The Denver Broncos defeated the Seattle Seahawks 30-3 during their week two matchup of the preseason. The Broncos moved to 2-0 in the preseason and have two blowout victories in those games as well. In this one, we may have an answer in the quarterback competition and I go over the winners and losers coming out of this game.
Winner: QB Teddy Bridgewater - Loser: QB Drew Lock
Last week, I thought Drew Lock ran away with the job. He looked great, he had the big plays, and scored two touchdowns. Teddy played well, but it looked like it was leaning that way,
That all changed last night (and I was wrong to jump the gun)
Teddy Bridgewater played very well while Drew Lock had a rough showing against the Seattle Seahawks second and third team defense. This performance likely swayed the job towards Teddy Bridgewater. The shift towards Teddy was also evident last night amongst the Broncos media.
Fangio sounds like he’s ready to make QB decision in next couple days. Hard to believe it won’t be Teddy Bridgewater. #9sports— Mike Klis (@mikeklis) August 22, 2021
Bridgewater led two touchdown drives with the first team offense. The first drive was capped off with a pass to K.J. Hamler who worked his way open in the end zone. The key moment in that drive though was when Bridgewater sensed the pressure, stepped up in the pocket and hit Jerry Jeudy for a big play.
The next drive had a big fourth down conversion by Bridgewater where he found tight end Eric Saubert at the one-yard line. This was likely the best pass of the preseason from either quarterback. It was perfectly placed and by far Teddy’s best throw of the night in my opinion. The drive ended with a Javonte Williams/Dalton Risner one-yard touchdown run.
Teddy Bridgewater with a really nice pass to Eric Saubert to get to the 1 pic.twitter.com/nf8ZOYQxJx— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) August 22, 2021
Bridgewater finished by completing 9 of 11 passes for 105 yards, 1 touchdown, and had a pass rating of 136.7. It was a pretty impressive showing by Teddy who put together a very solid and consistent preseason.
Head Coach Vic Fangio sent a lot of praise towards Bridgewater after the game as well. He praised him up and down and finished by saying he thought he played “very well”.
“Teddy played well, obviously. You guys saw it. Some of his good plays were hard quarterback plays, where he had to manipulate the pocket, step up, step laterally, wait for something to come open late. I thought he did really well. He was helped by the fourth-down conversions, but one of those fourth downs was because we dropped a pass on third down that would have been an easy conversion. So I thought he played very well.”
He continued by praising Bridgewater’s pass to Saubert and repeated that he thought Bridgewater played extremely well.
“Yeah, it was a great throw. We’ve seen him do it in practice, and obviously it was a good catch, good route by Saubert. I thought Teddy played extremely well.”Fangio who has and been rumored to be of the pro-Teddy camp sure did seem fairly excited about this performance.
As for Drew Lock, man he really just didn’t have it last night. Last week, Drew fever got me and I thought he was going to run away with this thing. Unfortunately, 2020 Drew Lock showed up last night and ruined that.
Yes, the protection wasn’t great, but it was the same protection Bridgewater dealt and played well with last week against the Vikings. He was sacked twice, fumbled the ball twice, look flustered at times, missed some throws, and couldn’t bring the offense into the end zone.
It just wasn’t a great showing by Lock and he may of lost the job tonight.
Loser: Broncos offensive line
The Broncos offensive line looked great last weekend against the Minnesota Vikings, but that changed last night when he faced the Seahawks defensive line.
Bridgewater handled the pressure well, but it was certainly there. He looked poised and made plays but the Seahawks were coming. It continued with Drew Lock who faced some unblocked defenders and just a good deal of pressure overall.
It was just a concerning to see the first-team unit struggle against most of the Seahawks backups. They did very well against the Vikings backups, but that didn’t happen last night. They haven’t faced a ton of starters and won’t next week against the Rams as well, so their true test won’t come until week one against the Giants.
Hopefully, the unit improves going forward because they will need them to play better to reach the postseason.
Winner: DL DeShawn Williams
Big DeShawn Williams is having a solid summer and continued last night against the Seahawks. He had a big boy interception which we all love to see and also had a fumble recovery as well. It was a big night for someone who could be on the roster bubble.
DT DeShawn Williams with a BIG BOY INT.— NFL (@NFL) August 22, 2021
And all the @Broncos came to celebrate.#DENvsSEA | @iamdeshawnw pic.twitter.com/0KvILcnhvC
Williams who appears to be a key reserve solidified that positon last night with a solid showing. It was a performance by a guy who wants to make the 53-man roster from the beginning for the first time in his career.
According to The Denver Posts Kyle Newman, Williams had a “here to stay” performance.
“I got cut by this team four times (before), and I’m still here, still making some type of impact,” Williams said. “Like I said before training camp, I don’t want to leave here. I’m letting it be known and I let it be known last year.”
I expect the Broncos to keep six defensive lineman and Williams figures to be among that six. You have your starters Shelby Harris, Mike Purcell, and Dre’Mont Jones with Shemar Stephen and second-year McTelvin Agim backing them up. That leaves a spot for Williams with no real competition behind him. He’s a solid player and has been one for the Broncos whenever he takes the field. Unless the Broncos add someone from outside the team, Williams makes the 53-man roster.
Loser: CB Michael Ojemudia
It was a tough night for second-year cornerback Michael Ojemudia. He first dropped an easy pick six that did him no favors. Unfortunately for him later, he suffered an injury that required him to be carted to the locker room. The fear was an ACL injury, but thankfully that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Fangio says the early indication on Michael Ojemudia is that it’s NOT an ACL. That’s good. #Broncos— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) August 22, 2021
It has been a tough offseason for Ojemudia. The rookie looked to be a future starter for the team last season only to be benched for a period of time. Then, he watched the Broncos add two veteran starters and draft Patrick Surtain II at 9th overall. This pushed Ojemudia to being the teams fifth corner at best moving forward into the 2021 season.
If he does miss any significant time, it only hurts his stock even more moving forward. It’s great to see that it doesn’t appear to be an ACL injury so hopefully he doesn’t end up missing too much time. If he does however, it opens up a roster spot for one of the other cornerbacks on the roster, or for an outside addition before or after cuts.
Winner: LB Jonathon Cooper
I was on the Jonathon Cooper bandwagon last week against the Vikings. I kept watching number 53 get after the passer, be in the backfield, and just continue flashing whenever he was on the field.
That continued in a big way last night.
STRIP SACK.— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) August 22, 2021
Jonathan Cooper takes it away for the #Broncos.
The seventh round rookie who is coming back from multiple heart surgeries this offseason is quickly making a name for himself.
He had two sacks last night including a strip sack and likely solidified himself as the teams fourth edge rusher behind veterans Von Miller, Bradley Chubb and backup Malik Reed.
Head Coach Vic Fangio confirmed this when he told reporters after the game that he expects Cooper to be a rotational pass rusher behind Von and Chubb this upcoming season.
He’s made improvement the whole way. The more he plays the better he’ll be. You know, we’re expecting him to be a rotational guy for us behind Bradley and Von, and hopefully he did some good in the special team because we’re going to need him there. But everything you do builds confidence. Once you do it and experience it is worth a whole lot more than anybody talking to you about it.”
Cooper is a great story and appears to be a significant steal by George Paton and the Broncos who selected him in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Loser: Special Teams
It was an ugly showing by the Broncos special teams unit. They gave up some big returns and also had a punt blocked during the game as well.
Big kick returns— NFL (@NFL) August 22, 2021
Blocked punt@dallasdeejay doing it ALL out there tonight. #DENvsSEA | @Seahawks pic.twitter.com/su2dVyoltx
Head Coach Vic Fangio was asked about this after the game and he criticized the unit and mentioned how these blunders can result in a loss for them if they continue.
“The coverage units in particular. They had a nice kickoff return there on us. They had another one that didn’t go quite as far, and obviously the deflected punt Is, as good as we were playing, those are things that can ruin a game for you.”
This unit has been an issue for the Broncos for a few years now but it hasn’t resulted in a coaching change so you get what you pay for here.