Denver Broncos: Time for Drew Lock to silence the haters
Denver Broncos: Time for Drew Lock to silence the haters
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock missed the game against New Orleans due to being a close contact with Jeff Driskel, who ended up on the COVID/reserve list a few days after an interaction the NFL determined to be unsafe mask-wise.
Lock had received a bunch of backlash over the whole situation leading up to that game. He then followed it up with a good performance against the Kansas City Chiefs in prime time. Lock followed the Chiefs performance with his best game yet in Carolina.
Now it is time to show the doubter world the Carolina Panthers showing was no fluke. In every situation Lock has faced criticism it seems in his “rookie season.” There have been questions at times surrounding his talent and overall balance of aggressiveness.
Thankfully, Lock is coming off of one of his best games as a professional versus the Carolina Panthers. Both he and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur were in complete sync from start to finish. Lock was making the right reads and taking appropriate chances with his looks. More importantly, he was completing them.
These are the types of things necessary for Lock to turn fourth-quarter explosions into full game success. Lock is both a rhythm and off-script passer. When he is firing on all cylinders, reading every blade of grass, he is a good quarterback. As for him off-script, these are successful only when he has his rhythm down. If the rhythm is off, then everything is off. From the mechanics to his mental gymnastics, Lock becomes a very different QB.
Lock himself is his biggest critic. Throughout the season he has said he must play better. This last week Lock diagnosed a big part of the problem. The balance of aggression and check-downs are what separates the good quarterbacks from great ones. It is the definition of efficiency and balance.
Against the Carolina Panthers, Lock made it a point of emphasis to take what the Panthers defense gave him. All during the game Lock never took the big play until an opportunity came knocking. This is when a big chunk plays to KJ Hamler, Jerry Jeudy, and Tim Patrick happened.
The other impressive factor over the last three games for Lock and Shurmur is balance. Moments in the Panthers game could have been more opportunities to show Lock’s aggressive nature, but he stayed within himself to let those plays come later.
His next opponent is the Buffalo Bills on Saturday afternoon. The Bills are arguably the best team in the NFL with a quarterback who dealt with his own fair share of criticism. Even during the NFL Draft process of 2018, the decision of Allen versus Bradley Chubb is one that has dominated social media.
Allen struggled his first few seasons. In 2018, Allen played in 12 games but there was a stretch of action he missed a number of weeks. As of right now, both Lock and Allen have roughly the same TD to INT ratio in their first full “season”. Allen was a first-round pick and Lock was a second-rounder. However, the term project still applies to both.
Allen has plenty of tools that fit him in the upper echelon of quarterbacks in the NFL. He has better mobility than Lock, but Lock’s legs are still an underrated trait of his. The other important point people need to remember is that Denver wanted Lock in the first round. They planned to move back in to draft him in 2019. If that does not say how high the Denver Broncos are on him, then I do not know what else to tell you.
As for people who say the draft placement of Lock means something where he’s easily replaceable? That has some merit, but again, how the team views a player trumps everything. Also, it is still how the draft board falls. Lock happened to land in the second round.
For any haters that are still two feet out on Lock, they must have a predetermined outcome for what they want to have happened. There are only a few who are undecided that want to see the process play out. The problem is still criticism. If there is constant hatred or constant criticism toward the player (in this case Lock), then it makes the judgment fall to a “hater” narrative.
It just happens that way. Lock has shown flashes in the season before the consistency of the last few games. However, injuries derailed early-season continuity. Continuity is the most important card in favor of Lock and every single young player on the Denver Broncos.
Lock has had numerous offensive coordinators between college and the NFL. Anyone with a brain would understand that a player needs coaching continuity to show the development they are capable of at the position. Garett Bolles is a prime example of that.
Denver’s left tackle was a hot button topic for fans and media. Bolles was borderline bust territory for two-and-a-half seasons. But under Mike Munchak, Bolles has shown significant growth to receive a contract extension with Denver. A well-deserved paycheck for the left tackle.
Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. Fans certainly have their opinions. However, the only opinions that matter are those of John Elway, Joe Ellis, Vic Fangio, Pat Shurmur, Mike Shula, and the entire Denver Broncos staff. If they feel Lock is the best player to lead them back to the promised land, then that’s the direction this team is headed.
Making a snap decision to draft the next quarterback after 16 games put Denver in Browns territory of 30 different quarterbacks before landing Baker Mayfield. That’s a really long list of different systems and a lack of continuity.
Everything we have seen the last few weeks from Miami to Carolina has been a result of continuity with playmakers on offense. Denver is 2-1 in this stretch and in six of Lock’s eight victories as the starter, the offense has scored 20 or more points.
I’m not a math wizard but that’s 75% of Lock’s victories coming with the offense doing its job on the scoreboard. For Lock to continue to shut haters up he must build on the last three weeks and prove the Carolina Panthers game was not a fluke which earned him FedEx Air Player of the Week.
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Time for Lock to shut them up once again.