I was one of the many people that were on the Drew Lock train going into this season. Coming off of a 4-1 end to the last year where he threw seven touchdowns and just three interceptions, it seemed like Denver had finally found their quarterback. However, Lock has regressed significantly this season, throwing ten interceptions and only seven touchdowns. I have been appalled by his lack of progress, even with the truncated offseason, but why is this happening now?
For starters, the offseason was shortened, and weird to say the least, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Lock has a new offensive coordinator in Pat Shurmur, and while he was able to grasp the playbook, he did not get those important preseason reps to really get the offense down. He also lost his best wideout in Courtland Sutton who was a Pro-Bowler last year, but unfortunately he tore his ACL in the second game of the season. Lock’s offensive line has also not done him any favors. They have been a mess for most of the season due to injuries, and they have not been able to protect Lock.
Another issue is the scheme that Shurmur has put into place. He has made Lock drop back to pass over 40 times a game on three occasions. Yes, part of that is because the Broncos have been one of the worst first-half teams in the league this season, but another part of that is because the Broncos have made little effort to getting their run game going. Lock is simply not ready for that type of play. They need to be able to consistently and productively give the ball to Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay, so there can be some sort of rhythm on offense.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Lock has shown some flashes of absolute brilliance. Against the Patriots, he had four potential touchdown passes dropped by receivers. The Broncos still won the game, but he would have better stats if those passes were caught. He also led the Broncos to a huge comeback win over the Chargers, playing a masterful fourth quarter. Lock has fallen back down to earth in his last two games though, including an awful four interception performance against the Raiders last Sunday. Lock needs to be able to show in these last seven games that he is the answer in Denver. With a stacked QB class on the horizon, time is not on his side. Can he be Denver’s guy? I still believe it. Now he needs to show it.
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