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Turnovers will be key in the Broncos quarterback competition

If Mark Sanchez can shed his turnover machine reputation in Denver, it would likely take an injury to not see him as the Broncos starting quarterback.

Everybody likes a competition. Even when it's pretty obvious there really isn't a very interesting competition going on. Maybe if the Denver Broncos didn't have a ridiculously talented defense the quarterback decision might be a little more interesting. But with this crazy-good Broncos defense, the QB question is really an easy one. Who is the safest choice. Who's the guy who can move the ball down the field and not hand it over to the other team. And if that guy isn't Mark Sanchez (at least to start the season) something has really, really gone wrong.

The Afternoon Drive talked about the turnover problem in Mark Sanchez's past on Wednesday. They speculated that as long as Sanchez could end drives consistently with a kick (extra point, field goal, or punt) Sanchez would be the Broncos QB. Sanchez of course has a history of turnovers, but guess who else makes a lot of turnovers. Inexperienced quarterbacks.

Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch may both end up being more talented quarterbacks than Sanchez, but their lack of experience puts them at risk of panicking and making poor decisions. Here's where Sanchez critics will chime in with "But Sanchez DOES panic and make poor decisions!!" But Sanchez has also been given the chance to reboot his QB career. There are just too many unknowns with the other QB options to not at least give Sanchez a chance to start. Kubiak isn't handing him the starting job in his press conferences, but why would he? There's no reason for him to do that right now other than to perhaps placate anxious fans.

One interesting thing mentioned in The Afternoon Drive's QB discussion was the question of how the defense would handle another season with a QB who had a chronic turnover issue. Spoiler alert: not well. And who would blame them? While many veterans, especially on the offense, would most likely feel more comfortable with a veteran QB on the field even with a turnover here and there, if Sanchez can't protect the ball, the defensive players may have a hard time supporting him. It's one thing to have a turnover problem and be Peyton Manning - it's another thing if the name on your jersey is Mark Sanchez.

Of course we won't know if Sanchez will have a turnover problem until he's actually starting games - and it seems very unlikely Sanchez will play so poorly or Siemian or Lynch will play so well that it won't be Sanchez out there for Week 1. If Sanchez starts getting multiple interceptions per game, that's when things will get very interesting, very quickly for the Broncos.