You know those days that you look forward to so much that they never live up to the absurd expectations you bestow on them? Today is kind of like that day, but the expectations are simultaneously unattainable and easily within reach.
Tonight, Trevor Siemian — 2015 7th round pick, former Northwestern quarterback and possible future realtor — starts for the defending champion Denver Broncos as they open the NFL season against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in a rematch of Super Bowl 50. Siemian beat out both Mark Sanchez (now on the Cowboys) and Paxton Lynch (Denver’s backup) to replace the now-retired Peyton Manning, one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.
It’s been a long, weird and certainly winding journey for Siemian, who grew up in Florida and made his way to Evanston for a, from a win-loss and statistical perspective, relatively underwhelming college career. Somehow, another Hall of Fame quarterback — John Elway, the Broncos’ general manager — liked what he saw in Siemian enough to draft him with the 250th selection in last season’s NFL Draft. That’s the seventh-to-last pick.
He spent last year as Manning’s backup in a Super Bowl season for the Broncos. Siemian’s career NFL statistics as of this posting: 0-for-0, 0 passing yards; 1 rush, -1 rushing yard; 1 Super Bowl ring.
Just two years have separated the 23-year-old from #M00N to starting the NFL’s season opener in a Super Bowl rematch. To say Touchdown Trevor’s journey from run-of-the-mill Big Ten quarterback to NFL starter has been improbable would be a gross understatement.
Oh, and to make Trevor’s debut a little tougher, he gets to go against a Carolina defense that led the NFL in interceptions (24) a year ago and allowed a league-low opponent passer rating.
Game time: 7:30 p.m. CT
Online: NBC Sports
Betting line: Denver +3