The kid drew up his first NFL touchdown pass in the dirt and celebrated his first professional win by bounding off the Denver sideline and leaping into the arms of Broncos teammateDalton Risner. While it’s way too early to reserve a spot in the Hall of Fame forDrew Lock, the rookie showed us something in a 23 – 20 victory against the Chargers that we haven’t seen in a Denver quarterback for way too long.
The kid has swagger.
Unlike Joe Flacco, cool to the point of being comatose, this Denver rookie burns hot.
Unlike Trevor Siemian, a self-described slappy, Lock is undeterred by that ornery pass-rusher trying to eat his lunch.
And unlikePaxton Lynch, who danced as if he was afraid to step in something, Lock walks on the field the way football heroes do, with big, swinging swag that announces his arrival before huddling ’em up.
As Lock volunteered with a hint of a smirk, he is “a little arrogant at times.”
The kid beat old man Phillip Rivers on Sunday and didn’t get spit out by defensive endJoey Bosa. Let’s be honest, Lock did it with stats that stunk, with offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello trying to hide his rookie in plain sight after turnovers by the Chargers allowed Denver to take 17 points into the locker room at halftime.
But maybe more important than any of the X’s and O’s stuff was this: Lock made the 19, 094 no-shows wish they had stirred from their tryptophan-induced slumber on the sofa and hauled their butts to the stadium on Sunday to watch the kid’s debut.
Naming Lock the starter was as much a marketing move as a football move.
“He had only 139 passing yards,” said Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward Jr ., who was not impressed.
Actually, Lock finished with 134 passing yards. But who’s counting?
What the stat sheet didn’t reveal is how Lock demonstrated the moxie to change the play design in the huddle, tellingCourtland Suttonto run a fade, and rewarding his No. 1 receiver with a 26 – yard touchdown pass that Sutton nabbed with one mitt while tumbling in the end zone.
“It’s awesome,” Sutton said. “I knew that Drew had a little swag to him… You can see it. His demeanor and the way he carries himself, he has some swag. ”
Here’s hoping Flacco didn’t sell his house back in Baltimore. His services aren’t needed in Broncos Country beyond this season. It’s time to give a young quarterback a chance and live with his inevitable mistakes.
Here’s hoping a little of the rookie’s swag rubs off on Scangarello, who too often acts like a nervous nanny, worried somebody might get hurt, instead of pressing the pedal to the metal when Denver takes the lead.
At this point, I can’t tell you if Lock is the long-term answer at quarterback. But I can promise you the Broncos won’t find out by swaddling the kid in bubble wrap.
Every little move Lock makes reminds me of the words to a Luke Combs song:I won 100 bucks on a scratch-off ticket. Bought two 12 – packs and a tank of gas with it.
This new quarterback acts as if the lottery was invented for him to win. If Lock is serving arrogance, pour us all a double.
Want to know why there were so many no-shows on Thanksgiving weekend? My sneaking suspicion is Broncos Country has grown weary of watching a team afraid to lose.
So count this as a step in the right direction: After the Chargers tied the game with 14 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the first inclination of Denver’s coaching staff was to take possession of the kickoff, then take a knee for one snap from scrimmage and hope for the best in overtime.
But coachVic Fangiosaid: “No.” He vetoed the idea of taking a knee. After deciding there wasn’t enough time on the clock to look for a chunk play down the middle of the field, Fangio told his coaches: “Let’s go down the sideline and see what happens.”
So Lock dropped back, heaved the football as far as Sutton could run and watched a flag for pass interference thrown. Broncos kickerBrandon McManustook advantage of that gift by nailing a 53 – yard field goal as time expired.
As the football sailed through the uprights, Lock pumped a fist, sprinted off the Denver sideline and began partying like he just won 100 bucks with a scratch-off ticket.
“That’s just who I am. That’s who I’m going to stay, ”Lock said. “I’m always going to be that guy. I think: Why not have a lot of fun while you’re in it? You’re not in it forever, so you might as well give it all you’ve got and have some fun with it. ”
Oh, Lord. When it rains, it pours.