HEADLINES

October will provide the true test for Teddy Bridgewater

Sep 20, 2021, 6:49 AM
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 19: Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Denver Broncos runs o...
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Broncos Country is a little leery. And for good reason. They’ve been fooled before.

Some fans bought into Brock Osweiler. When the quarterback went 5-2 in relief of Peyton Manning at the end of the 2015 season, there was reason to believe he was the heir apparent. He wasn’t.

Some fans bought into Trevor Siemian. When he started his career with a 4-0 record, there were reasons to believe he was the QB of the future in Denver. He wasn’t.

And some fans bought into Drew Lock. When the rookie went 4-1 at the end of the 2019 seasons, there was reason to believe he was the answer. He wasn’t.

So it’s understand that people are being cautious this time around. They don’t want to get burned by Teddy Bridgewater like they were Osweiler, Siemian and Lock.

But it’s getting harder and harder to pump the brakes on the latest Broncos quarterback. For the second straight week, Bridgewater was terrific.

In a 23-13 win over the Jaguars, the quarterback was in command. He finished 26-of-34 for 328 yards and two touchdowns.

This comes on the heels of a stellar debut in orange and blue. Last week, Bridgewater was 28-of-36 for 264 yards and two scores.

He’s completing a ridiculous 77 percent of his passes. He’s led the Broncos to an average of 25.0 points per game. And he hasn’t turned the ball over once.

Bridgewater has been great. There’s no other way to put it.

It all begs one giant question: When is it safe to buy on?

The Giants are awful. Trevor Heinicke lit them up for even more yards on Thursday night than Bridgewater did in Week 1.

The Jaguars are worse. Tyrod Taylor carved them up a week ago in a blowout win by the Texans.

And this coming week won’t prove much either. The Jets are dreadful, fresh off a 25-6 drubbing at the hands of the Patriots.

So the Broncos could be 3-0, with Bridgewater posting monster numbers, and it still wouldn’t be safe to declare him “the guy.” A great September doesn’t prove anything.

An 18-day span in October will give Bridgewater the chance to quiet the doubters. Games against the Ravens, Steelers, Raiders and Browns will provide a stage to show that he’s more than a journeyman.

If the Broncos can go 2-2 during that stretch, they’d be 5-2 (assuming they beat the Jets). That’d put them in a position to compete for a playoff berth in November and December.

In order to do that, Bridgewater will have to play well. He will have to make plays in a game that is actually in doubt.

If the Broncos go 1-3 or 0-4, however, it’ll show that September was a mirage. Denver would plunge toward or below .500, putting a winning season in doubt.

In order for that to happen, Bridgewater will have to falter. Denver can’t win those games without him playing well.

That’s why it’s the true test. That four-game stretch will show if Bridgewater is the answer.

September has proven that the Broncos are no longer cellar dwellers. They aren’t a bad team.

In part, that’s due to their quarterback. Bridgewater has been far superior to the QBs he’s faced thus.

But October will show if the Broncos are any good. That’s the true test.

In the meantime, enjoy the ride. There’s nothing wrong with that.

The first couple of dates have gone well. The third one sounds fun. But there’s no reason to start making wedding plans. Not yet.

By Oct. 21st, however, that might change. That’s when Broncos Country will know if Teddy Bridgewater is the one.

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October will provide the true test for Teddy Bridgewater