Sunday’s shutout loss to the Los Angeles Chargers will forever go down as one of the most embarrassing offensive performances in Denver Broncos’ history. The offense was lifeless and for some, Sunday was the final nail in the coffin for Trevor Siemian’s time as the Broncos’ quarterback.
Denver Broncos’ head coach Vance Joseph met with the media on Monday afternoon with a different opinion and made it clear that Siemian is still his starter.
“Absolutely he’s our quarterback,” declared Joseph. “It’s not what I’ve seen from Trevor, it’s the entire unit. No one is perfect. He can’t play well if he’s not being protected in certain spots. Now he hasn’t been perfect either. He can play better absolutely, but it’s not a Trevor problem. It’s a unit problem.”
There is absolutely no doubt that the entire offense is at fault. Allen Barbre was a guard asked to play tackle and block a lot of the time without help two of the best pass rushers in the league in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Field position and penalties also played their part.
However, at the end of the day for any offense to have success it comes down to the quarterback. He’s the leader of the pack, the signal caller and the only player to dictate where the ball goes on every play. It’s why the position is the most important in sports and why franchise quarterbacks are so coveted.
The Broncos have lost two straight, but the 2017 season is not lost. Denver bolsters a Super Bowl caliber defense for the third consecutive season. It would be an absolute shame to see it go to waste yet again. The Broncos need to do everything on the table with their season hanging in the balance to find a spark offensively and that includes taking a break from Trevor Siemian.
Siemian is easy to root for; defied the odds, tough as nails and is greatly respected by his coaches and teammates. He’s also lost his last four road games dating back to last season while averaging just nine points in those losses.
Siemian has also continued to do the one thing this particular offense can’t afford to do, turn the football over. Siemian has given the ball over to opposing teams 12 times in six games. The stat sheet only showed one interception Sunday, but there should have been at least three more if the Chargers’ defense could catch.
The confidence that Siemian had through the first two games is long gone. Not only has his decision-making dwindled, but also his pocket awareness is at an all-time low. When ranking quarterbacks under pressure, Siemian carries a league worst, 8.9 passer rating. That’s nearly half as bad as the player ranked 31st. The 22 times Siemian has been sacked has also taken its toll, causing Siemian to hesitate and feel pressure even when it’s not there.
The blueprint is out. Teams know Siemian can’t beat them and therefore are stacking the box making the running game non-existent. Even against a stacked box, Siemian completed only two passes over ten yards. Dinking and dunking is not going to cut it. Eventually a quarterback needs to step up in the pocket and deliver a strike.
It’s not just Sunday’s performance leading many to want to see a change. Last season with the playoffs on the line, the Siemian led offense managed to average just less than eight points per game. What has changed? The answer is nothing.
Broncos’ country wanted to see the Cinderella story of a seventh round draft pick take the helm and lead the Broncos for years to come. But in 20 starts the fact remains, Siemian was a seventh round pick for a reason.
The Denver Broncos believe that Trevor Siemian is currently the best quarterback on the roster. The sad part is that might be true, but insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If Siemian starts slow in the first half on Monday night in Kansas City, it’s time to turn to the quarterback that not too long ago helped the Broncos secure the number one seed in the AFC. He couldn’t possibly be any worse, right?