This first preseason game for the Denver Broncos was all about Drew Lock and the competition for the starting quarterback job. Lock delivered big time in the first half throwing for 150 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers or sacks. He looked poised and accurate doing everything he needed to do to make his case to be that Week 1 starter.
Denver was up 23-3 when Lock took a seat, although the defense did have a safety and a pick six early to pile on. The Broncos would go on to beat the Minnesota Vikings 33-6 in each team’s first preseason game.
The Broncos kicked off their 2021 season against the Minnesota Vikings here in the preseason. The biggest thing we needed to watch for in this game was, of course, going to be Drew Lock.
With their backups starting, the Broncos defense forced an immediate three and out against the Vikings second string. For the Broncos offense, rookie running back Javonte Williams takes the first two hand-offs for 11 and 13 to get Denver into Minnesota territory on their first drive. Drew Lock then found KJ Hamler wide open in the middle of the field for a 25-yard gain to the Vikings 12 yard-line.
Drew Lock's first pass of the preseason is a PA rollout to K.J. Hamler. pic.twitter.com/ttrVuIxdvP— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) August 14, 2021
Two plays later on third and short from the Vikings five-yard line, Williams scored a touchdown. However that play was wiped out by a holding call by Jerry Jeudy and while the holding call was close it did look like Jeudy’s hold is the reason why Williams was able to get into the end zone.
Knocked back to a 3rd and 11 effectively ended the drive as Lock threw a design screen pass to Royce Freeman that came up short of the first down. Given its the preseason, Head Coach Vic Fangio made the call to go for it on fourth and two.
Lock, from the shotgun, threw it to his first read Jerry Jeudy who was covered completely and nearly got in front for the interception. The play was clearly design as a one-read throw, but I would much rather have seen Lock pull that throw after seeing how great the coverage was and at least tried to make something happen on fourth down there.
The defense turned things around on the Vikings next drive when Shamar Stephen drawing a holding penalty in the end zone to force a safety to put the Broncos up 2-0 early.
From their own 20 yard line, Drew Lock redeemed himself finding KJ Hamler absolutely wide open down the middle of the field for an easy 80-yard touchdown pass for that 9-0 lead.
Easy 80-yard touchdown from Drew Lock to K.J. Hamler pic.twitter.com/b9pC3eBbm7— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) August 14, 2021
Lock started this game three out of four for 114 yards with that one touchdown.
With that note, it would be hard for any Lock naysayer to say he didn’t have a solid outing. I would have loved to have seen more challenging throws, but preseason is typically this way. Paxton Lynch once convinced me the Broncos found their franchise quarterback after a preseason game during his rookie year, so I’m just going to sit this one out and not make a call one way or another in 2021 when it comes to quarterbacks.
The first quarter came to an end after a Vikings drive ended in a field goal and the Broncos offense began getting another drive together out near midfield after starting at their own 15 yard line.
Broncos 9, Vikings 3.
To start the second quarter, Lock found Jeudy wide open in the middle of the field where Jeudy then turned it up field for a big gain of 33.
Freeman then ripped off an 18 yard run to setup a first and goal at the Vikings four yard line. Two plays later, Lock rolled out and found Trinity Benson for the touchdown to put Denver up 16-3.
The Vikings next possession was gutted by a rookie when Broncos first round cornerback Patrick Surtain II jumped a pass for the interception and the easy walk-in for the pick six to put Denver up 23-3.
Teddy Bridgewater came into the game after the next Vikings drive, which ended Lock’s first start. Drew Lock couldn’t have made a better case for him to start Week 1 than he did in this game finishing a quarter and half of play going 5/7 for 151 yards and two touchdowns with a 153.3 passer rating.
Bridgewater’s first drive wasn’t flashy, but produced. He nearly capped the drive off by scrambling in for a touchdown, but an illegal hands to the face call brought it back that killed the drive to bring out the field goal unit. The Broncos went up 26-3 late in the first half with that drive.
The Vikings did put together a drive to end the half, but it stalled near the goal line where they were forced to kick the field goal.
Broncos 26, Vikings 6.
Second Half (Third and Fourth Quarters)
The second half started with a bang for the Broncos on a 62-yard kickoff return by LeVante Bellamy. Bridgewater and the Broncos second-string offense made quick work of things getting the ball inside the 10 yard line. Bridgewater hit a nice fade to the back of the end zone to Bensen to extend the Broncos lead to 33-6 early in the third quarter.
It was Brett Rypien time after that and the score wouldn’t change either.
I definitely give the nod to Drew Lock today. Even though both quarterbacks had good stat lines and moved the ball, it was Lock who had the big plays and the chunk plays necessary to win NFL games. Who do you think won the day today at quarterback?
Who had the better game today?
This poll is closed