DENVER— The look on Gary Kubiak’s face said it all.
— Ryan Edwards (@ryanedwards1043) August 21, 2016
Kubiak had hoped that his ongoing quarterback conundrum would be settled after this game against the San Francisco 49ers. It won’t be.
He had hoped that either Trevor Siemian or Mark Sanchez would separate themselves in this competition so that he could name a starting quarterback for the season-opener on Sept. 8 as soon as possible. They did not.
Instead, both Sanchez and Siemian looked inconsistent, inaccurate, and, at times, even inept. That’s certainly not the face of a man whose thrilled with his options.
Trevor Siemian was given the chance to start on Saturday night, a week removed from a fairly impressive preseason performance against the Chicago Bears. In the early going, Siemian looked the like the soon-to-be starter many expected. He was accurate, and showed an ability to make NFL throws, including a very impressive bootleg wherein he navigated a free rusher to complete the pass to Virgil Green.
Then, early in the second quarter, he misread a slant route and was intercepted by Eric Reid, who took it all the way back for a touchdown.
So much for momentum.
The interception seemed to destroy any confidence Siemian had and the rest of his night didn’t go well whatsoever. He finished the game 10/14 for 75-yards and a touchdown.
Sanchez’s stat-line looks better. He went 10/17 for 120-yards. Then again, looks can be deceiving. Sanchez also fumbled the football three times, including this absolutely horrendous turnover which reminded the entire twitter-verse of a certain posterior related turnover earlier in his career.
Yup, that's a Mark Sanchez turnover pic.twitter.com/ee4j1dD0gD
— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) August 21, 2016
At this point, it’s honestly difficult to argue why either Sanchez or Siemian is a good option to be the Broncos starting quarterback.
Thankfully, there is a third option.
In any normal situation, rookie Paxton Lynch would not ready to be a starting NFL quarterback. He’s struggling to grasp the complexities of Gary Kubiak’s offense, he’s been inconsistent at best with the accuracy on his throws, and he’s still too apt to pull the football down and run instead of going through proper NFL progressions.
Yet, Saturday night’s game made it abundantly clear that this is not a normal situation.
During the game, Lynch went 15/25 for 113-yards, 2 touchdowns, and one late interception on a slight overthrow. It was by far the best statistical performance of any Broncos quarterback. Not only were the numbers good, the tape will show good things for Lynch as well.
He showed mobility, remarkable arm strength, and made some genuine NFL throws. It’s going to be very interesting to see how Kubiak handles the reps for Lynch going into the coming week. He might not be named the starter this season, but he showed the kind of talent that may force Kubiak’s hand and put him on the field sooner rather than later.
“He’s getting better everyday,” Kubiak said. “He’s got a long way to go.”