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Horse Tracks: Max Garcia has earned starting job

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Broncos rookie offensive lineman Max Garcia has earned himself the right to start for the Broncos after his clutch performance against the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Wednesday, Broncos Country.

In his first career NFL start Max Garcia shined for the Broncos, which led him to be nominated for the league's Pepsi Rookie of the Week.

He played all 79 offensive snaps against the New England Patriots and earned a +2.3 grade in run blocking per Pro Football Focus, one of the highest marks earned by a Broncos lineman in that regard this season. To quote former Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan, "Big time players make big plays in big games," and Garcia's performance against a strong Patriots defensive front has earned him the right to start at guard the rest of the season.

Drafted in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Garcia's versatility, strength at the point of attack and tenacity are one of the reasons the Broncos thought so highly of him. Throughout the course of the season, he has been rotated regularly in game action for veterans Evan Mathis and Louis Vasquez, who have been hampered by lingering injuries. In their stead, he has performed admirably, showing signs of greatness in run blocking and has been above-average in pass protection.

In a few games earlier in the year, Garcia was called for several false starts and holding penalties that stalled drives, but has become much more disciplined as the season has rolled on.  His play has earned the respect of his teammates, who now call him "the future" here in Denver. There is no doubting that — he has Pro-Bowl potential and will be a key cog for the Broncos offensive line for years to come and in my opinion, has earned himself a starting position at one of the guard spots for the rest of the year.

As always, thanks for reading and here are today's Horse Tracks.

Horse Tracks:

Denver's poor pass protection has ended the quarterback debate | Mile High Sports
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Power Rankings: The toughest QB-TE/WR matchups remaining for Denver | Mile High Sports
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Max Garcia Helps Swing Broncos' Upset
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Josh McCown out for season with broken collarbone
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Jerry Jones: Dallas Cowboys looking for QB to develop
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Ben Roethlisberger remains in concussion protocol
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Rob Gronkowski thinks he's being targeted by officials
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