It’s safe to say that most of us thought what the Broncos did to the Panthers was what we were going to see most of the 2020 season. The scoring started with Diontae Spencer’s punt return for a TD, and finished with Drew Lock having a career day.
While it hasn’t been the coming out party that this young Denver team had hoped for, there have been flashes. What Lock and the offense did in Carolina is exactly what we hoped they would do all year.
The debate around Lock has been contentious in Broncos Country. Lines have been drawn. Sides have been chosen. It’s tribalism at its worst.
What we know is that good football teams usually have good quarterback play. The Broncos haven’t experienced much of that in 2020, but when they have, it has resulted in wins.
Look no further than the performance of Lock against the Panthers. 21-27 for 280 yards and 4 touchdowns. You read that right, 4 touchdowns. It was an impressive performance from the young QB. As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the MHR Radio Podcast, he was the reason they won.
We haven’t been able to say that much this season. Usually, we are talking about the opposite end of that spectrum. Instead, no INTs, and just an efficient day of passing for the much maligned QB.
And yes, you can bring up how bad the Panthers defense is. They followed Jerry Jeudy around like lost puppies, while KJ Hamler was left wide open. He had two catches for 86 yards and 2 TDs.
But that’s what good offenses are supposed to do to bad defenses. Not that the Broncos are a good offense. They haven’t proven that, but it looked like things were pointed in the right direction.
After what can be considered an OK performance in a loss to the Chiefs, they followed it up with a solid offensive game against the Panthers. Maybe it’s not a trend, but it’s something.
Along with a solid offensive performance, the defense also played well. They contained Carolina’s offense until the 4th quarter. By then, it was practically garbage time. It got close, but in the end, Denver was too far out in front for the Panthers to complete a comeback.
Not a single question was answered for the Broncos after they beat the Panthers. However, knowing that 2021 will probably be another season of trying to figure out what Denver has in Drew Lock, this is a game fans will point at as a potential turning point.
It was fun to watch the Broncos grab a win in Carolina. If they can build on the offensive performance, it will give Broncos country a little hope for 2021. It might be a problem in the draft, but let’s worry about that later.