A year removed from a SupeBowl 50 championship which resulted in Peyton Manning’s second ring and the Broncos third (first since 1998) began again with a new sheriff leading the most coveted position in professional football: Trevor Siemian. After his 2016 season that ended with a number of highs and lows left many fans seeking the answer to a very important question; Will Siemian be the guy leading the storied Denver franchise going forward?
Trevor Siemian came into the league with critics and from all accounts they seemed warranted. The Northwestern University play callers 4 year career ended with 27 touchdowns accompanied by 24 interceptions. These are pretty average numbers for a college kid wanting to be an NFL starter. According to Sportingnews.com “There have been 730 FBS Division I quarterbacks over the past 20 seasons who have thrown at least 50 passes while accumulating a completion percentage worse than 60 percent and a passer rating worse than 120. Seems like a high number, but only eight of them (1.1 percent) have also started a game in the NFL”. Out of those eight quarterbacks over the past 20 seasons Siemians touchdown percentage was worse. Not to mention none of those eight quarterbacks over the last 20 seasons paned out into NFL stars.
With the odds stacked against him and a 2015 year where Trevor saw no on-field action, he was still able to put together an average season behind 14 games, 3,401 yards, 84.6 percent passer rating, and a 18/10 touchdown to interception ratio. However, after I watched Siemian play the Titans at Nissan Stadium in a week 13 matchup, it was evident that concerns surrounded the 25 year old as a legitimate starter.
Although he went 35/51 on the day with 334 yards and 1 TD, his releases were often late and passes inaccurate. The Titans defense (two sacks for a loss of 15 yards) likely didn’t help his overall numbers, the red zone efficiency of 1/3 (33%) showed that Trevor is having trouble putting it all together. Only in his second year and not possessing the experience or masterful football mind of now retired Peyton Manning its easy to see that Trevor is a good “in the moment” decision maker but lacks game management, passing accuracy and overall football IQ.
The off-season and beginning of the 2017 season will be an interesting one. Siemian and Lynch will likely battle it out for the starting job and both are John Elway’s personal picks. An in depth competition for the starting job will almost certainly be granted under first year coach Vance Joseph. However, its possible neither get the starting role and that Denver’s office looks for a veteran. An experience veteran like Tony Romo who is likely to depart from Dallas could lead the Broncos back into playoff and SuperBowl contention sooner rather then later.
As reported by ESPN, “If the Broncos determine Trevor Siemian is not the solution, and Paxton Lynch still needs one more year of seasoning, Romo could finish his career in Denver, following the path of Peyton Manning”. While this is a long shot its not impossible and would lead to some interesting 2017 headlines if Jerry Jones decided to part ways with his favorite player. It seems the jury is still out on who the long term QB will be in Denver. But one thing is certain, The 2017 season in Mile High is sure to be chalked full of questions-and hopefully answers.