The Denver Broncos will open the 2021 season on September 12 against the New York Giants. Quarterback Drew Lock and the Broncos are coming off a 5-11 season in 2020. They haven’t posted a winning record since 2016 when the team finished 9-7. Earlier today, head coach Vic Fangio named Teddy Bridgewater the team’s starting quarterback heading into 2021. While that may be unfortunate circumstances for Lock, it could prove to be the ultimate motivator as the regular season draws near.
Drew Lock’s lead up to 2021
Drew Lock was selected by the Denver Broncos in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Since making his debut in 2019, president of football operations John Elway was banking on Lock’s right arm to right Denver’s ship. Through 18 games in the orange and blue, Lock has thrown for 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. If the Broncos hope to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2016, new general manager George Patton will have to help Lock play to his strengths.
George Patton’s Role In Drew Lock’s 2021 Performance
On January 12, George Patton was named general manager for the Denver Broncos. Prior to his arrival in the Mile High City, Patton spent over 14 seasons in the Minnesota Vikings organization. Most recently, he served as the vice president of player personnel from 2019-20. During his tenure with the Vikings, Patton went on to draft quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. With Bridgewater beating out Lock for the starting role, the Broncos will have had 10 different starting quarterbacks since 2021 hall of famer Peyton Manning retired in 2016.
The Denver Broncos will need to establish their identity early in the season. The team has appeared in only two Super Bowls thus far since the start of the 21st century. During those two appearances, they had a clear identity. In Super Bowl XLVIII against the Seattle Seahawks, the Broncos struggled on both sides of the ball as they fell 43-8. During the game, they failed to ride the high octane offense Peyton Manning orchestrated all season. The Broncos were able to rebound in 2015 as they rode a defense led by Von Miller to a world championship in Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers.
If the Denver Broncos want to be successful during the 2021 season, the first step will be to win within the AFC West. Since 2016, the Kansas City Chiefs have been the team to beat. Led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs have put together quality season after quality season. With the Broncos passing on quarterbacks such as Deshaun Watson early in free agency, Paton reinforced his belief that the Broncos’ franchise quarterback is already in Denver. Teddy Bridgewater may be just the veteran presence the Broncos have been searching for. Whether or not Bridgewater will be a major contributor in the Mile High City is yet to be seen. He may have been named the starting quarterback, but he understands that Lock is waiting in the wings.
Drew Lock and the Denver Broncos have a lot to prove heading into this season. Not only does the team want to get off to a hot start, but 2021 is the year for Lock to show the world that he can be an elite NFL quarterback. The Broncos have had a never-ending carousel at quarterback. Lock not only has a chance to win back the starting job, but be successful in a Broncos’ uniform.
2021 is the season it could all come together for Drew Lock. Either he proves to be the real deal on the gridiron or the next in a line of NFL flameouts.
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