When the tweets started to fly, it didn’t look good for Paxton Lynch. At all. Three interceptions, two that would have been pick-sixes had Darian Stewart not goofed around and had the ball stripped by Demaryius Thomas before he got into the end zone.
Then more information started to come in and, with it, way more clarity. It started to make sense, and wasn’t as bad as it was portrayed or you first thought.
Since Trevor Siemian didn’t throw on Tuesday because of his sore shoulder, Lynch worked on the scout team but also, finally, was able to get consistent reps with the ones and twos on offense.
Two of the three interceptions came when Lynch worked the scout team. That means he was playing the role of the Los Angeles Rams offense and their quarterbacks. That means Lynch played against the No Fly Zone. In that regard, he did a fantastic job of what could likely happen when the Rams face that Denver Broncos defense on Saturday.
In all seriousness, is it really a surprise a rookie quarterback struggled against the best and fastest defense in the NFL? Against the best and fastest secondary in the NFL? It would be a surprise if Lynch didn’t struggle. He’s a rookie. There will be mistakes. There will be turnovers. It’s all part of learning how to play quarterback in the NFL.
So the rook struggles against the NFL's best defense? I can handle that. This is how we learn. https://t.co/vc1ikPcsKd— L.Lattimore-Volkmann (@docllv) August 23, 2016
What matters is how Lynch responds come Wednesday.
“It definitely helps, but boy is it tough,” Gary Kubiak said after practice. “The kid is out here today running the Rams’ offense and the Broncos’ offense. It’s very difficult. I shouldn’t say that because he’s going to know I said that. That’s what gives you a chance to get better.
“You have to wear a lot of hats if you’re going to play in the NFL and be a young player on a team. You have to come out here on a given day and do a lot of things. You have to work the other team’s stuff well and work your stuff well. That’s what he’s learning.”
In his time with the ones and twos on offense, Lynch was nearly perfect and confirmed why most want to see him in this role in a game. He went 6-for-7 with his only miss coming on the first pass to Emmanuel Sanders.
Matter of fact, he does. Two of his 3 INTs were with scout team. Every great QB has days like this as a rookie. https://t.co/yGG4yqOY6W— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 23, 2016
As Andrew Mason wrote in his story after practice, “Lynch's work with the first team led to some good connections, including a strike down the seam to a crossing Demaryius Thomas, a connection on a slant route with Cody Latimer, a nice toss to Jordan Taylor off the play-action bootleg and, finally, a deep strike to Emmanuel Sanders, who caught it in the west end zone for the touchdown."
It was an up-and-down practice for Lynch. In his rookie season, it won’t be the last time he struggles. It won’t be the last time he thrives either. It’s life for a rookie quarterback in the NFL.
All this is yet more indication this competition is far from over.