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Like it or not, the Broncos would be 3-0 if Drew Lock was their QB

Sep 27, 2021, 11:01 AM
MINNEAPOLIS , MN - AUGUST 14: Drew Lock (3) of the Denver Broncos walks off the field after the sec...
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Broncos are 3-0. Coming off of a 5-11 season, the fourth-consecutive losing campaign for the franchise, being undefeated at the end of September is a welcome change. It’s a sign that perhaps things are starting to turn around.

The caveat has to be included because of the teams the Broncos have beaten en route to their unblemished record. The Giants, Jaguars and Jets are arguably the three worst teams in the NFL. They’re a combined 0-9 thus far this season.

That doesn’t mean Denver isn’t a good team. It just means it’s too early to tell just how good they might be.

It also means that it’s way too early for people to start taking a victory lap about the Broncos decision to go with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback. That would be a mistake.

Yes, Bridgwater has been very good in the three wins. His numbers are impressive. On the year, the QB is 73-of-95 for 827 yards and four touchdowns. He also hasn’t thrown any interceptions and has only been sacked seven times.

That’s efficient, mistake-free football. And it’s part of the reason why the Broncos are undefeated.

That said, Denver would be in this exact same position if they’d gone with Drew Lock instead. Had their quarterback decision gone the other way, they’d still be 3-0, atop the AFC West.

The Broncos have played three inept teams. More specifically, they’ve played three teams who are borderline incompetent on offense.

The Giants scored 13 points, six of which came on the last play of the game in garbage time. The Jaguars also put up 13 points, six of which came on a kickoff return. And the Jets were shut out.

As a result, there was almost no pressure on the Broncos offense to perform. All they had to do was not mess up, which they accomplished, and they’d win the first three games.

Lock could’ve done that. He’s shown that ability during his first two years.

When the quarterback faced bad teams, he was able to win. Problems arose, however, when he faced good teams.

During his career, Lock is 8-10 as the Broncos starting quarterback. In those 10 losses, he’s faced the following QBs:

Patrick Mahomes – x3
Ryan Tannehill
Ben Roethlisberger
Matt Ryan
Derek Carr – x2
Josh Allen
Justin Herbert

Six of those 10 losses came to playoff teams. Two came to a Raiders squad that finished 8-8. One was the hands of the 7-9 Chargers. Only the Falcons, who finished 4-12 last year, were truly a bad team.

By contrast, Lock fared well when the Broncos weren’t facing elite quarterbacks. In his eight victories, Lock went head-to-head with the following QBs:

Philip Rivers
Deshaun Watson
David Blough
Derek Carr
Cam Newton
Justin Herbert
Tua Tagovailoa
Teddy Bridgwater

That’s a mixed bag, to say the least. But it’s better than the group the Broncos have beaten so far this season.

Daniel Jones is marginal, at best. Trevor Lawrence was making his second career start. Zach Wilson was making his third.

Based on history, Lock would’ve won in those situations, as well. There’s no evidence to suggest he wouldn’t have outplayed those quarterbacks.

Would he have been as good as Bridgewater? That’s hard to say, as the Broncos new quarterback has been great so far this season.

But it wouldn’t have mattered. Denver could’ve beaten the Giants, Jaguars and Jets with almost anyone at QB. Heck, they beat the Jets last season, on the road, with Brett Rypien behind center.

Drew Lock would be 3-0. That much is almost certain.

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Like it or not, the Broncos would be 3-0 if Drew Lock was their QB