanders played an integral role as the Broncos won their third Super Bowl in the 2015-16 season. That year he tallied 1135 receiving yards and six touchdowns. In the playoffs, he led the Broncos in receiving yards in all three games, including the Super Bowl victory. As the Broncos knocked off the Panthers, Sanders led all receivers with six catches for 83 yards.
On the Broncos first drive of the second half in Super Bowl 50, Sanders caught two passes for 47 yards, which helped the struggling offense get into field goal range and extend their lead to 16-7. The Broncos would eventually win the Super Bowl, 24-10.
Playing With Style
Broncos fans will long remember Sanders for his big-play ability, his infectious smile, and his famous touchdown celebration where he would take a bow in the end zone. Sanders quickly became a fan favorite because he played the game with style and a youthful exuberance. He was never one to shy away from the spotlight or celebrate after a big play.
2015 vs the Chiefs
Sept. 17, 2015 was the last time the Broncos defeated their bitter division rivals. The Thursday Night Football win in Kansas City was one of the most memorable games in the Broncos Super Bowl-winning season. Sanders had eight catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
The Broncos struggled early, down 14-0 with only a few minutes remaining in the first half. Sanders scored the Broncos first points of the night on a 16 yard touchdown from Peyton Manning. The always exciting receiver flipped in to the end zone and struck his famous ‘take a bow’ celebration.
With only 36 seconds left and the Broncs trailing 24-17, Sanders stepped up again. He caught the game-tying 19 yard touchdown pass, and Denver went on to win 31-24.
2016 Pro Bowl Season
After Manning retired in 2016 following the Super Bowl victory, the Broncos came upon tough times. They haven’t made the playoffs since, and struggled to find a franchise quarterback. However, Sanders was a bright spot. In 2016, he caught 79 passes for 1032 yards and five touchdowns and was selected to his second Pro Bowl.
I wish Sanders the best in his retirement, and thank him for all the great memories. He will go down as one of my favorite Broncos of all time.