Drew Lock set the pace.
Now Teddy Bridgewater needs to respond.
As the Denver Broncos preseason chugs along, the quarterback competition remains the focal point in Broncos Country. And as first games go, it doesn’t get much better for Lock and the Broncos.
The third-year quarterback played well, looked the part and led the offense to points. When you have a defense that has the potential to become one of the best in the NFL, that’s crucial.
Needless to say if Lock and the Broncos can carry the 33-6 win over the Minnesota Vikings to the regular season, fans will be incredibly pleased.
Before that, Denver heads to the northwest to face the Seattle Seahawks at 8 p.m. MT this Saturday. It’s also Bridgewater’s opportunity to respond.
Broncos at Seahawks odds
The Broncos betting odds have them as a heavy favorite against Seattle. Denver is currently for Saturday night’s game.
Aside from the quarterback competition, the amount of starters each team plays may determine the betting strategy for the game. Heck, the viewing strategy.
Since most of the teams in the NFL will play only three preseason games, the second could be viewed as the dress rehearsal for the regular season. So we could see some or most of the starters on Saturday for at least a few plays.
Or both Fangio and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll won’t take the risk and rest most of the starters, as Fangio did with Denver against the Vikings. If you plan some NFL betting for Saturday’s game, you may want to keep an eye on that front.
Bridgewater vs Lock
After the way Lock played, some have said it’s time to call the quarterback competition and name Lock the starter. The argument being the team knows what it has in Bridgewater and he’s not capable of flashing the way Lock did against Minnesota. So give him the reps and allow him to take the rest of the preseason to build chemistry with the offense.
The other side sees no harm in giving Bridgewater a chance to respond. Since this is a true competition, the Denver locker room will appreciate giving the veteran the opportunity to see what he can do as the starter.
And it’s not as if Bridgewater played poorly against the Vikings. In fact, after the game, Fangio said there was no separation between the two quarterbacks. As Fangio told the media on Monday after practice, he considers the whole week with Minnesota “in totality,” not just the game.
The goal is to make the decision to name a starting quarterback as difficult as possible. If Bridgewater is able to keep pace with Lock, that’s the best possible outcome for the Broncos. It certainly beats the alternative of both being garbage and one getting the job by default.
Broncos rookies impress in first NFL starts
Based on reports from training camp, first-round pick Pat Surtain II and second-round pick Javonte Williams have been fantastic.
In their first games in the NFL, they didn’t disappoint. Surtain played like a veteran and had some comparing the rookie to Champ Bailey or Aqib Talib. Williams is going to be incredibly fun to watch for Denver. Both bring an element to the Broncos that has been lacking for a while. Surtain looks to be the shutdown cornerback; Williams the dynamic, three-down running back.
Both Broncos rookies are intriguing bets for NFL Defensive and Offensive Rookie of the Year. And they both have good betting markets. At DraftKings online Colorado sportsbook, Surtain is +1,400 for DROY and Williams is +1,800 for OROY. It is somewhat surprising that both are unchanged from before the first preseason game.
Denver looks to build off of the first preseason game
Yes, it was the preseason.
Yes, both teams rested most of their starters.
But with how bad the Broncos have been the last five years, they played well. When Fangio was introduced as the head coach, he mentioned a phrase that got a lot of play and subsequent mocking — death by inches.
Against the Vikings, Denver played a strong game, and did so in all three phases, regardless of the depth chart. There was a lot to like from individual players and the team. Given the last five years, there haven’t been many instances where fans (or the team) could say that and hold a straight face. Even in the preseason.
Now the Broncos need to build on that this Saturday.
Confidence has been allusive the last five years. The preseason may not matter, but it could remind the franchise of what it takes to play winning football.
And that starts with the quarterback.
Can Bridgewater respond?