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Can we talk about the Broncos' backup quarterback "competition"?

Ryan Koenigsberg Avatar
August 12, 2018

DENVER — This is getting ridiculous.

The Paxton Lynch experiment has played itself out. It’s over.

I understood when a rookie couldn’t win the job coming out of a spread system in a small conference. I was on board with the “three-year project” narrative for a while. I was guilty, at times, of trying to find positives, and even bought some of the hype after No. 12 had a solid week of practices in San Francisco last year, but enough is enough.

A three-year project should be nearing completion at this point, but the Paxton Lynch project isn’t even off of the ground yet, and Saturday night’s game was just another chapter in a book that just keeps getting worse.

Trading away Trevor “tailormade backup” Siemian was a head-scratcher at best, and the NFL schedule-makers did the Broncos absolutely no favors in trying to justify it. When Minnesota showed up first on the preseason schedule, at home, John Elway must have known what was coming. Heck, nobody knows what Trevor Siemian vs. Paxton Lynch looks like more than John, he’s had to watch it play out for two years right in his own backyard.

It’s pretty simple. The Broncos have the wrong backup.

There’s a saying in sports, “It’s hard to beat a team three times in a row.” Well, for the third time in a row, Team Trevor mopped the floor with Team Paxton.

Siemian: 11/17, 165 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 111.2 passer rating

Lynch: 6/11, 24 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 22.2 passer rating

Have you ever seen an extremely one-sided fight where somebody is just getting pummeled and you get sort or sick to your stomach? That’s how I felt watching what we can only hope is the last installment of Siemian V. Lynch, the only fight worse than Mayweather and McGregor.

“We didn’t really put a lot of drives together or move the ball, so I’m sad about that,” Lynch said after the game.

“Boooooooooooooo,” Broncos fans said during it.

The only solace this time for the Broncos is that the sparring match was a battle of backup quarterbacks. Although, some might say it was always a battle of backup quarterbacks.

Oh, and speaking of backup quarterbacks, the Broncos might actually have a promising one, but for some reason, he can’t even sniff a second-team rep in practice.

Just as he was in the Broncos’ only scrimmage of camp, Chad Kelly was the star of the show in the Broncos’ preseason opener. Albeit against mostly third-teamers, the second-year QB tossed for 177 yards and two touchdowns, bringing the Broncos back from a 27-14 deficit all the way into the lead at one point.

“Kelly! Kelly! Kelly!” The same fans that booed Lynch chanted as the man Vance Joseph once tabbed his “favorite quarterback in the draft” sliced and diced the Minnesota defense, fitting fastball after fastball into tight window after tight window.

A laser show.

Now, it is hard to evaluate a quarterback when he’s going up against the threes, but that’s kind of the point here, isn’t it?

After the game, I spoke with multiple player sources and each guy was thinking the same thing that you and I are—it’s time for Chad Kelly to get a chance with the second team.

“We know when a guy can play,” one player said. “We also know when a guy can’t.”

The other prevalent feeling was a not-so-secret secret NFL rule, the reps go where the money goes.

The funny thing is that the better Chad Kelly gets, the further he seemingly gets from earning the second-team nod.

First, it was a full-blown competition. Then, it was Kelly will “eventually” get second-team reps. Then it was Kelly “might” get second-team reps.

How about after Lynch laid another egg and Kelly lit it up?

“We’ll see,” Joseph said.

I think we’ve seen enough.

On a night in which four quarterbacks who the Broncos could’ve had as a backup battled between the lines at Mile High, somehow the worst one of the bunch—by far—was the second man on the field for the Orange & Blue.

This is getting ridiculous.


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