Will Gary Kubiak look for a spark in QB Paxton Lynch?

Oct 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) huddles before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12) huddles before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Will Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak look for the ‘spark’ in quarterback Paxton Lynch, or will he stick it out with Trevor Siemian?

Paxton Lynch’s debut as a starter in the NFL wasn’t good, but it wasn’t terrible. The first five starts of Trevor Siemian’s career have seen mixed results, most recently a debacle against the San Diego Chargers.

During the 2015 season, Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak stuck with his ‘guy’ Peyton Manning through the majority of the season, and even at times through injury. Even though Brock Osweiler could have potentially provided the offense with a spark, Kubiak stuck with the one who had the better knowledge not only of the Broncos’ offense, but of how to best attack NFL defenses.

Though Manning was physically the inferior option, he was the one making smarter decisions, and though Osweiler provided the occasional big play downfield, it was clear that he wasn’t much of an upgrade in the games he started last year.

In week 17, Osweiler started and was guilty by association on an offense that was making too many mental mistakes, and turning the ball over like it was their job. Kubiak had decided enough was enough, and put the recently healed Peyton Manning in the game, saying that the offense needed a ‘spark’.

This season, the quarterback position has been up and down. Both Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch are learning on the job, even though Siemian had a year to absorb all the knowledge he has of the offense and get acclimated to the NFL lifestyle.

After Thursday night’s game against San Diego, Siemian is receiving the lion’s share of the blame for a true team losing effort.

Welcome to the NFL.

When you lose in this league, the head coach and quarterback are the first ones to get the blame, especially when late in the game, you have less than 100 yards passing on 24 pass attempts…

Siemian’s ability to fully execute the Broncos’ offense was just not there on Thursday night. If he was unhealthy, then why didn’t he sit out one more game?

The Broncos’ vertical passing game was non-existent. When they inexplicably had a chance at the end of the game for a Hail Mary and opportunity to tie, Siemian’s attempt fell horrendously short of the goal line, not giving his teammates a chance to make a play on the ball.

The accuracy that Siemian has had most of the season just wasn’t there on Thursday night, and he was not mentally sharp. There were no adjustments made, and there was a general lack of urgency until it was too little, too late.

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To be fair, Paxton Lynch struggled with plenty in his own right last Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, looking lost at times and not having a great command of the huddle. Lynch’s debut against the Buccaneers created unfair expectations for his first NFL start, as he was able to enter the game with a lead in relief as opposed to an opposing team having a week to plan for him.

Neither quarterback is ripe enough to be starting in the NFL, but the Broncos opted for the lesser of two evils, putting in the guy who has at least been around the offense for a year. For four games, it was working just swell.

In the last week, it’s been miserable.

With Gary Kubiak removed from football duties for a week after landing in the hospital following the Falcons game, the quarterback position took a major hit. The game plan was not good offensively. The scripted plays were predictable. The running game certainly hasn’t been setting anything up for success. The offensive line is a mess. There’s no production from the tight ends.

It was so bad, that Trevor Siemian didn’t start to have success throwing the ball against the Chargers until the Broncos were in desperation mode. Even then, there were some throws that had me shaking my head.

The game was managed questionably on all fronts, which leads me to my question: Is Gary Kubiak going to have to make a move to Paxton Lynch to ‘spark’ the offense, or is he going to stick with Siemian come hell or high water?

Undoubtedly, this is a conversation that’s going to be had in the coming days as the Broncos prepare for a Monday night matchup with the Houston Texans.

It’s an important homecoming for the Broncos, and a potential turning point for the season. This is a team at a crossroads offensively. There’s doubt surrounding both of the team’s young quarterbacks. Fans have been clamoring for whichever quarterback was not playing the last two weeks. When Lynch played poorly against Atlanta, there were sighs of relief knowing Siemian would start against San Diego.

When Siemian struggled against San Diego, fans came out with their torches and pitchforks, trying to run the guy out of town.

I don’t know what the right answer is, but having Kubiak around to make it is going to be a huge help. He pushed the right buttons last year, and I trust him to do the same this year.