Here are five things we learned.
1. Trevor Siemian is your starter, but Paxton Lynch time might be sooner than you think.
Despite some pot-stirring earlier today, Siemian is your starting quarterback for the Broncos. For now. The key here is for Siemian to come back healthy this week. The more Lynch plays, the more confidence he could instill in Gary Kubiak and that would mean the less likely Siemian gets back on the field.
As exciting as it was to see Lynch succeed in his first game, many are forgetting that Siemian was 5/7 for 68 yards and touchdown before he left the game. That would be a bit better than the 14/24 for 170 and a touchdown that Lynch had.
Oh and the Broncos scored more points under Siemian than Lynch.
All that said, if Siemian is unable to return from his shoulder injury any time soon then his chances of returning as the starter dwindles with each passing week.
According to Pro Football Focus, Lynch has a very dominant intermediate throwing game. Overall, he graded out just average though with a 65.1.
First-round pick Paxton Lynch was forced into duty in the second quarter after Trevor Siemian was carted off the field with an apparent non-serious left shoulder injury. Lynch fared pretty well, and the Broncos did not hold back the game plan, firing passes to all levels. Lynch showed off his strong arm by dominating the intermediate level of the field, going 8-for-10 for 134 yards and a TD on throws between 10-19 yards in the air. Lynch had his share of misses, but the offense has some intriguing possibilities for big plays with him at the helm.
|Plays under pressure||4||3||0||0.0%||0||0.0||0||0||1||39.6|
|When not blitzed||14||13||9||69.2%||112||8.6||0||0||1||95.7|
2. Broncos defense is kinda back.
The Broncos defense held the Buccaneers to 2.8 yards per rush and a laughable 3.6 yards per pass play. The No Fly Zone is absolutely a thing and so is Sack City. This was the defense we all know and love from last season.
Playing against your former team is always likely to bring the best out of players with a little extra motivation, and Talib was a force for Denver against the Bucs. He picked off a Jameis Winston pass early in the game and took it back for the opening score, and also remained pretty much perfect thereafter. Talib was targeted four times, and caught more passes himself (two) than he allowed Bucs receivers to catch (one). In total he allowed just six yards through the air.
The big problem remains to be third downs. The Buccaneers only converted 31% of their third down attempts, but the Broncos still have concerns on that front.
3. Who needs a tight end?
Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are making it easy for whatever quarterback the Broncos throw in there. Tight ends usually figure prominently in Kubiak’s system, but with Virgil Green down with an injury the other guys just aren’t getting open.
That’s okay though, because the wide receiver duo finished with a lion’s share of the 218 yards passing.
Thomas had six catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.
Sanders had eight catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.
4. C.J. Anderson not finding much running room.
For the second straight week, Anderson and the run game has been nearly anemic. Donald Stephenson’s injury is nearly healed up and that’s definitely a good thing as Ty Sambrailo has struggled mightily in all phases of his game.
A big part of the running game issues could also be opposing defenses game planning to force the Broncos young, inexperienced quarterbacks to throw the football.
5. Von Miller is a game plan destroyer.
There is no other MVP candidate I even want to hear about in the NFL right now. Von is a game plan wrecking force through four games. He finished with another half sack to put him 5.5 on the season, but it was a huge run stop that really ruined any chance the Buccaneers had at making a game of this.
The most important player on this team is also the highest paid defensive player in the NFL.