Denver hasn’t exactly been friendly to NFL quarterbacks. Since John Elway retired, the Broncos have gone through a ton of guys in their attempt to replace the team’s best quarterback in history.
From Brian Griese to Jake Plummer, to Jay Cutler and last year’s trio (Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, and Paxton Lynch), the Broncos have struggled to replace Hall of Famer John Elway, but the next franchise quarterback of the Denver Broncos is out there, somewhere. (Case Keenum, anybody?)
All three of last year’s quarterbacks saw some action at some point during the season. That is never a recipe for success in the National Football League.
Here are each of last year’s starting quarterbacks’ career stats, compared to the team’s new starter.
Trevor Siemian: 835 passing attempts, 495 completions (59.3% completion percentage), 5,686 yards, 30 touchdowns, 24 interceptions.
Siemian has been sacked 64 times in his career. The striking statistic that I notice right off the bat? Siemian’s career passing yards. Some quarterbacks have reached 5,000 yards in one season. Siemian has played in 25 games the last two seasons.
Brock Osweiler: Osweiler has been in the league longer than Siemian and Paxton Lynch. He played in 21 games from 2012-2015, left for the Houston Texans, got released after one year of a mega deal, signed with the Cleveland Browns, failed there, and found his way back to Denver for the 2017 season.
In his first stint with the Broncos, Osweiler completed 187 of 305 passes for a percentage of 61.3. In his first four years in Denver, he threw for 2,126 yards.
Paxton Lynch: Paxton Lynch has proven time and time again that he was not worthy of being a first-round pick in 2016. Whether it was because of injury or inability to beat out others to become the team’s starting quarterback, it is not what you expect when you draft a player, especially a quarterback, in the first round.
In fact, the Broncos traded up for Lynch to prevent the Dallas Cowboys from taking him. Dallas took Dak Prescott instead. In just five games in two seasons, Lynch has completed 79-of-128 passes for 792 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions.
Combined, the three quarterbacks threw 19 touchdowns to 22 interceptions in 2017.
The Newcomer: Case Keenum: Case Keenum was brought to Denver to be the team’s starting quarterback, which he was named right away. He signed a two-year deal, which sounds like a “prove it” deal.
That’s okay, because the expectation is for Keenum to produce better stats than last year’s trio of quarterbacks. I firmly believe that Keenum has a better supporting cast around him, in terms of players, than he has in his previous seasons in the league with the Vikings, Texans, and Rams. Outside of the Broncos wide receivers, the best pass catcher Keenum ever had was Texans legend Andre Johnson.
Like any team, there will be struggles throughout the season. That will always be expected. The difference is that the Broncos will be set at quarterback. There will not be a quarterback competition except for the backup job, Lynch vs. Chad Kelly.
Keenum is not John Elway. Nobody is John Elway. But he could be the quarterback the Denver Broncos have been searching for long-term since the days of Elway on the football field came to an end.