Denver Broncos: Here’s the thing about Teddy Bridgewater

Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has come under fire during the season for his poor play at times, but he has largely been everything the team has hoped, and more.

When Teddy Bridgewater won the quarterback battle for the Denver Broncos, many fans, media figures, and everyone in between seemed to think that Drew Lock played better during offseason activities.

As time passed, it seemed apparent that the coaching staff favored Teddy this entire time, putting into question the credibility of the quarterback competition over the summer.

That was 15 weeks ago, and since being named starter of the Denver Broncos, Teddy Bridgewater has been everything the coaching staff has hoped, and maybe even more.

Is Teddy Bridgewater exactly who we thought he was for the Denver Broncos?

Teddy has been fairly criticized at times for his sometimes poor play.  He’s missed open receivers on many occasions, missed easy throws, and taken easy sacks.  While no quarterback is perfect, Teddy is by no means a franchise guy, which is why he’s bounced around on several teams during his career.

What the Denver Broncos hoped Teddy Bridgewater would be is exactly what he’s done.  They envisioned Teddy as the game manager type, someone who could come in and keep the offense afloat, limit turnovers, and provide a strong veteran presence in the locker room.

Let’s break down each of these and see if Teddy has done what he’s been asked to do.

Teddy is largely seen around the league as a game manager or high-quality backup QB.  With these quarterbacks, you can generally win games but often cannot win because of them.

Through 13 games, Teddy Bridgewater has thrown for 18 touchdown passes, 7 interceptions, with a passer rating of 96.5.  He has been much better than his time last year with Carolina, and with 4 games remaining, is on pace for 23 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.  He’s also on pace to pass for over 3,800 yards.

Comparing his projected season finish with the Game Manager King, Alex Smith, we’ll see that Teddy Bridgewater is on a bit of a stronger pace than Smith ever was.  Alex Smith threw for at least 23 touchdowns only twice in his respectable career, and on 5 occasions threw less than 7 interceptions when he plays a full season.

While stats can often be misleading, bad quarterbacks don’t enjoy the production that Teddy Bridgewater is currently on pace for.

One of the most important parts of Teddy’s production is the limitation of turnovers.  The Broncos are positive in the turnover battle, have given the ball away at the 10th fewest rate in the NFL, and Teddy Bridgewater has thrown just 7 interceptions on the season, which is less than Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, and Josh Allen.

Seven interceptions rank as the 23rd most in the league.  While Teddy is not generally known as someone who pushes the ball down the field or puts the ball in harm’s way, his limiting his interceptions has greatly helped the offense.

The Broncos rank 20th in the NFL, averaging 21.2 points per game.  In 2020, the Broncos ranked 28th in the NFL, averaging 20.2 PPG.  In 2019, they also ranked 28th in the NFL in PPG, averaging just 17.6 points.

So, the Broncos are currently scoring more points per game than they have in the past 2 seasons.  Furthermore, the Broncos are 15th in offensive penalties committed, so they’re generally playing clean ball as well.

The team is by no means perfect on offense, but what we’ve seen from Teddy Bridgewater thus far this season has been everything he’s been in his career, and more.