For the better part of the past year and a half, Drew Lock — when healthy — has manned the gig under center for the Denver Broncos. That will no longer be the case come the team’s 2021 regular-season opener against the New York Giants, as the Broncos have officially handed the mantle over to veteran signal-caller Teddy Bridgewater.
In what head coach Vic Fangio deemed a “pretty damn close” competition, the readily consistent Bridgewater pulled away from Lock thanks to a highly accurate preseason — shocking. The 28-year-old let just three passes hit the ground over his two outings, completing 16-of-19 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns. Bridgewater ran with Denver’s ones in their most recent contest, a 30-3 beatdown of the Seattle Seahawks. In those two series (23 plays) — both of which finished with touchdowns — he earned a QB-rating of 136.7 by completing 9-of-11 passes for 105 yards and tossing his first touchdown of the preseason.
“Teddy played well, obviously,” Fangio said following the game, via the Broncos’ official website. “You guys saw it. Some of his good plays were hard quarterback plays, where he had to manipulate the pocket, step up, step laterally, wait for something to come open late. I thought he did really well. He was helped by the fourth-down conversions, but one of those fourth downs was because we dropped a pass on third down that would have been an easy conversion. So I thought he played very well.”
Bridgewater and the Broncos will travel to East Rutherford to face off with the Giants in MetLife Stadium on Sunday, September 12 at 4:25 p.m. ET.
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Giants Heavily Scouted Lock Coming Out of Missouri
Long before Lock had his starting reigns ripped out from under him in Denver, he was very much in the conversation to serve as the potential heir apparent to Giants legend Eli Manning. Owner of the second-most passing touchdowns in University of Missouri history, Lock’s big right arm drew the attention of many NFL teams and scouts when he entered the NFL draft in 2018 — the Giants were no different. While the team ultimately opted to go a different route, selecting Daniel Jones No. 6 overall that year, then-head coach Pat Shurmur admitted that Lock was on Big Blue’s radar.
“We [the Giants] did. Obviously, we were in the market for a quarterback last year and we had a very, very high opinion of Drew,” Shurmur told DenverBroncos.com’s Phil Milani in January of 2020. “We did a lot of work on him. We were very certain that he was going to have an outstanding career —he’s got a bright future — and I’m really looking forward to being able to work with him.”
Bridgewater’s career-altering knee injury during his Minnesota days is well-documented. Yet, while it may have sent the former first-round pick on a four-year detour through stops in both New Orleans and Carolina, Bridgewater has re-established himself as a serviceable starter in this league.
While his skill set may not wow you, the one-time Pro Bowler is coming off his most prolific season to date in 2020. In 15 games (all starts) with the Panters, Bridgewater set career highs in attempts (492), completions (340), passing yards (3733) and touchdown passes (15).
In total, the Miami native has amassed 11,385 yards and 53 passing touchdowns in his NFL career, accumulating a win-loss record of 26-23 as a starter.
Prior to the 2021 NFL Draft, the Panthers acquired Sam Darnold from the New York Jets, making Bridgewater expendable. Shortly after, he was dealt to the Broncos in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round pick.
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