The Denver Broncos have the NFL’s biggest position battle in the NFL, according to Albert Breer of MMQB. With Trevor Siemian coming off an impressive season statistically and Paxton Lynch being a significant investment from John Elway, the winner of this quarterback battle could make a significant impact in how the AFC title hunt plays out in 2017.
A 9-7 season, with a winless three-game stretch with the playoffs on the line in Week 14-16 where the Broncos averaged less than 10 points per game, just won’t cut it in Denver and the quarterback position is the games most important.
Vance Joseph stated immediately that there would be a quarterback battle with no timetables. That isn’t a ringing endorsement for a quarterback coming off an impressive statistical season. Having watched all the tape going back to college of each quarterback, this was the conclusion Joseph came to.
“I told the entire team, from this moment on, everyone gets a clean slate. And that includes the quarterbacks,” Joseph said coming off the field this week. “So how they play from this moment on is what I’m concerned about, not last year, or college. I’m concerned about this moment, moving forward, who the best guy is for our football team.”
What Joseph said that was truly interesting and gave insight into how his final depth chart process will play out came down to what he called ‘decision-making’.
“I’d say decision-making is going to be a major factor in who wins the job,” Joseph said. “That’s the position in the NFL—the guy who makes great decisions with the football, not turning the football over, and the guy who lets his teammates play for him, that’s the guy I want to lead our football team. Obviously, ball placement in the pass game, the ability to get us into the best play, those things are important.
“But it comes down to decision-making—that’s the biggest factor in this decision I’m going to make.”
I would have personally hated this response had it ended after the first line, but Joseph actually elaborated on what he meant by ‘decision-making’, since the term itself is subjective to anyone who uses it.
Here is what I gleaned from his quote on what the important factors are to ‘decision-making’ as far as head coach Vance Joseph is concerned and which quarterback I feel has the leg up on the other heading into this battle:
- Attacking the field of play (Lynch)
- Taking care of the football (Siemian)
- Let his teammates play for him (Undecided)
- A leader on the field (Undecided)
- Ball placement (Siemian)
- Audible into the best play (Undecided)
This clearly puts Siemian in the lead. Not only does he have a clear edge in two of these six points, he also has 14 games of real NFL week to week experience over Lynch. The undecided portions are mostly due to both players being young and inexperienced. Those things are mastered through playing time, which again, gives Siemian the leg up on Lynch.
What Lynch has going for him is pure athletic talent. If he can close the gap on Siemian in the areas of Siemian’s strength then he could quickly overcome and surpass him. Whether or not he can do that is unknown and will play itself out in the coming months.
What we do know is that the rest of the NFL is watching this position battle with great interest. With a roster as stacked as the Broncos roster is, teams are paying attention to their quarterback battle, because it clearly has AFC Title implications.
Then, of course, there is also Swag Kelly chomping at the bit.