1. Not much changed at the quarterback
We entered Thursday night hoping to get some answers at quarterback but left with no new answers.
What we learned: Sanchez is the starter, Siemian seems acaoabale backup, Lynch is the future.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) August 12, 2016
All things we already knew. #Broncos
Sanchez started the game and looked alright in his first drive. He connected with DT, Sanders, and Virgil Green a few times and the offense was moving the ball. Sanchez capped off his first drive with a 32 yard(dumb luck really) touchdown to Thomas. The Bears brought an all out blitz, Sanchez chucked it up and the corner for whatever reason left DT wide open.
In typical Mark Sanchez fashion, the next drive ended with an interception. He finished the night 10 for 13 for 1 touchdown and 1 interception
Siemian entered the game in the second quarter and played alright. His best two passes were a back shoulder pass to Bennie Fowler(which ended up being incomplete) and a nice 20+ yard pass to Jordan Taylor before halftime. He looked more comfortable than Sanchez and even attacked downfield more which was nice to see.
Overall I don't think either Sanchez or Siemian did enough to separate or lose ground on each other, so this battle continues for another week
The rookie Paxton Lynch played in his first NFL game action last night and looked good. He showed off his strong arm and athleticism last night.
Paxton's best throw of the night:https://t.co/smHo7EPsdJ— Ryan Greene (@RGreene5280) August 12, 2016
His best play was a 22-yard pass to Jordan Taylor in the fourth quarter. He finished the night 6 for 7 for 74 yards. He flashed his talent and athleticism tonight, and I liked what I saw from Lynch.
All three looked fine. Not great, not bad but alright. I didn't see Sanchez or Siemian do anything to separate themselves from each other but they didn't do anything to really hurt themselves either. I liked what I saw from Lynch but would like to see how he does with and against better talent.
2. Broncos defense continues to dominate
The Broncos defense didn't miss a beat last night. Even without Chris Harris Jr., Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, and Aqib Talib not playing, they shut out the Bears and dominated their offense.
The Broncos had 7 total sacks last night. 2 by rookie linebacker Vontarrius Dora, Jared Crick, Dekoda Watson, Will Parks, and T.J. Ward had 1 sack, and Shane Ray and Derek Wolfe came away with a .5 sack as well. Second-year corner Lorenzo Doss also came away with an interception. Dora also had a forced fumble and Watson came away with a safety.
The Broncos held the Bears offense to just 130 yards in four quarters and shut them out.
It's just the preseason but the dominate Broncos defense showed up once again.
3. Cody Latimer the playmaker
Cody Latimer was the Broncos most impressive offensive player last night. He caught 7 balls for 82 yards and looked like the receiver the Broncos thought they were getting the past few years
I know it's preseason but Cody Latimer looks remarkably better than last year. Him and Bennie Fowler improvements will make a great WR unit.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) August 12, 2016
He caught multiple passes from Trevor Siemian and used his size and strength to get the YAC(yards after catch).
With the number three job wide open for the Broncos, Latimer made his case last night for the job.
4. Hillman ahead of Booker and Bibbs?
One interesting development last night was seeing the veteran Ronnie Hillman get first team reps and going ahead of rookie Devontae Booker and Kapri Bibbs.
Ronnie Hillman seemed ahead of Devontae Booker. Hillman had 1 snap with the 1s and by the time Booker saw the field, Hillman was almost done— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) August 12, 2016
Most have assumed that Booker and maybe even Bibbs passed Hillman on the depth chart, but last night Hillman was second in line to receive carries at running back.
Hillman finished with 3 carries for 13 yards
Booker finished with 4 carries for 11 yards
Bibbs finished with 15 carries for 53 yards
This battle figures to come down to the final preseason game.
5. Virgil Green has the starting tight end job locked down
The Broncos veteran tight end looks primed for a breakout year. He took first-team reps with the Broncos offense and caught three passes for 26 yards on Thursday night.
Prior to Camp, most assumed that 2015 third round pick Jeff Heuerman would get the starting nod, but it appears it is Green's job to lose right now. Heuerman finished the night with 1 catch for 6 yards.