The Drew Lock era in Denver has officially commenced, but should he have really started this game? Critics would say that the rookie’s inexperience is what cost the Broncos the game, as they fell to the Raiders 34-26. Lock had his shining moments completing 12 passes for 193 yards, although he added three interceptions and a crucial fumble on the goal line with under a minute left in the 4th quarter. We caught up with Coach Miles after the game and asked about Lock’s controversial start. He added, “We felt like Drew was ready to play, he had some bright moments and his mobility is a weapon for us.” Lock did shine in the run game, rushing 4 times for a total of 57 yards albeit, one of the rushes turned into a fumble that could have easily been a touchdown had he just held onto the ball. Lock will have his work cut out for him as the Broncos will have to swallow this loss and go up against a Bears defense that help the Packers to 10 points. What is the key to staying competitive in that game? Limiting the turnovers and finding ways to protect Lock.
Game Victories: Philip Lindsay had a fantastic day, running for 146 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
Game Opportunities: Developing a pass rush. Only 1 sack? Are you kidding me? There were times during this game where Von Miller and company were completely obliterated off the line of scrimmage. Miller played a huge role in the run game, coming up with two forced fumbles, of which one led to a scoop and score by fellow pass rusher Bradley Chubb. However if the Broncos want to make a run at the division, they’ll have to rely on Miller and Chubb to set the tone.
Injuries: WR DaeSean Hamilton went down early in the first quarter with a shoulder sprain that ended his day. The 2nd year pro is projected to have a huge impact in the slot this season and Denver could have used his talents seeing how much they struggled to find separation from the Oakland defenders.
Joe Flacco was sighted in this game, however very short it may have been. After a 20 yard run from Drew Lock, Flacco was asked to come in to relieve him. Flacco took the snap and overthrew a wide open Noah Fant on a drag route and then proceeded to hit another WR over the middle for an 11 yard gain. When asked about guiding Lock along the way, Flacco didn’t seem concerned at all. Lock’s development will be at the forefront throughout the season, and Flacco is a cap casualty candidate next season. Flacco is owed over 20 million for next season, so he almost assuredly will be cut.