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Broncos Quarterback Scoreboard: Drew Lock’s hot start propels him to much-needed win in Sunday’s scrimmage
Editor’s note: A Broncos quarterback competition can only mean one thing — another Broncos quarterback scoreboard. A fan favorite in the past, these stories will be posted after each and every training camp practice updating just how Denver’s quarterback competition is unfolding. At the end of each practice, 10 points will be divided among Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater with a cumulative score of the entire camp following. Which quarterback is in the lead? Find out now.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Sunday football was back in the Mile High City. Finally.
Vic Fangio called an audible Sunday morning. Instead of holding the team’s scrimmage at Empower Field at Mile High, he moved the practice indoors to the Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse due to the poor air quality in Denver.
But the scrimmage still went on. Which meant the Broncos’ quarterback competition faced its first scrimmage of camp.
Here’s what went down between Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock during Denver’s 10th practice of training camp.
Lock’s Electric Start
The first half of practice belonged to Drew Lock. In fact, one could say, Drew had the first half on lock.
He started the fireworks show right out of the gate.
On his first drop back of the scrimmage, Lock let it fly. And boy did the ball travel.
After a three-yard run by Melvin Gordon, the Broncos’ first-team offense faced a 2nd-and-7 from their own 28-yard line. Lock dropped back from center and surveyed the field. He waited. And waited. And waited. As he bounced on his toes, he showed great patience of not rushing the play. Then he found his opportunity.
Lock unleashed a bomb from roughly his own 23-yard line to the defense’s 10. After traveling nearly 70 yards in the air, the ball floated over Courtland Sutton’s left shoulder in stride. The Pro-Bowl receiver had All-Pro corner Kyle Fuller beat by a step.
The play was blown dead at the 10-yard line, although in a game scenario it’s quite possible the 6-foot-4 receiver would have made his way into the end zone for a 72-yard touchdown on the first pass of the game.
But the play being blown dead at the 10 didn’t stop Lock from entering the end zone. After a run and a completion to Gordon out of the backfield on a Texas route, Lock found Eric Saubert wide open off a play-action boot. Drew made the easy toss to the tight end, capping off a magnificent 75-yard touchdown drive against the first-team defense.
Lock’s next drive, playing with the second-team offense, was a quick three-and-out, where the offense picked up nine yards on a completion to Kendall Hinton, but couldn’t connect with Damarea Crockett.
Drew and the second-team offense found their groove on the third drive.
Starting on the defense’s 30-yard line, it only took the offense four plays to make their way into the end zone. Lock connected with Shaun Beyer for six yards off play action, which was followed by two positive running plays.
On 2nd-and-7 from the 15, Lock split Michael Ojemudia and Caden Stern’s double coverage in the left corner of the end zone to find DeVontres Dukes for the touchdown.
In his final drive of the first half, starting at his own 35-yard line and working with the first-team offense, Lock was slowed down by Fangio’s defense.
On 1st-and-5, following a defensive offsides, Dre’Mont Jones steamrolled Graham Glasgow. Not only would Jones have likely sacked Lock, he also picked up a holding penalty committed by Glasgow in his pursuit to stop the powerful defensive lineman.
Malik Reed followed that up with a likely sack of his own as he burned off the edge. Since they let the play continue, Lock had a five-yard completion.
Drew then hit Jerry Jeudy in the hands, but the first-round pick was unable to hold on as Bryce Callahan might have got a finger on the pass. Still in need of a first down, Lock connected with Seth Williams on a slant, but was shy of the marker.
In the first half, Lock made his way into the end zone on half of his drives.
The defense, however, turned it on in the second half.
Facing the second-string defense, Lock’s first pass after the break was nearly picked off by Sterns. The rookie jumped the short throw near the right numbers, but wasn’t able to hang on to the bullet.
On 3rd-and-13, Lock’s pass intended for Hinton was tipped, causing it to land in the hands of another receiver just short of the sticks. Three-and-out.
Lock finished out practice with two red-zone periods.
Starting at the 12, Lock had two opportunities to throw the ball. His first was an overthrow to Andrew Beck in the back of the end zone. The second, Lock took off in the middle of the pocket only to be met by Dre’Mont at the line of scrimmage on 3rd-and-8.
The next red-zone opportunity started at the five.
On the first play, Lock rifled a ball to the goal line where it hit Saubert in the hands. But milliseconds later, Justin Simmons right hand swooped in from behind, knocking the pass out of his hands. In-com-plete.
After a one-yard run, Lock attempted to test Fuller again. But the All-Pro didn’t let that happen this time. Draped all over Jeudy, there was no place for the ball to go. Another incompletion.
Lock was given one final shot from the four. He quickly got the ball out to K.J. Hamler in the left flat. Just as the ball hit his hands, he was met by Ronald Darby. In a game, Hamler would have been blown up. In practice, he just went to the ground as did the ball.
Lock’s hot start dramatically cooled down in the second half. But for the first time in a while, Lock showed off his big arm in a big way.
On Saturday, Bridgewater only let the ball hit the ground once. A day later, Teddy’s second pass of practice hit the ground.
Following a short completion to Adam Prentice, Bridgewater attempted to hit Trinity Benson on a back-shoulder pass on 3rd-and-5, but Patrick Surtain had both of Benson’s shoulders completely covered. Three-and-out.
The coaches gave Bridgewater another shot immediately after. Starting from his own 50, Bridgewater picked up his first, first down on the day thanks to a 12-yard crosser to Williams over the middle of the field.
Teddy picked up his second first down the next play as he hit Albert Okwuegbunam off play action. Bridgewater put the ball over Okwuegbunam’s head, but the athletic tight end used one hand to haul the pass in. Plays later, however, Bridgewater wasn’t able to connect with Beyer on third down as the pass was too low.
Beginning his next drive on the 50, Bridgewater avoided a three-and-out thanks to an eight-yard completion to Saubert, followed by two Gordon runs. But the drive stalled after an incompletion to Sutton with Fuller in smothering coverage and a sack by Shelby Harris on third down.
Bridgewater was then given three-straight passes to pick up a first down on his next drive. But after two short completion, Teddy wasn’t able to hit Sutton on a back-shoulder pass on third down.
The final drive of the underwhelming first half put Bridgewater and the second-team offense at their own 35-yard line with two minutes left.
The first pass went 23 yards to Benson over Ojemudia. One play and the Broncos’ offense was already in the defense’s territory. He avoided disaster on the next play as Peter Kalambayi wasn’t able to hold onto an interception.
After two short completions and time still left on the clock, facing a 4th-and-1 from the 30, Bridgewater hit Beck for 20 yards over the middle of the field. However, the drive wasn’t allowed to finish as the coaches declared it was halftime.
The first drive of the second half began by Bridgewater marching the first-team offense down the field against the first-team defense. Three completions to Fant, Jeudy and Beck picked up 35 yards. The offense quickly moved from their own 25 to the edge of field goal range.
But the drive stalled. On 2nd-and-7, Bridgewater and Sutton were not on the same page, as the receiver didn’t cut his route in as Teddy had expected him to. That miscommunication nearly led to a Fuller interception. On third down, Bridgewater overthrew Fant on the right side.
Then, Teddy had his opportunity in the red zone. From the 12-yard line, working with and against the twos, No. 5 put just a bit too much air under a pass to Beyer in the back of the end zone. Incomplete. On 3rd-and-6, Jonathon Cooper shot out of a cannon from the right side and could have sacked Bridgewater. The play continued and Teddy wasn’t able to connect with Beck.
In his next red-zone opportunity, from the four-yard line, Bridgewater had the team’s only touchdown in the second half. Teddy tested Surtain on his first throw. The first-round corner didn’t give Williams any breathing room and broke the pass up.
On second down, scanning the field, Bridgewater found Williams open in the back left corner of the end zone. He placed the ball over Jamar Johnson for the touchdown. Teddy was finally on the board.
Bridgewater was given the final drive of practice. It was his opportunity to even the scoreboard with Lock.
Starting at the 50, with 58 seconds left and down seven, the offense needed a touchdown. Bridgewater hit Jeudy for 10 yards and a first down.
Then, he took a shot. With Jeudy in single coverage down the left sideline, Teddy tried to get it past Ronald Darby. But No. 21 wanted nothing to do with it as he batted the ball away at the goal line.
Bridgewater went back to Jeudy on the next play, picking up seven on a slant before rushing to the line of scrimmage. Instead of spiking the ball, Bridgwater connected for 11 more yards. Then came the spike.
With 13 seconds left and the ball at the 24-yard line, Bridgewater looked toward the sideline where he hit Hinton for a gain of 13. That picked up yards and stopped the clock.
However, only six seconds remained on the clock. Ball at the 11. Down seven.
Immediately, Bridgewater floated up a fade to Fant in the end zone. It hit the tight end’s hands, but fell incomplete as Darby swatted it away. After practice, Fant admitted he should have had it.
But one second remained. One final play. Game on the line.
As Bridgewater dropped back, no one was open. He stepped up and moved around the pocket, buying time for a receiver to find an opening. But it never happened. Denver’s secondary stepped up and forced Bridgewater to put up a prayer. The prayer wasn’t answered. The pass fell to the ground. Game over. Scrimmage over.
Bridgewater overcame a slow start and fell 11 yards short of tying Lock with 14 points scored in the scrimmage. He did, however, win the second half.
QB Play of the Day
Drew Lock’s 62-yard bomb to Courtland Sutton—potentially even 72-yard touchdown—wasn’t just the play of the day. It was the play of training camp thus far. Nuff said.
After dropping five-straight practices to Teddy Bridgewater, Drew Lock stepped up and grabbed a much-needed win on Sunday.
In the first half of the scrimmage, it appeared Lock was ready to runaway with it. But the veteran signal caller finished strong to keep Sunday’s scrimmage from being a blowout.
Daily 10-point scale score: 6.5-3.5, Drew Lock
Collective 10-point scale score: 52.5-47.5, Teddy Bridgewater