Former Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater over-hated?

Is former Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy "Two Gloves" an over-hated piece of Broncos history?

Cincinnati Bengals v Denver Broncos
Cincinnati Bengals v Denver Broncos / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

For Denver Broncos fans, it has been a grueling stretch of play at the quarterback position that has been displayed on television over the last six years, but does seem to be headed in the right direction with new head coach Sean Payton reshaping QB Russell Wilson back to his elite form.

And while there have been some very rough seasons by starting quarterbacks including Drew Lock, Trevor Siemian, Joe Flacco, etc, there is one particular quarterback who is widely disliked by the fanbase and understandable to some point, but ultimately not deserved, given the circumstances. That quarterback is none other than Teddy "Two Gloves" Bridgewater.

In 2021, Teddy Bridgewater started in 14 games for the Broncos and threw 3,052 yards, 18 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions while completing 66.9 percent of his passes on a 94.9 quarterback rating.

Even with the massive amount of injuries piling up on the team's roster, Bridgewater managed to stay very efficient and not turn the ball over -- something fans became very familiar with when watching QB Drew Lock operate the offense. Other than Bridgewater's 2021 season, the only other Broncos quarterback since Peyton Manning that comes nearly as close to his production and efficiency as a starter is Trevor Siemian in 2016 when he threw 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on 59.5 percent completion in 14 games started as well (8-6 record).

Obviously, stats don't tell the full story, and for Broncos fans that sat through all of Bridgewater's 14 starts in 2021, they are well-aware that there were many other factors for the seven losses during that stretch. However, Bridgewater did in fact win seven games for the Broncos and finished with a .500 record while playing very exceptional complementary football to the defense -- something not many recent starting quarterbacks can say for the team.

Despite the high distaste for Bridgewater's frequent leniency to check down passes short of the sticks often resulting in fourth downs, it was more satisfying seeing the team score field goals than either turning the ball over or not even making it past the 50-yard line. Bridgewater was much more efficient at converting third downs than any other Broncos starting quarterback in recent years and was able to build long sustained drives, which is very essential to dominating the time of possession and giving your team a better chance of winning football games -- once again, another stat multiple Broncos quarterbacks have failed to reach.

Not to mention, Bridgewater averaged 20.8 points per game with the Broncos which is more than Drew Lock (19.8), Russell Wilson (16.9), Joe Flacco (15.6), Case Keenum (20.6), and the list goes on. Bridgewater's 0.5 interceptions per game average is also far less than any of the quarterbacks previously listed.

Accuracy is very detrimental to an offense's success and we as Broncos fans know how heart-wrenching an interception in crucial time can affect the entire momentum of a football game. Bridgewater did a very appreciable job of executing the offense and progressing through his reads rather than always targeting the first receiver he laid his eyes on.

Overall, the Teddy Bridgewater hate during his time with the Broncos truly has never made any sense and ultimately feels like a product of fans being used to the production of Hall-of-Fame QB Peyton Manning. While Bridgewater didn't exceed expectations and play to the level he was supposed to, he was still a very efficient QB for the team and did play a huge part in keeping the Broncos in the hunt for a playoff spot towards the end of the season before unfortunately suffering a scary head injury against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Fans are entitled to their own opinions and can be upset by his infamous "missed" tackle against the Philadelphia Eagles however, this does not speak for his entire contribution over the course of 14 games he started and battled through injuries to give the team a legitimate shot at the postseason. At the end of the day, Teddy Bridgewater had far and away the best individual season by any quarterback the Denver Broncos have had since Peyton Manning. The film doesn't lie.

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