- The Denver Broncos have started three quarterbacks in the past month alone: Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, and Paxton Lynch.
- The constant reshuffling hasn’t helped the struggling offence, and the team’s losing streak now sits at seven games.
- At this point, the team appears likely to either draft or sign a new quarterback this offseason.
One month after the Denver Broncos attempted to halt their losing skid by making a change at the quarterback position, they are headed back to square one.
For the second consecutive year, the team began the season with the former seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian as the starting signal caller. The first few games went smoothly enough, with the Northwestern product posting an 89.0 passer rating as the Broncos got off to a 3-1 start.
They haven’t won a game since. After their Week 5 bye, Siemian threw six interceptions in his next three games, watching as Denver was outscored 73-29 over that stretch. Desperate, head coach Vance Joseph installed the much-maligned Brock Osweiler as the new starter, presumably as a placeholder for the former first-round pick Paxton Lynch, who was injured. Osweiler struggled in three starts, completing just 53.1% of his passes.
After exhausting their two experienced options, the Broncos fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and penciled Lynch in for his first start of the year. But the Memphis product struggled mightily on Sunday, throwing for just 41 yards before exiting the game in the third quarter with a high ankle sprain. He failed to lead a scoring drive; Siemian, who relieved Lynch, threw for both of Denver’s touchdowns in the 21-14 loss to the Oakland Raiders.
If the Broncos weren’t panicking already, now might be an appropriate time to do so. They have gone through three signal callers – all three of whom were drafted and developed by the team, and two of whom were selected in the first two rounds – yet appear no closer to finding a long-term solution. With 5.4 yards per attempt, they have one of the worst passing games in the NFL. If anything, their month of quarterback experiments confirmed that Siemian is the best of their limited options, a conclusion they reached after the preseason.
All of that might be more acceptable if the Broncos were a young, ascendant team, but they’re not. With 59 wins and two Super Bowl appearances, including a victory in 2016, over the past five seasons, Denver has been one of the NFL’s most consistently dominant teams. While they did fall off a bit last year, this has still been a massively disappointing season for veterans like Von Miller and Demaryius Thomas, mainstays of those old contenders.
“It’s just bad,” Miller said after Sunday’s loss, according to Troy E. Renck of KMGH in Denver.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it appears that tensions are running high across the organisation. The Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib brawled with opposing receiver Michael Crabtree during Sunday’s game, an incident that Joseph deemed as “unacceptable.” The skirmish came mere days after a pair of fights broke out at a Thursday practice.
There has also been off-field drama, such as when general manager John Elway called the team “a little bit soft” heading into Week 11.
The bright side to all of this is that the Broncos were recently projected by ESPN to get the fifth overall pick in next year’s draft. They will have an opportunity to select a quarterback from a deep class that includes Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen.
But given their recent track record in developing quarterbacks, Denver might be better served by filling another position of need with their top pick and acquiring a more proven quarterback through free agency. Kirk Cousins, Case Keenum, and Jimmy Garoppolo are a few of the names that could hit the open market this offseason.
Whatever the solution, it doesn’t seem likely to come from the current roster. The Broncos will play their next game on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
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