So it wasn’t Mike McCoy’s fault after all.
It wasn’t the fault of the offensive line.
It wasn’t because Broncos had given Paxton Lynch the start and Trevor Siemian only had a quarter-and-a-half to get the needed scores.
As yesterday’s 19-of-41 completions, three sacks, three interceptions, zero touchdowns and 30.5 passer rating shows, Siemian is not the quarterback savior this team needs.
Trevor Siemian: staring down receivers since 2016.— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) December 3, 2017
“We didn’t get off to a good start,” the third-year quarterback said after the blowout loss to the Dolphins. “From there on, we had no rhythm. From the start really past that one drive we didn’t have anything going.”
Bill Musgrave, promoted from QB coach to offensive coordinator just over a week ago, had a full week to put a plan for Siemian and the offense together, but for the second week in a row, his QB couldn’t get it done.
For the eighth week in a row, no Broncos quarterback has shown an ability to play a clean game without drive-killing mistakes.
“Yeah, I think it’s just a tough day. We’re struggling. It’s frustrating,” Siemian said. “Definitely a couple throws I wish I would’ve had back. It’s a tough day.”
Actually, it’s been a tough season - full of constant mistakes.
“It’s tough. I don’t want to say we feel good during the week, because we’re losing, but I feel like we always have a good plan coming in,” Siemian added. “Guys are in the right spot mentally and for whatever reason we’re just not getting it done when it comes down to it.”
Coaching has played a part, no doubt. Offensive line has been at fault at times, for sure.
But the game-planning has improved, and the running game has increasingly been a complement. The offensive line - while imperfect in so many ways - has been giving the QB enough time to make a play.
When Siemian had a clean pocket last night he was 15-31 for 176 yards, 0 TD, all 3 interceptions, and a 26.5 passer rating, per PFF.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) December 4, 2017
Yet week in and week out, the one constant in all the losses is that the quarterback is generally losing the game - in turnovers, in poor decisions, in bad-to-horrendous play.
“I think we’ve just played badly. It’s hard to believe that we started 3-1, right? It felt pretty good with where we were at and it has gotten away from us a little bit,” Siemian said. “I felt like there has been weeks where we’ve been right there and just haven’t gotten it done, haven’t made enough plays. So, we’ve got to get back to work.”
#Broncos average 1.63 points per drive with Osweiler (would be 23rd in league)— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) December 4, 2017
Average 1.33 points per drive with Siemian (ranks 30th in the league).
Yds per cmp
It’s no secret that I haven’t been thrilled with ANY OF THE THREE quarterbacks the Broncos kept on the roster this year - and I was laughed at for my #TeamSloter push during the ridiculous “Paxton v. Trevor” contest via Denver media in the offseason.
But I dare say, the quarterback situation on this team needs a heck of a lot more than “getting back to work.”
It needs a different player - and there’s no use wasting time in the offseason not going off that assumption from the get-go.
As for the rest of this season, Siemian should be benched for good. Lynch should remain benched unless he’s healthy enough to prove whether his backup potential or trade value is better. Give Osweiler the start and plan on him being nothing more than No. 2 in 2018.