Broncos' Vic Fangio: Teddy Bridgewater 'is Our Quarterback' Despite Recent Struggles

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVOctober 22, 2021

Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater scrambles during an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, in Cleveland. The Browns won 17-14. (AP Photo/David Richard)
AP Photo/David Richard

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio gave quarterback Teddy Bridgewater a vote of confidence following Thursday's 17-14 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

While addressing the media after the game, Fangio said: "I thought he played good, especially there in the second half. I do not think Teddy's injuries from my vantage point affected him that much. I thought that he was courageous. He is our quarterback."

Bridgewater entered Thursday's contest with a questionable designation because of foot and quad injuries, but he managed to play through the ailments.

In defeat, Bridgewater went 23-of-33 as a passer for 187 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He nearly led Denver back from a 10-0 halftime deficit, but Cleveland hung on thanks largely to the performance of running back D'Ernest Johnson, who rushed for 146 yards.

Bridgewater beat out Drew Lock in the starting quarterback competition during the preseason, and he has started all seven games this season despite dealing with foot and quad injuries, as well as a concussion.

There was a great deal of excitement surrounding the Broncos early in the season after they got off to a 3-0 start, but they have stumbled since the schedule got more difficult, falling to 3-4 with four consecutive losses.

While Bridgewater hasn't been dominant by any means, his overall numbers are solid, as he has completed 70.1 percent of his passes for 1,701 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions.

He is performing at a level similar to last season when he started 15 games for the Carolina Panthers, throwing for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 picks.

Last season marked the first time since 2015 with the Minnesota Vikings that Bridgewater started more than five games in a season.

All told, Bridgewater is 29-27 as a starting quarterback during the regular season in his career, and it is possible he is the best option for the Broncos right now.

Lock, who was a second-round draft pick in 2019, went just 4-9 as a starter last season, completing 57.3 percent of his passes for 2,933 yards, 16 touchdowns and an NFL-high 15 interceptions.

He hasn't been much better in limited duty this season, going 12-of-21 for 113 yards with no touchdowns and one pick.

All signs point toward Fangio sticking with Bridgewater for now ahead of what feels like a must-win home game against the Washington Football Team next week.

If Denver loses that game, its playoff hopes will be hanging by a thread at 3-5, and it may then be time to consider a change under center.


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