Trevor Siemian’s play dropping off at an alarming rate

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 15: Quarterback Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos passes against the New York Giants during a game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 15, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 15: Quarterback Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos passes against the New York Giants during a game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 15, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian looked like an early MVP candidate after two games. Since then? His play has dropped off badly…

After two weeks of the season, Trevor Siemian appeared to have changed the player he was in 2016, which was ‘not good enough’.

Siemian showed flashes in 2016, but wasn’t consistent enough down the stretch to get the Broncos into the playoffs as a wild card team behind the Chiefs and Raiders in the AFC West.

Part of that had to do with injury, but part of it was simply because Siemian wasn’t adjusting properly to how defenses were playing him, and making the throws necessary to keep the Broncos’ offense two-dimensional.

Early on in this season, the Broncos had one of the best running games in the NFL, and Siemian was making the necessary throws — especially on third down and in the red zone — to give the Broncos a successful offense.

What has happened every week since then is alarming, and not in a good way.

The Broncos suffered their first loss of the season in Buffalo the third week of the season. In that game, Siemian completed just 24 of his 40 pass attempts, with no touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.

Against the Raiders in a week four victory, Siemian completed 16 of 26 passes with a touchdown and no interceptions.

After a bye week with extra preparation time and playing at home against the Giants, Siemian put up perhaps his worst performance of the year, completing 29 of 50 pass attempts with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Over the last three games, Siemian has attempted 116 passes, two for touchdowns and four interceptions. He’s taken 11 sacks, and completed around 60 percent of his throws.

Compare that to the first two games of the season, where Siemian had seven total touchdowns with two interceptions.

What has happened?

Siemian has regressed considerably over the past three weeks, and defenses are taking advantage of his inability to make certain throws against man coverage and loaded fronts.

It looks like Siemian is sensing pressure that, at times, doesn’t exist. He’s also running into sacks, and not getting rid of the football when he should/could.

Even Siemian’s touchdown throws over the past two games have been a bit flukey. His touchdown to A.J. Derby came on an incredible snag by the Broncos tight end, who stabbed the ball out of the air with his fingertips when he was wide open. If that play doesn’t get made by Derby, we’re talking about that being one of the worst misfires by Siemian of the young season.

Against the Giants, Siemian threw a touchdown in desperation time to tight end Jeff Heuerman that somehow snuck by a couple of Giants defenders, and into the hands of Heuerman, who again made an incredible play on the ball.

I’m not trying to take numbers away from Siemian just for the sake of doing it, but some of the throws he has been making the past three weeks are maddening, and it’s a complete shift from what he looked like in the first two games of the season.

So what do the Broncos do now?

Well, Siemian has hardly given them someone they can trust to help them win games in the past three weeks. The Broncos simply can’t afford to wonder every week whether or not they are getting one version of Siemian, or another.

Look at a couple of these plays and you’ll see exactly why the Broncos might need to consider alternate options at the quarterback position in the very near future:

If you pause that play right where Siemian is about to step into his throw, you will see Jamaal Charles come out of the backfield absolutely wide open. This is a third-and-10 play, and the Broncos are already in field goal range (as long as Brandon McManus is accurate).

Instead of hitting Charles here, this ball is thrown into triple coverage to Demaryius Thomas. The Ball is overthrown, and hits Landon Collins — the Giants’ safety — in his chest.

The momentum had already taken a bad shift at this point, with the Broncos driving down the field, missing an easy field goal, and giving up a field goal to the Giants. This sort of end to a drive offensively was another opportunity to get points taken completely off the board.

The play just before that one:

Once again, that is Jamaal Charles wide open, with no one around him and a touchdown on the way. This is matter of Trevor Siemian simply lofting the ball over the pressure in front of him to the wide open Charles, which may be easy for me to say but then again, I’m not an NFL quarterback being asked to make NFL plays.

This is a play that has to be made, no excuses.

Charles would still be running today if not for this underthrown ball, and it again cost the Broncos points in this game.

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Many of us fans are upset that Jamaal Charles has been under-utilized, and this is a big reason for it. They can’t get him the ball when he’s wide open on two plays, that would have easily gone for 20+ yards and potentially scores.

These are just a couple of examples from Siemian, not including the interception for a touchdown on a throw he tried to force in there before halftime. I’m not sure where the comment initially came from, but someone noted that Siemian is consistently trying to make throws while falling backward. He’s not getting enough behind his passes, and he’s locking on to receivers again, which he wasn’t necessarily doing in the first couple of games.

Defenses are challenging Siemian, who has been making poor decisions even with ample time to get rid of the football.

This is concerning for the Broncos, but who knows what will be done about it? Last year, they let Siemian play through the struggle. We’ll see if they have him on a shorter leash this year.