To everyone else, the Broncos’ Quarterback Situation is still a mess. Is it really?
We'll start with the obvious. The first-team defense still looks like the league's best. The running game is destined for an outstanding season now that rookie Devontae Booker has relieved C.J. Anderson.
But there are some on the outside that feel Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian have made the same old mistakes that previous quarterbacks have been accused of. Despite coach Gary Kubiak announcing that Siemian would start Saturday's preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams, there are some who still believe the outlook remains a mess.
Kubiak seems to echo this sentiment. "We continue with the competition."
He has decided on his No. 1 quarterback for Saturday, but he'll only choose the Week 1 starter before the preseason finale in Arizona. And he doesn't know who'll be the second quarterback against the Rams this Saturday. The only thing he's decided is that he'll give Siemian, Sanchez and rookie Paxton Lynch equal work.
Well, that sounds fair.
The big question is whether Lynch will be given some first-team work. After a raw start, he's finally adjusted to the speed of the rush and seems more comfortable the more he plays. A big plus: he's the only one of the three quarterbacks to lead two touchdown drives in the preseason. Add the fact that he possesses an intrinsic knack of escaping the rush and squeezing the ball into tight windows, and things are looking promising.
Kubiak says, "Paxton has done some good things". Yes, promising.
Siemian was sharp in the first quarter, hitting nine consecutive passes and showing improvement at going through his progressions, then moving the offense to a first-drive touchdown. Things went downhill in the second quarter when San Francisco's Eric Reid read his move perfectly, stepping in front of the pass to Demaryius Thomas for a 42-yard touchdown.
When Sanchez entered into the second quarter after Siemian, the situation was disturbingly similar. He looked good at first, working the edges and seams. Then he fumbled... and then lost another fumble on the following series.
That made it three turnovers by Sanchez in just two quarters of preseason work and considering his inclination towards giveaways in his first seven seasons, he's not helping himself shed the pre-existing perception of him -€” that he's good, but sloppy enough to squander away good scoring chances.
"I’ll take this thing down to the wire if that’s what it takes." - @Mark_Sanchez— Broncos TV (@BroncosTV) August 24, 2016
" https://t.co/BF3NWJXrbP pic.twitter.com/TaEIPFrGMg
Kubiak still defends him.
"He's a competitive guy. That's the type of guy you want out there battling every day."
But protecting the ball is paramount. That's what Kubiak wants from his quarterbacks. Siemian does that best, based on training camp play. He may not have challenged the 49ers downfield (none of his passes were caught more than 12 yards from the line of scrimmage), but he's only responsible for one turnover this summer.
And this is why Siemian gets another shot at starting, and why he could possibly start against Carolina.
So while outsiders believe the Broncos Quarterback Situation is muddled, it seems those on the inside are a little clearer on where things lie.