After years of waiting and the first three consecutive losing seasons since the early 1970s, the Broncos have appeared to have found their quarterback, and things are finally looking up.
Lock looked impressive down the stretch, leading the Broncos to a 4-1 record that closed their season at 7-9. Before Lock, the offense averaged 15.9 points, 192.3 passing yards, 0.81 passing touchdowns, 0.64 interceptions and 3.3 sacks per game, while completing 61.8% of passes with a passer rating of 78.4 under Denver’s other quarterbacks. But with Lock they improved and averaged 21.4 points, 204 passing yards, 1.4 passing touchdowns, 0.6 interceptions and one sack per game. That’s despite the fact that Lock played 20 percent of his games in a raging blizzard with the entire offense battling the flu.
Numbers aside, he appears to have that ever so crucial “it” factor, which became more apparent as the team rallied behind the rookie signal-caller.
That being said, the Broncos have to be careful that they’re not falling head over heels for fools gold. Yes, Lock looked impressive for a five-game stretch, but that’s too small a sample size to know definitively whether or not he’s Denver’s long-term solution, even though he looked the part.
The Broncos should spend the 2020 offseason surrounding the young passer with a less porous offensive line and a bevy of weapons as he continues to develop, though they shouldn’t completely tie themselves to the rookie just yet.
Joe Flacco is the lone true enigma hanging around the Broncos’ quarterback room nowadays. While that’s certainly a welcome change from the past few years, the Broncos still must find a solution, and quickly.
Flacco’s contract used to contain a team option that would’ve allowed the team and him to part ways this offseason, saving the Broncos millions. However, the Broncos foolishly restructured that deal, and are now primed to pay Flacco $23.6 million dollars in 2020.
They can get out of the deal by cutting or trading the veteran quarterback, or if Flacco retires, but cutting him would still leave the team with $13.6 million dollars in dead cap space, freeing up $10 million.
Ideally, Flacco would retire or the Broncos would be able to find a trade partner for him, though as of now, cutting him appears the most likely remedy.
The Broncos might have actually found a solid backup quarterback in the form of Brandon Allen.
Allen didn’t show anything too impressive following Flacco’s neck injury, but he was an undeniable upgrade on the former Super Bowl champion. He moved the offense more efficiently and made fewer costly mistakes, is incredibly cheap, and is already familiar with the playbook.
Don’t be surprised if Allen makes the 2020 Broncos roster as their backup.