The Denver Broncos had every reason to believe they would leave Empower Field with a win on Sunday. The Raiders had another idea.Embed from Getty Images
The Denver Broncos came into a virtual must-win game against a team in turmoil and simply didn’t show up at home. The Raiders were embroiled in the Jon Gruden controversy that lead to his resignation mid-week. Defensive End Carl Nassib (the only openly gay NFL player) had to take a personal day to process what his coach had said in private. They elevated their Special Teams coach Rich Bisaccia into the Interim Head Coaching role. The Raiders were down multiple defensive backs. Both Raiders starting defensive tackles were out. Yet they still were able to slap the Broncos around in their house. But as I warned in my preview of the game here, they should not have been taken lightly.
For the second week in a row, Teddy and the Broncos Offense lights up a prevent defense in garbage time. And for the 4th week in a row, the Teddy Stans were out in full throat making excuses for why he was failing. It’s the coaching staff, it’s the defense, it’s everything but Teddy. They will say he brought the Broncos back again, despite the fact they lost. They point to the 330+ yards and 3 touchdowns without mentioning the 4 turnovers. Or if they do mention them, there are a million excuses why they weren’t his fault.Embed from Getty Images
Some have claimed that Drew got all the same excuses, but not a single tweet, post, or any other medium has been produced. Yes, some have made the observation that caveats are needed for a young QB that was thrust in the middle of COVID, bad coaching, and so many other factors outside of his control. I have never seen anyone try to excuse away 4 turnovers that were all blatantly on the Lock in any forum. The defense being bad has nothing to do with Teddy under/overthrowing receivers or putting the ball on the deck.
Teddy Trolls on the other hand have literally said things like “Drew ain’t the guy, he had 55 net yards before the final drive against the Ravens.” And never mention that was over less than 2 quarters against one of the best teams in the league. Or they will try the trope of “one player can’t lose a TEAM sport” like that’s some type of trump card. Or “where was YOUR guy?! That’s right, he’s on the bench!”. Kurt Warner and Warren Moon were run out of the league before they could start initially, Peyton Manning was benched, John Elway was benched. Rich Gannon and Brad Johnson won an MVP and Super Bowl after 30.Embed from Getty Images
Now I’m not saying drew is Warner, Moon, Manning, or Elway. But he damn sure could be a Rich Gannon or Brad Johnson. Drew is still only 24 while dripping with raw talent, but somehow he has less potential than a physically limited journeyman that has a losing career record over 4 teams? This is where my consternation comes from. How do you say that with a straight face, let alone mean it with your entire soul?
Here is a side by side look of Drew Lock and those two QB’s courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com:Embed from Getty Images
Drew outpaces both in almost every category even with their best years included. This is why I believe the statement “The NFL kills more QB careers than they develop” is 100% correct. But here the Broncos are with a QB that has 6 turnovers in his last 5 quarters. The only thing that changed was the level of competition. A starting QB is supposed to raise all boats. This QB is doing nothing but sinking them for 3 weeks straight. As I stated on the Breakin’ Broncos podcast, the only reason teddy has some decent end-of-game stats is that he threw the ball 49 times. Derek Carr had more yards on half the attempts. Derek had a great game, Teddy was abysmal.
People will also claim the o-line is the problem. I will point out that he has the 5th longest average Time To Throw after the snap of all qualifying QB’s. That is not an o-line problem, that’s a QB problem. Teddy has been regressing since the end of the Jacksonville game. Which is a team that has given up career games to just about every QB they have faced over the last 2 years. This is also the only game where you can’t really nitpick Teddy’s performance. But the only QB’s to not get at least 300 yards against this year’s Jags D are Tyrod Taylor (291) and Ryan Tannehill (195). Tannehill didn’t need to, Derrick Henry had 130 yards rushing and 3 TDs. The Titans fell just short of 200 yards rushing.Embed from Getty Images
But that’s enough about QB’s let’s talk about that Broncos defense because the Teddy Stans are right about one thing. This defense has stunk the last two weeks. They allowed 2 of the 5 worst run offenses in Pittsburgh and Las Vegas to outpace their season averages by at least 40 yards. The highest-paid secondary in the league was also torched by Carr as mentioned for 341 yards on 18/27 throwing with 2 touchdowns. I will never understand how this defense regressed so much so quickly.
This was supposed to be the strength of this squad and now it’s becoming a liability. I believe a short week against the Browns who will have Case Keenum starting at QB instead of Baker Mayfield. Where neither team have the time to install an extensive game plan and will be running a basic scheme should help this unit to regroup and get back the confidence they seemed to have lost over the last 3 losses. It reminds me a lot of how the defense would lose confidence and essentially give up, allowing the opponent to run up and down the field as they seemed to believe the moment they fell behind the game was over. 2020 seems to be repeating itself, just with fans in the stands this time to boo the team as they head to the locker room.Embed from Getty Images
vs Cleveland Browns Thursday, October 21 @ 6:20 PM MST
Where to Watch:
Stream Locally: Denver Broncos App
Stream Nationally: Amazon Prime
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