The Denver Broncos lost to the Oakland Raiders 21-14, but it was looking a lot worse before Trevor Siemian came into the game late in the third quarter after Paxton Lynch left the game with a high ankle sprain.
Through three and a half quarters, Lynch looks like a really bad quarterback. His Pro Football Focus grade reflects that.
QB PAXTON LYNCH, 48.2 OVERALL GRADE
Lynch’s first start of the season couldn’t have gone much worse, as he was woefully ineffective before leaving in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a non-contact injury. Most telling about his struggles was his performance in a clean pocket, as he managed just 37 passing yards and a crucial interception in the end zone when not faced with Oakland’s pass-rush.
That is damning. With a clean pocket, Lynch was still pretty bad. He did get 37 of his 41 passing yards on the day when he had a clean pocket. If that makes anyone feel better.
The spark that fans had been waiting for ever since Siemian was benched after four horrendous games was, in fact, provided by Siemian after he returned to the football field.
PFF, however, was unimpressed with most of his throws and his grade took a big hit even though he was clearly the better quarterback out there.
QB TREVOR SIEMIAN, 53.8 OVERALL GRADE
Siemian’s overall grade isn’t fully indicative of how much more effective he was than Lynch, as he was able to lead two fourth quarter touchdown drives which put Denver within a possession of tying a game that appeared completely out of reach. He was particularly effective against the blitz, as he completed 3-of-4 throws for 61 yards when Oakland brought the extra man, and had a passer rating of 116.7 on those attempts.
Siemian will need to show his performance against a soft, lead-protecting pass defense on Sunday was no fluke. The Broncos are going up against three cupcake teams with losing seasons, so there should be some competitive fight to win some games there.