Denver’s rookie Quarterback Drew Lock comes into week 16 on the back of a really poor game in Kansas City last weekend. This weekend, the Broncos entertain Matt Patricia’s Lions team at Mile High – and Lock will be looking to bounce back.
Last week, Lock threw 40 passes, completing just 18 of them – a completion rate of 45%. He managed 208 yards and the only pass of his caught in the end zone was plucked from the sky by Chiefs Safety Juan Thornhill. All-in-all, it was a thoroughly uninspiring performance – even if it does come with a few caveats.
Obviously this was never going to be an easy game – the Chiefs have ruled the AFC West since the 2016 season. As well as that, Lock is a Missouri native so was playing in his own part of the world as the leader of the enemy for the first time – something that brings plenty of pressure in itself. Then, if all that wasn’t enough, it snowed all through the game.
So now, there are two games remaining on the season, and if DrewLock wants to hold down that starting QB position and save his GM a headache – he needs to step up to the plate. Broncos OC Rich Scangarello says he has faith in the youngster to prevail.
Drew Lock has to be resilient
“It’ll be a big measure this week to see how he responds against Detroit,” Scangarello said. “But I don’t think it’s the end-all, be-all. You’ve got to bank that [Chiefs Game] and I think he’ll continue to step forward. We’ll see these next eight quarters how he plays, but I think he’ll trend in the right direction.”
If Scangarello is right, Drew Lock could, as alluded to above, save General Manager John Elway a headache he’s had to endure in every off-season since the retirement of Peyton Manning back in 2015 – having to search for a new starting QB. Lions HC Matt Patricia says he believes Lock already has that position secured.
“The thing about Drew Lock that’s so impressive is his athleticism and his speed,” Patricia said. “A lot of guys, and you see it on tape, maybe underestimate how fast he is, how mobile he is. You see him just run away from linebackers and safeties and he makes a lot of guys miss when you have him in the open space.”
Patricia has had his own QB issues this season, and will be starting undrafted free-agent David Blough for the fourth consecutive game in Colorado this week. Blough is currently 0-3 as a starter in the NFL, but will be looking for revenge this week from the 40-37 loss his Purdue side took when they faced Drew Lock’s Missouri Tigers last season.
Blough, although he lost, threw for a Purdue record 572 yards in that game – but couldn’t prevent the loss. Drew Lock managed 375 yards in that match and I’m sure would be more than content if the game on Sunday went the same way. However, if he and Denver are to pick up the win this week, they’ll have to do it with a depleted squad.
Safety Kareem Jackson will mess the rest of the season through suspension, while DE Adam Gotsis underwent ACL surgery – ending his season. That only adds to the mounting injury woes in Denver this season – they’re already without the likes of Bradley Chubb and Derek Wolfe.