Teddy Bridgewater Named Broncos' Starting QB over Drew Lock for Week 1

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 25, 2021

Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) and Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) taking part in drills at an NFL football training camp at team headquarters Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Denver Broncos are going with Teddy Bridgewater as their starting quarterback to open the 2021 regular season.   

Head coach Vic Fangio announced Wednesday that the 28-year-old has won the starting job over Drew Lock. 

Both players have been impressive through the first two preseason games. Lock has completed 14 of 21 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Bridgewater is 16-of-19 for 179 yards and two touchdowns. 

Neither quarterback has turned the ball over, though Lock had two fumbles in Saturday's 30-3 win over the Seattle Seahawks

The Broncos created competition at quarterback when they acquired Bridgewater from the Carolina Panthers in April. He played well in his lone season there, throwing for 3,733 yards and 15 touchdowns with a 69.1 completion percentage in 15 starts. 

Some speculated Denver might try to add another quarterback, either with its top pick in the 2021 draft (No. 9 overall) or in a trade if the Green Bay Packers decided to move Aaron Rodgers

Instead, the Broncos selected Alabama cornerback Pat Surtain II with its first-round pick, and the veteran quarterback returned to the Packers. 

General manager George Paton told reporters in August the team was very happy with both quarterbacks' performances during training camp.

"We're happy with both," he said. "You can see: Some days it's Drew, some days it's Teddy. These guys are working hard, they embrace the competition, which I really like and I know Vic likes as well. So I think we're on the right track with both these quarterbacks."

The Broncos acquired Bridgewater in part because of Lock's struggles in 2020. The quarterbacks also played a similar style of football with their teams last year.

Joe Rowles @JoRo_NFL

Huge shoutout to @tejfbanalytics. According to @PFF charting 66.9% of Teddy Bridgewater's attempts were short or behind the line of scrimmage while 60% of Drew Lock's were. I'd still take Bridgewater https://t.co/ZIylwHm336

After showing promise in five starts at the end of his rookie campaign, Lock regressed last season. He ranked last among 35 qualified quarterbacks in completion percentage (57.3) and was tied with Carson Wentz for most interceptions thrown (15).

The Broncos have a wealth of talent on the roster around the quarterback position. If they can get consistent play from that spot, they could challenge for a playoff spot in the AFC.

Bridgewater isn't the most dynamic quarterback in the league, but he's steady from week to week. He doesn't make the mistakes that Lock did last season.

As Denver tries to reach the playoffs for the first time since winning Super Bowl 50 in the 2015 season, getting steady play out of the quarterback position is a huge positive.

Bridgewater and the Broncos will open the 2021 season Sept. 12 against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.