Denver Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater needs a hot start vs. Raiders

Jul 28, 2021; Englewood, CO, United States; Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur looks on during training camp at UCHealth Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 28, 2021; Englewood, CO, United States; Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur looks on during training camp at UCHealth Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Dating back to 2019, the Denver Broncos have now gone 24 straight games without an opening drive touchdown.

There are plenty of fingers to be pointed on why this catastrophe of a stat is a real thing, but let’s start with the one (mostly) constant variable in this debacle, Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

If you fall back 24 games, you will come across the disheartening fact that it was in Drew Lock’s rookie season, in 2019, when the Denver Broncos last scored an opening drive touchdown. We all remember Drew “Buzz Lightyear” Lock’s outstanding performance on this day.

Lock really lit it up through the first three quarters, building a big enough lead that the Denver Broncos were honestly able to pull their foot off of the gas pedal. Who was the offensive coordinator at this time?

Rich Scangarello.

In 2021, not only is there a new offensive coordinator in town but there is also a new starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Teddy Bridgewater and Pat Shurmur were supposed to go together like cottage cheese and barbeque chips.

Yes for everyone out there, this is a fantastic combination. While it sounds absolutely appalling, it is incredible. Unfortunately for Bridgewater and Shurmur, these two have not been cottage cheese and barbecue chips.

Realistically, they have been more like stale bread and sauerkraut.

Shurmur has been through the quarterback carousel here in the past 24 games. He has scripted drives through Drew Lock, Jeff Driskel, Brett Rypien, even Kendall Hinton, and now, Teddy Bridgewater.

Bridgewater in the past five games has certainly not helped this reign of poor starts. Just last week, the offense somehow managed to draw a delay of game penalty on their very first offensive snap.

While coaching could play a part in this, once the players take the field, the quarterback is now the captain. Coaches are the generals typically pre-snap, but once you step inside those hash marks, the trust gets passed on to the quarterback.

Another thing I would like to see from Teddy Bridgewater is for him to take control of the offense. What I mean by that is even if he is in a situation that doesn’t look beneficial, if he is facing an 8-man box and the Pat Shurmur has an inside dive called, audible out of the play call.

Check into a more favorable matchup. That is what the good veteran quarterbacks do, they put their offenses in a good position to succeed. As a coordinator, you can only give your best judgment as to what to expect from the defense, but once the quarterback sees it, he should make the adjustments from that point on.

Bridgewater is also being hyper-conservative with the football early on. Maybe this was attributed to the fact he had not thrown an interception yet and he wanted to keep that streak alive, but he ended the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with one, so that is done for.

Honestly, as crazy as this may sound, I wouldn’t mind seeing Teddy try to force a pass into tight coverage early on in the game, even if it results in interceptions. This playing “not to lose” during the early portions of the game is not a recipe for success against good football teams.

In an unexpected development, this secondary has not been as lockdown as we all had hoped. Kyle Fuller’s name should be changed to Kyle “is so” Fuller of himself thinking that he can still run step-for-step with young receivers like Diontae Johnson.

This team just can not afford to get behind like this, especially against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. 

Teddy Bridgewater needs to go buy the offense, himself included, a bunch of hot hands and put them inside their britches to get this offense moving. One thing I have yet to see this season is Teddy Bridgewater getting the huddle bouncing as he harped on in the offseason.

This is a young offense, they shouldn’t have any issue with getting hyped up before a game. Bridgewater is known as an even-keel type of guy who never carries too much energy. For this team, at least for this game, I think Bridgewater needs to take a different approach.

We have seen what this calm and cool demeanor has got his offense so far, just an average of 2.6 points per game in the first quarter. That doesn’t even accumulate to a measly field goal. Change is needed in this department and it needs to happen sooner than later.

Even in his latest presser, Teddy Bridgewater mentioned how the team needs to take the same approach every single day, win or lose. Well, I have a major issue with that if it isn’t leading to success. If your daily process leads you to scoring less than three points in the first 15 minutes of the game, that approach needs to be adjusted.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results,” a famous quote by the brilliant Albert Einstein.

As the starting quarterback in the NFL, you will have to make adjustments and you will have to adapt. It’s time Teddy Bridgewater takes this advice to heart. If Teddy Bridgewater comes out on the opening drive, gets the huddle bouncing, and asserts himself in an aggressive manner, I do not think this team would react negatively.

This might be what the team needs to get that spark they have been lacking. Like it or not, this team has come out flat. That starts with leadership, attitude reflects leadership. I’ve got this bad feeling that this team has taken on Teddy Bridgewater’s passive mentality and it is contributing to these pedestrian starts, along with the ineptitude of Pat Shurmur.

Fire and desire, baby.

Time is running thin on this season, while it is still certainly early, if the Denver Broncos fall to the Raiders, they have to turn around and face the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night, in primetime. I’m not ready to see the Denver Broncos get dismantled during another primetime game, are you?

Increase the energy, increase the tempo, and go out Sunday and show that you care about winning football games. Take chances early, and be aggressive. Teddy Bridgewater needs to go out there and at least attempt to win this game, if he fails, so be it.

At least he is trying to win, instead of just trying not to lose. This team isn’t good enough right now for a game manager, they need someone who can make plays and make plays early. Teddy needs to come out Sunday with some fire and just maybe, this will trickle down the line to the players that follow his lead.