BRONCOS

Here’s how the Broncos avoided the Drew Lock Revenge Game

Aug 26, 2022, 10:41 PM | Updated: Aug 27, 2022, 11:53 am
Drew Lock...
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

So much for the Drew Lock Revenge Game.

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll didn’t need to sleep on it after his team’s preseason finale against Dallas on Friday, announcing in his postgame press conference that Geno Smith would start in Week 1 against the Broncos.

And with that, it was another year and another lost QB duel for Lock.

Smith said that Carroll announced the decision to his team in the locker room moments after the Seahawks’ 27-26 loss at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The decision means that Russell Wilson will not only begin his Broncos career against his old team, but a team led by his former understudy. Smith served as a backup to Wilson for the last three seasons.

But it also means that Lock will not have a chance to get back at the Broncos.

“As a competitor, you’re always disappointed. And I was disappointed,” Lock said at a postgame press conference. “But now it’s my job to have [Smith’s] back and be the best teammate I can be.”

And for all the criticism that befell the Broncos in some circles last year, Denver gave Lock more of a shot than Carroll and the Seahawks did.

Last year, Vic Fangio and the Broncos divided first-team repetitions in practice evenly between Lock and Teddy Bridgewater. This summer, Smith had the majority of first-team snaps in practice, according to reports.

Carroll planned to start Lock last week against Chicago, but Lock came down with COVID-19 and sat out. Then, Carroll started Smith in Friday’s game, giving him three starts in three preseason games.

But Lock entered late in the first quarter, and a wild roller-coaster ride ensued.

Lock’s second pass was intercepted. His fourth pass was a gorgeous, 35-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Penny Hart. But Dallas intercepted two more Lock passes — one of which ricocheted off the intended receiver — and Hart dropped a potential second-quarter touchdown pass.

However, Lock’s second interception was a ghastly one. On the play, he stared down Hart, the intended receiver working from the slot. Dallas cornerback Nahshon Wright read Lock’s intent and jumped in front of the pass.

“It’s really hard to win when the ball’s flying in their hands,” Carroll said.

It was the encapsulation of the Drew Lock Experience that Broncos fans came to know well in the previous three years.

All that was missing from the Seahawks’ postgame press conferences was Brock Osweiler saying “ball security is job security.”

But in the end, ball security was the difference.

Lock had four turnovers on his ledger in the preseason. Smith had none.

“The No. 1 way to lose games in the NFL is by not protecting the football,” Smith said.

“The quarterback’s main job is to protect the football, as well as by scoring points.”

In roughly three-and-a-half games for Seattle last year — including three starts in place of the injured Wilson — Smith had one interception and one lost fumble against five touchdown passes and a touchdown run. Seattle went 1-2 in Smith’s three starts.

Smith will be a Week 1 starter for the first time since the 2014 campaign with the New York Jets. That also marks the last year in which he faced the Broncos. Denver defeated the Smith-led Jets, 31-17, clinching the win with an Aqib Talib pick-6.

Now, Smith will guide the Seahawks into the post-Wilson era. Meanwhile, Lock lugs another lost QB derby into a playing future that looks dimmer than ever.

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