The Broncos must find clarity at the quarterback position
One win was nice, but it will take a lot more to convince me this Broncos team has any chance of making a miracle playoff run. It’s more likely this is somewhere between a four- to seven-win season.
What the Broncos final record will be is up for debate. Here’s what’s not: The Broncos must gain clarity on what is going to happen at the quarterback position.
If they do nothing else this season, they must figure out if Joe Flacco can be the answer for another three to four years. Or, if Drew Lock has the potential to be a franchise QB. Or, if the Broncos need to target a quarterback with what could be a high first-round pick next spring.
Let’s start with Flacco. The so-called “experts” say Joe is playing very well. They cite the film. They cite analytics. Call me old fashioned, but it still comes down to points. Flacco’s offense is averaging 18.0 points per game, good for 26th in the NFL in scoring.
Even more glaring is those 18.0 ppg represents the ugly “sweet spot” the Broncos have found themselves in since Peyton Manning’s offense rampaged their way to 30 ppg in 2014. Since then, Broncos offenses have averaged exactly between 18 to 21 ppg every season.
So, if those offenses were enough to incur the wrath of Broncos Country and led to the quick ousters of quarterbacks named Manning, Osweiler, Siemian, Lynch and Keenum, why all the forgiveness towards Flacco?
At some point, Flacco needs to carry the sins of the Broncos record. I said before the season that Flacco had a nine-game tryout. Nine games leading into the bye week. If the Broncos aren’t better than 3-6 at that point, then a change needs to be made.
If the Broncos surge their way to 4-5 or 5-4, then it would become clear Flacco could be the answer long term and who could argue with that? Certainly not me.
Failing that, however, the next logical step is to see what you have in Lock. Seven games plus practice time and film study and chance to see what kind of work ethic he has and leadership he displays would be more than sufficient time to indicate if Lock could be “The Guy.”
If that fails, then wash, rinse and repeat. We’re back into the draft looking for a quarterback, likely with a top-five to seven pick.
I don’t usually advocate drafting a QB that high (I have my khaki pants on as I write this), but I really like Georgia’s Jake Fromm. Maybe he’s the guy. Maybe it’s someone else. Maybe it’s Lock. Or Flacco.
Either way, the Broncos have to find out.
- Five ideas to rebuild the Broncos: Flip the organizational model
- Broncos-Chiefs: The good, the bad and the ugly from Thursday
- Cheers and Jeers: For Elway and the Broncos, it’s time
- Around the AFC West: The Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders forge ahead
- 60 Seconds with Cecil: Broncos Country, this is rock bottom