When the Denver Broncos needed a first down on Sunday, they could count on Demaryius Thomas. The wideout’s name appeared 12 times in the play-by-play log in a 26-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field, and in half of those instances Denver moved the chains.

Including one offensive pass interference penalty (away from the ball) that negated a first down, Thomas helped produce a net five of Denver’s 21 first downs on the day. He had four of the Broncos’ 10 passing first downs and led all receivers in the game with 98 yards. He helped convert a first down on every single third down in which he was targeted, including drawing a penalty for defensive pass interference.

Trevor Siemian targeted Thomas nine times officially in the game, with the wideout pulling in six catches. Of his three non-catches, he allowed just one incompletion due to coverage; the other two passes were either under- or overthrown. On several occasions, Thomas simply outworked and outmuscled his defender on the ball to make a catch.

Here’s a rundown of what happened each time Thomas etched his name into the game log Sunday:

Demaryius Thomas Play-by-Play Log for Sept. 24, 2017

1: (Second-and-10; BUF 40; 8:01 Q1) Incomplete, overthrown; QB pressured
2: (Third-and-nine; BUF 39; 2:48 Q1) Incomplete, coverage; drew DPI for a first down
3: (First-and-10; BUF 25; 10:36 Q2) Incomplete, drop; roughing the passer for a first down
4: (Second-and-nine; DEN 6; 6:01 Q2) Complete, along sideline; five-yard gain
5: (First-and-10; DEN 45; 2:23 Q2) Complete, crossing route; 11-yard gain for a first down
6: (Third-and-three; BUF 37; 1:32 Q2) Complete, along sideline; 21-yard gain for a first down
7: (Second-and-seven; BUF 10; 8:09 Q3) Incomplete, coverage on crossing route in end zone; QB pressured
8: (First-and-10; DEN 38; 13:45 Q4) Complete, crossing route; 23-yard gain for a first down
9: (Second-and-11; BUF 40; 12:37 Q4) Complete in flat; nine-yard gain
10: (Third-and-two; BUF 31; 11:56 Q4) Not targeted; OPI away from ball, negated a first down (illegal use of hands on next play gave DEN first down)
11: (First-and-10; BUF 36; 11:24 Q4) Incomplete, under-thrown; nearly intercepted
12: (Third-and-nine; DEN 23; 2:44 Q4) Complete, along sideline; 29-yard gain for a first down

Although the Broncos ultimately lost the game, it was a promising performance for Thomas who now has 236 yards on the season – good for 12th in the NFL through three games. His 12 first-down receptions are tied for seventh in the league, and his five receptions for 20 yards or more are tied for second.

Last season Thomas came up 217 yards short of becoming the first player in NFL history to record 90-plus catches and 1,300 yards in five consecutive seasons. (He did reach the first half of that mark with exactly 90 catches.)

Thomas is again on pace for a 90-plus receptions season (17 through three games) and more than 1,200 yards. More performances like the one on Sunday would put him right back on track to again reach that 90/1,300 plateau. In so doing, he’d be moving the chains with regularity – just like he did against the Bills.