Bridgewater excels early, Lock bounces back as Broncos’ offense thrives against Seahawks
SEATTLE – A decision could be on the way.
After Saturday night’s 30-3 win over the Seahawks, it’s possible that the months-long battle between Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock could be called off as early as this week.
There is no guarantee that will be the case – head coach Vic Fangio has said he needs to watch the film – but he admitted that the team may have enough information to make their choice.
After Bridgewater’s performance and Lock’s rebound effort, it’s clear the decision won’t be easy.
“It won’t be tomorrow,” Fangio said of a decision. “The earliest would be early next week, or we’ll let it go for another week. These guys, both – Drew and Teddy, did well, as you saw, and they did. a difficult decision. We will think about it in depth. We discussed it with the coaches, with [General Manager] George [Paton] all the way through, and we will continue to do so. “
Fangio has said he believes the Broncos can be successful with either player, and both quarterbacks have proven that point in the last two preseason games.
After working with the second team against the Vikings, Bridgewater had his chance with the starting attack on Sunday and was nearly perfect. He completed 9 of 11 passes for 105 yards, a touchdown and a quarterback rating of 136.7. It could have been even better; one of his two incompleteness was a fall by an open Javonte Williams.
“Teddy played well, obviously,” Fangio said. “Some of his good plays were tough quarterback games, where he had to handle the pocket, raise, step sideways, wait for something to open late. I thought he did very well. “He was helped by the conversions in fourth but one of those fourth downs was because we made a pass on third down which would have been an easy conversion. I think he played really well.”
Bridgewater and the Broncos were only 1 of 4 on the third down, but the offense was perfect at 3 of 3 on the fourth down and made a pair of touchdowns in Bridgewater’s two practices. Fangio said a season ago that the team’s rate of success on the third and short had led him to avoid fourth down attempts; with a more successful attack, that might change.
“If I am confident we will,” Fangio said.
It was obvious on Saturday, as Denver’s first scoreline came with a 35-yard Jerry Jeudy catch-and-run on fourth and 5 of Seattle’s 40-yard line. On the play, Bridgewater climbed into the pocket to deliver an impressive throw.
“It’s just one of those deals, you’ve got this clock in your head and you can just smell the pocket,” Bridgewater said. “I always say to tackles, ‘Hey, man. I like when you guys just force the defenders to do a certain thing and I’ll just go up in the pocket and create a lane where I can escape or just give myself more time to pass the ball and [get] the ball on the field. Jerry did a great job winning his road cover against man. [The] the offensive line did a great job protecting and we were able to convert. “
Fangio praised Bridgewater’s ability to handle the pocket, as he compared Bridgewater’s skill in this area to what he sees from Tom Brady.
“He’s got a good conscience and good watch instinct,” Fangio said of Bridgewater. “I think it shows in the way he can move around in a pocket and save time that way. There are two types of elusive quarterbacks: the ones that run and there are the others that manipulate the pocket to save money. The best of the last 20 years is Tom Brady. He has a bit of that in him when it comes to pocket handling. “
On the next drive, Bridgewater threw one of his best passes of the summer, as he passed tight end Eric Saubert at the 1-yard line for a gain of 21 yards.
“It was a great shot,” said Fangio. “We saw him do it in training. Obviously it was a good run, a good recovery from Saubert. I think Teddy played extremely well.”
Bridgewater led in goals in all four of his preseason possessions, as he led Denver to one touchdown and one field goal at Minnesota before two touchdowns against the Seahawks. Bridgewater’s six points per possession is an impressive indication of the offense’s potential. The veteran player is a 16-of-19 combined for 179 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 141.0 quarterback rating in his preseason snaps.
Yet while he made the most of his first-team reps, he didn’t take his performance as a supporting statement for his case to be the starter.
“I was just there to do my job,” Bridgewater said. “My job is to move the chains, get my unit into the end zone. The offensive line did a great job protecting tonight. It all starts with these guys. They never get the credit they deserve. They open holes in the running game, they protect in the passing game. They communicate well. You talk about the crowd for a preseason game, it was pretty loud here in Seattle. good job. Didn’t really have any preseason penalties or anything like Honestly, I was just doing my job, giving the ball to my guys, letting them play games, and you see what can happen when you get it the balloon in space. “