It’s not official quite yet, but it might as well be. Trevor Siemian is going to be the first former Northwestern quarterback since Otto Graham to start a Week 1 NFL game.
The former Northwestern Wildcat threw for 117 yards on 10-of-17 passing, with both a touchdown and an interception. It wasn’t an overwhelming stat line, but it appears to be good enough to win the defending Super Bowl champs’ quarterback battle, especially after initial frontrunner Mark Sanchez did not even see the field in the game. Siemian played the first half and rookie Paxton Lynch the second.
If it wasn’t apparent before the game that it would take a Siemian collapse for him to lose the job, it became so on the first two drives, when the Broncos opened with six straight runs. Over the first two weeks, Gary Kubiak had each of his quarterbacks throw a lot. But in the third game, he opted to run the ball a decent amount—which is more what the team will do in the regular season—and pick his spots to unleash Siemian’s arm. He had seen enough from the former Northwestern gunslinger to not call a “prove to me that you should be the starter” gameplan.
On the third drive of the night, Siemian completed an 11-yard pass on 3rd-and-10, but the offense was forced to punt for a third straight time. The fourth possession ended with Siemian’s lone pick. The ball was perhaps a fraction underthrown (if at all), and Cody Latimer should have hauled it in, but instead Cody Davis ended up with the ball after a deflection.
Importantly, however, and unlike last week, Siemian did not let the interception affect his play. On drive No. 5, Siemian went 5-for-5 for 30 yards and a one-yard touchdown strike to Virgil Green.
If #Broncos coach Gary Kubiak needed to see Trevor Siemian lead a TD drive, he saw it. Have to think Siemian's hold on the job got tighter— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 28, 2016
Here was by far his best throw of the night, perhaps even overshadowed by wide receiver Demaryius Thomas’ ridiculous catch.
You can see all of Touchdown Trevor’s throws from Week 3 here.
Lynch came in to relieve Siemian at halftime and went 6 of 13 for 44 yards. Sanchez, again, saw no game time. The Broncos can save a lot of money and a draft pick by cutting the former Jet and Eagle.
Broncos' QB Mark Sanchez didn't play at all tonight. If Broncos decide not to keep him, they save $4.5 million and a 7th-round pick.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 28, 2016
Siemian appears to be comfortably in the lead for now. In his postgame press conference, Kubiak was obviously pleased by how Siemian played and even more so how far he has come this offseason. Siemian himself said he was confident in his performance. TIME TO CHECK OUT THE CONFIDENCE INDEX.
Oh, and one more thing:
That’s right. A gift from the gods. People are finally discovering what we knew all along.
An official announcement is expected this week before the Broncos’ final preseason game Thursday.
Time to buy your Trevor Siemian jerseys.