Trevor Siemian leads the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos into the NFL season opener tonight against the Carolina Panthers in a rematch of last year’s championship game.
Siemian has taken one career snap in the regular season—a kneeldown—but gets the start after a preseason in which he beat out veteran journeyman Mark Sanchez and rookie Paxton Lynch. The former is now with the Dallas Cowboys after being released by the Broncos, while the latter will function as Siemian’s primary backup.
Siemian’s preseason was by no means perfect. He threw two interceptions, including one pick-six, but had a solid showing in the third game as the starter, which seemingly wrapped up the competition. He was officially named the starter the morning of August 29, and he didn’t even play in the fourth preseason game.
Siemian will be the first former Northwestern quarterback to start an NFL season-opener since Otto Graham back in 1955. For the incredible journey he’s taken from three-star prospect to “quarterback 1b” to now, click here.
Siemian faces a tall task in what is undoubtedly the biggest game of his career. The Panthers sport a fantastic defense, even with several key losses from last year, and are led by All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly. The Broncos will likely try to use a similar approach that helped them win it all last year—run the ball and play solid defense—but will need for Siemian to be an effective and efficient game manager. Unless the Broncos get down big, don’t expect him to take a lot of shots down the field.
Here’s how you can watch Siemian and the Broncos as they open up the NFL season! Make sure to check back near game time for our GameThread.
Game time: 7:30 p.m. CT
Online Streaming: NBC Sports
Odds: Carolina -3, O/U 41 1/2