1 of 2
Joe Mahoney, Associated Press
Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) breaks away from Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Ryan Mundy (29) for the winning touchdown in overtime of an NFL wild card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Denver. The Broncos won 30-23.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Betrayed by his body, it took Demaryius Thomas until the end of his second NFL season to validate his status as the first wide receiver selected in the 2010 draft, ahead of Dallas' Dez Bryant.

Now he's a household name, despite playing in Denver's read-option offense, where wide receivers serve more as blockers and decoys than pass-catchers.

Thomas ended the fastest overtime in NFL history — 11 seconds — with the longest winning touchdown in any playoff game ever, his electrifying 80-yard catch Sunday from Tim Tebow sending the Denver Broncos to a 29-23 win over Pittsburgh.

Dogged by a broken foot, sprained ankle, concussion, torn Achilles and fractured finger since turning pro, Thomas said Monday he never doubted he'd regain his health and prove he was a worthy first-rounder.