Drew Lock adds to list of huge accomplishments in first 14 starts

Denver Broncos QB #3 Drew Lock. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos QB #3 Drew Lock. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Drew Lock added to his list of huge accomplishments as Broncos QB.

Drew Lock has not exactly had a Mahomes-ian start to his NFL career.

Unlike Mahomes, Drew Lock did not play at an MVP level basically immediately upon his insertion into the starting lineup. As a matter of fact, Lock’s career has been filled with adversity in just two short seasons.

It started with a preseason injury in 2019 that cost Lock more than half of the 2019 season. When he came back, the Broncos’ offensive line was decimated with injuries, but he certainly made the most of his opportunity, helping lead the Broncos to a 4-1 record to close out the year.

In 2020, the struggles are well-documented.

The Broncos changed offensive coordinators, COVID-19 shut down basically the entire offseason, and Lock lost his WR1 Courtland Sutton before the season even got going. In the same game Sutton was lost for the season, Lock suffered a shoulder injury that set him back a handful of games.

Most recently, Lock and the entire quarterback group for the Broncos were held out of the New Orleans game for breaking mask protocol when they came into the team facility on their day off to watch extra film.

In between all of that craziness, Lock has put together effectively 14 games of work (he has started 15, but was knocked out of his Pittsburgh start after just five pass attempts).

In those 14 games Lock has started and finished, the Broncos are 8-6. Has Lock been perfect in that stretch? Not at all. As a matter of fact, there are a few obvious things you can see when watching Lock on tape that he really needs to just stop doing on a consistent basis.

Lock’s struggles are really not atypical of a young player finding his way in the NFL, but it’s been difficult for many in Broncos Country because Patrick Mahomes looks like he’s on his way to another MVP award in just his fourth NFL season, Justin Herbert has looked like a top-tier NFL quarterback as a rookie, and other young quarterbacks have seemingly “figured it out” quicker than Lock has been.

Even considering some of his struggles, Drew Lock has an impressive list of accomplishments through his first 14 NFL starts.

1. Historic day vs. Houston (2019)

When the Denver Broncos traveled to Houston to take on DeShaun Watson and the Texans late in the 2019 season, Drew Lock threw for over 300 yards with three touchdowns, the first quarterback in NFL history to do that in his first-ever road start.

2. Youngest QB to win at Gillette Stadium

The 2020 New England Patriots are not your older brother’s Patriots, or even the 2019 Patriots, but it’s still Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels leading the charge.

When the Broncos traveled to New England this season, Lock became the youngest quarterback to ever win at Gillette Stadium.

Although Lock only completed 10 passes in this game, he got very little help from the playmakers in the Denver Broncos’ offense who dropped at least three touchdown passes, if not four.

3. Lock led the second-biggest comeback of the decade

In a home game against the Los Angeles Chargers, it looked like the Broncos were fish in a barrel.

They trailed 24-3 and it appeared as though all the Chargers would need to do is put things on cruise control.

Lock and the offense turned it on.

They overcame the 24-3 deficit to beat the Chargers 31-30 with a touchdown as time expired in regulation from Lock to KJ Hamler.

4. Making history in Carolina

In the most important game against the Carolina Panthers in at least a few years, Drew Lock gave us perhaps his best performance to date.

Lock threw for four touchdowns and 280 yards with a QB rating of 149.5, the best of his NFL career so far and one of the three best single-game performances in Broncos history.

The highest single-game QB rating for the Broncos was Peyton Manning’s record-breaking performance in 2014 against the San Francisco 49ers (157.2). The next best came in 1995 from John Elway himself with a QB rating of 156.0 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Lock’s mark of 149.5 is the highest in a road start for any quarterback in Denver Broncos history.

These four games do not represent the only four games Lock has played well with the Broncos, either.

Prior to a three-and-out when they were on their own six-yard line late against Carolina, the Broncos’ offense (led by Lock) had not had a single three-and-out since early in the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins.

Many consider the 2019 Detroit game to be Lock’s most efficient all-around game besides the Carolina game on Sunday.

Even before he has 16 full games under his belt, it’s plain to see that there is a lot of “good” to buy into with Drew Lock. It will be exciting to see his final three games of 2020 and how he might progress as the starter in 2021.