Denver Broncos: Drew Lock blows a golden opportunity in loss

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Denver Broncos backup quarterback Drew Lock got a great opportunity against the Baltimore Ravens and simply could not put anything together.

Drew Lock’s 2021 debut was not exactly what anyone had imagined a little more than a month ago when the team’s quarterback competition was still ongoing. Lock made his 2021 debut for the Denver Broncos in the second half of the team’s first loss of the season at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens.

As with the rest of the offense, it was not good.

The Denver Broncos dropped to 3-1 on the season with a loss on their home turf to former league MVP Lamar Jackson, whose arm was the difference in this particular game.

Unfortunately, Drew Lock couldn’t take advantage of a golden opportunity.

Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock misses great opportunity

The conditions and circumstances were not exactly ideal for Drew Lock, to be fair.

He entered the game in relief of starter Teddy Bridgewater, who was hit hard near the end of the first half and was ruled out by the team with a concussion. Bridgewater’s status was said to be “better” after the game but he will obviously have to go through the protocol throughout the week to determine his status going forward.

When Lock entered the game, he had a 10-point deficit and just two quarters to work with. Even without starter reps during the week, Lock has played enough in Pat Shurmur’s offense and looked solid enough in preseason play that it was fair to expect him to be able to come in and jumpstart the offense.

That simply did not happen.

He finished just 12-of-21 passing for 113 yards and no touchdowns, three sacks, and an interception while trying to put more points on the board during garbage time.

Obviously, Teddy Bridgewater also had his own struggles in the first half of the game. He didn’t get help from Albert Okwuegbunam and Courtland Sutton who both dropped catchable passes, but when Lock came in, the timing was a different kind of off.

The Denver Broncos‘ offense remained out of sync, they seemingly abandoned the run, and they couldn’t take advantage of seven forced punts on the game by the defense.

Even without forcing any turnovers, not many teams are forcing a Lamar Jackson-led offense to punt seven times.

Unfortunately, Lock was unable to seize the moment and simply move the offense.

The Denver Broncos looked offensively about as poor as they did at points in the 2020 season with Lock being pressured from a variety of angles, bad timing with the receivers, and just generally an inability to move the ball. There were killer penalties and although the lack of offensive success wasn’t all on Lock, he certainly had a chance to make an impression with Bridgewater out and he couldn’t do it.

Based on the struggles Bridgewater was also having, it will be fascinating to study the game from the coach’s tape and see what could have been different, if anything.

Pat Shurmur’s play calling in this game was tough to watch at times, at least in terms of the overarching strategy. Where were the plays designed for YAC? Why were the players so off on the downfield shot plays? Why was Teddy Bridgewater checking to a receiver screen on 3rd-and-10?

Overcoming a 10-point deficit against a playoff team with an MVP at quarterback is a tough ask, but what more could you ask for if you’re Drew Lock? After getting benched, you got a shot at home and the defense got you the ball quickly to start the second half.

We’ll see what happens over the course of this week and whether or not Drew Lock is the starting quarterback against the Pittsburgh Steelers with Teddy Bridgewater on the mend.