It was a risky proposition from the onset — a play that was brought on more by an ideology than a competition. When the Denver Broncos opted to go with second-year quarterback Trevor Siemian — the 250th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft — it was not because the Northwestern product was necessarily a winning quarterback in the NFL, it was because he was the QB on the Broncos’ deliberately bare-bones depth chart who gave the team the best chance to win.
It was a bit shocking that John Elway, one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the NFL, built a roster that left Siemian as the team’s starting QB. One would have imagined that Elway would value the quarterback position above all in team building, but instead, the defending Super Bowl champions opted to double-down on the formula they almost accidentally stumbled upon last year: defense, defense, defense, and just enough offense. Why pay big bucks for a big-time quarterback when you don’t need big-time results?
But the Broncos do need some results, some production, from the quarterback position, and there’s growing evidence that Siemian no longer can provide the necessary offensive output for the Broncos to win games. And with the quarterback of the future, first-round pick Paxton Lynch, waiting in the wings and the Broncos on a bye week, there are growing calls to make a quarterback change.
But it’s too late for that kind of a move — the Broncos are Siemian’s team for the remainder of the regular season, for better or for worse.Denver is in the middle of a playoff race, and while the optimist looks at what Lynch has done in limited playing time this season, the pessimist has to be fearful of pinning a team’s late-season playoff chances to a rookie quarterback with fewer than 60 pass attempts to his name. If he can, the Broncos will be in the postseason and be a worthwhile bet to defend their crown. If not, Lynch will take over a Broncos team looking to get back into the playoffs in 2017.