Denver Broncos: Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater by the numbers

Denver Broncos roster: Drew Lock, Teddy Bridgewater - Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos roster: Drew Lock, Teddy Bridgewater - Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater are battling it out for the Denver Broncos’ starting QB position, but what do their best stretches of football look like?

Until proven otherwise, both Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater are below average NFL quarterbacks, and as much as some of us think both can be effective for the team, neither should get the benefit of the doubt.

At this point, writing about the quarterback situation for the Denver Broncos does get tiring at times, but there are never too many angles to look at this ongoing debate.

If I had to guess, I would venture to say that Broncos Country is roughly evenly divided on who we think provides the best chance for the team to succeed.  I am personally in the Lock camp, but I see the benefits to starting Bridgewater.

With that said, even though both signal-callers are below average, they have had excellent stretches of play during their careers.

I’d like to dive deeper into these games, and I want to see what their best performances look like over the course of an entire 17 game season.

The criteria for this aren’t super elaborate.  I think it’s fair to say that about four games is a solid sample size, given that it’s roughly one-quarter of a season.  So, I’m going to dig up the best stretch of four games for both QBs and extrapolate those over an entire season.

As I type this paragraph, I haven’t looked at these numbers yet, so I’ll be figuring these out for the first time myself.

Let’s start with the incumbent, Drew Lock.

Believe it or not, Lock has played some good football (I know, shocking).  His best four-game stretch actually came during the last four games of the 2020 season.  In these four games, Lock passed for 7 TDs, 2 INTs, completed 63.0% of his passes for 1,015 yards, all with a rating of 96.3.  It’s worth noting that one of Lock’s interceptions during the last game against the Chargers was on a hail mary attempt on the last play of the game.

It’s still an interception in the stat sheet, but context does matter.  Anyway.

So if we take these four-game totals over a now 17 game season, here’s what we get:

29.75 TDs, 8.5 INTs, and 4,313 yards.  If we clean this up a bit, we get 30 TDs, 9 INTs, and 4,313 yards.  His passing touchdown total would put him 11th in the league for 2020, and he’d only have the 19th most interceptions in the league.

As for the passing yards, he’d be 7th.  What I really like about this stretch of play from Drew is that it’s clear that he can fill the stat sheet.  Not only does he pass for a lot of touchdowns in this scenario, he’s also giving you over 4,000 yards and less than 10 interceptions.

To me, this translates to Lock turning into a very efficient deep-ball thrower, something that Pat Shurmur wanted Drew to develop into.  If Lock would theoretically give you this stat line in 2021, the Broncos are winning double-digit games, and probably competing for the top seed in the AFC.

His five starts in 2019 actually came close to being his best stretch of play, but the last four games in 2020 narrowly beat 2019 out.

Now, it’s Teddy Time.

Teddy’s best stretch of football came in 2019, unsurprisingly.  He had a four-game stretch in 2015 that was nearly better than 2019, but not quite.

Bridgewater’s best four-game stretch in 2019 consisted of him throwing 7 TDs, 2 INTs, completing 70.1% of his passes for 1,028 yards all on a 101.4 rating.

If we take his totals over a 17 game season, this is what we get.

30 TDs, 9 INTs, 4,369 yards.

This is freaking hilarious; these guys are nearly identical.

Technically, Teddy has the edge because he completes a higher percentage of his passes, and as a result, has a higher passer rating, but still, the same number of touchdowns and interceptions is hilarious.

Teddy’s passer rating would have put him at 10th in the league for 2020, and his completion percentage would be 4th best in the 2020 campaign.

Wow, this is fascinating.  Both players, during the best stretches of their careers, give you the same number of touchdowns and interceptions.  There’s only a 56-yard difference in their passing yard total as well.

In the case of Bridgewaterdoing this in 2021, the Denver Broncos are in a similar situation as Lock’s.  In both instances, the team is most likely competing for a very high seed in the AFC playoff race, and with these passing totals, both QBs would give us plenty of offensive firepower.

So, what do you think, Broncos Country, do these numbers surprise you?  I am most definitely surprised at the results, being that the two are so similar.

As I’ve stated before, I am rooting for Lock, well, no, I’m rooting for Aaron Rodgers, but I prefer Lock over Bridgewater.

No matter if Lock, Bridgewater, Rodgers, or a sack of potatoes starts at QB for the Denver Broncos, I’ll still be cheering in front of my TV.