With Drew Lock set to start again, where does Raiders performance rank among his best games?

Drew Lock after the Raiders game. Credit: Jay Biggerstaff, USA TODAY Sports.
Drew Lock after the Raiders game. Credit: Jay Biggerstaff, USA TODAY Sports.

Drew Lock will start at quarterback for a second straight week.

At least, it’s looking that way.

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said Teddy Bridgewater wouldn’t practice on Wednesday when talking with the media, as Bridgewater is still in concussion protocol. He sustained the injury when running for a first down against the Bengals in Week 15, and when Fangio was asked if Lock would start he said, “It’s looking like that way, yes.”

Lock is the embattled, third-year quarterback whom some in Broncos Country thought would be “the guy” at the all-important position. But, after sustaining injuries his first two years — and missing 11 games due to injury — Lock was beaten in camp.

Now, at 7-8 overall, some wonder where the Broncos would be if Lock were the starter all season long. Sure, he didn’t help the team win last week — they lost 17-13 to the Raiders — but according to Pro Football Focus, he had one of the best games of his professional career.

According to PFF, his 88.5 grade was not only the highest he’s ever earned from them, but it was the third-best grade by a QB this week. That was somewhat questionable simply because of how poorly the team performed.

Denver’s offense gained a season-low 158 total yards and Lock didn’t score a single time. However, he didn’t turn the ball over either, which was crucial for the turnover-prone youngster.

And this isn’t meant to bash PFF, but his grade did seem a little high. So, we looked into the other quarterback metrics out there — namely ESPN’s QBR (0-100) and passer rating (0-158.3) — to compare last week’s game to other notable top performances from Lock.

5. Dec. 26, 2021 at Las Vegas, 17-13 loss

Lock went 15-22 (68.2%) for 153 yards. His PFF grade was 88.5, with a passer rating of 87.9 and a QBR of 44.1.

The good from Lock in last week’s game was his ability to make something out of nothing when pressure closed in on him. Yes, some of those throws meant checking down, but he also found Noah Fant down the sideline for a 20-yard gain and connected with Jerry Jeudy for a 40-yard catch and run. The accuracy allowed Jeudy to catch the ball in stride and push the team into scoring territory.

But, there were some poor plays by Lock, too. He threw behind Fant on a short crossing route which careened off the tight end’s hands and was almost picked off. His throw to Tim Patrick on a go route down the sideline was too long by 3-4 yards. And the team failed to score a touchdown.

4. Jan. 3, 2021 vs. Las Vegas, loss 32-31

Lock was very good in last year’s season finale, going 25-41 (60.9%) for 339 yards and 2 TDs. His passer rating was 103.6 and his QBR was 34.9.

As the QBR shows, Lock left a lot out there on the field. The team had to settle for six field goal attempts, with two of them getting blocked. They also had a turnover on downs due to an incompletion.

3. Dec. 22, 2019 vs. Detroit, win 27-17

Lock finished the game 25-33 (75.8%) for 192 yards and 1 TD. PFF grade: 81.2, passer rating of 99.6 and a QBR of 54.0.

The Broncos QB was solid in that contest, and his controlled passing helped the team come from behind to win.

2. Dec. 8, 2019 at Houston, win 38-24

The rookie was sensational in that game, with a career-high 81.5 completion percentage for 309 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT. That meant a passer rating of 136.0, a QBR of 98.7 and a PFF grade of 73.7.

Denver was pushed by their defense to start that game, which followed the offense’s 92-yard touchdown drive with a fumble-6 to lead big early. After taking a 38-10 lead, Lock’s big mistake of the day was a pick thrown in the Houston end zone, but Denver held onto win easy that day.

1. Dec. 13, 2020 at Carolina, win 32-27

This was simply Lock’s best game as a professional. He threw a career-high 4 touchdowns in the game, with a superb 77.8 completion percentage and one fumble. Lock’s 149.5 passer rating was his career-best, and it accompanied an 85.2 QBR and a 68.7 PFF grade.

Lock was on fire, stretching the field twice with two different bombs to K.J. Hamler. He also worked the red zone well, connecting with tight end Nick Vannett and Tim Patrick on short TD scores.

This was the game that really got fans riled up, excited and hopeful for Lock’s future at the position.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen Lock be far too inconsistent to this point in his career to believe he can be “the guy” moving forward. He’s turned the ball over too often in his career, with five games of multiple interceptions and the team going 1-4 in those contests.

Still, for Lock, he has at least this week and likely two more games this season to show what he has to the NFL world. With any hope, he will continue last week’s trend of zero turnovers while helping Denver score more points this time around.

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