Aside from a strip sack with six and a half minutes left before the half, Denver quarterback (QB) Drew Lock had the best NFL start of his career. The timing couldn’t have been better for Lock, as the young QB has been catching a lot of heat from fans and critics for his lackluster performances over Denver’s 4-8 season.
Lock needed a performance that would have critics and fans alike questioning their ire for him. Sunday morning’s performance did just that with Lock finishing the day with the third highest quarterback rating in Denver Broncos history, four touchdowns for 280 yards, ZERO interceptions and a 149.5 QB rating. Lock also averaged 9.6 yards a pass and found rookie wide received K.J. Hamler twice for touchdowns.
It’s understandable how some might say, “oh it’s just the Panthers who are 4-8 also,” but there’s no doubt that Lock’s near perfect game on Sunday was a huge improvement from past performances. You can see Lock’s improvements in checking down receivers, and making smarter decisions with the ball. Lock started to develop poor choices in ball placement, trying to make plays happen rather than being patient and accepting what the defense is willing to give up.
The tables were against Lock going into Sunday’s game as he hasn’t played well on the road, but whatever spark may have ignited the flame in him, is something that fans hope spills over into the remaining three games of the season. The Broncos have a almost impossible chance to make the playoffs they can still finish strong with two divisional games against the L.A. Chargers in L.A. (Sunday, December 27) and the Las Vegas Raiders at home on the 3rd of January.
Before their last two divisional games of the season, the Broncos will host the Buffalo Bills who are coming off an upset victory over the now 11-2 Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bills beat the Steelers in Buffalo 26-15. The 10-3 Buffalo Bills are favorites in Sunday’s matchup but the Broncos have been a pretty resilient team despite their 4-8 record, keeping pace with the Steelers in week two where the Broncos lost 21-26, or how about last weeks loss to the Chiefs in Arrowhead where Denver kept it close and had a chance at a beating the defending world champs.
While Denver will likely not be heading into the post-season this year, fans have been given a glimpse of what Drew Lock can actually do when he makes smart decisions with the ball. It may have taken him nearly a whole season to figure it out, fans have to be excited at the potential this team has when everyone is doing their job, and doing it well.
While the Broncos are far from the 2015 powerhouse they were nearly six years ago, they are certainly a team with a lot of young talent that is fun to watch when they go out and have fun themselves.