The Denver Broncos are in an interesting spot. After winning Super Bowl 50 on the back of a tremendous defense (and horrible offense), the Broncos now must face the music in terms of addressing their QB. With the retirement of the steroid-using, teabagging, noodle armed Peyton Manning, and the free agent departure of Brock Osweiler, a void was created at the QB position for the Denver Broncos. While many expected John Elway to make a drastic move, he did not. Instead, he acquired Mark Sanchez, drafted Paxton Lynch, and retained Trevor Siemian. It has been known that the QB job was completely open throughout camp. While non of the players have truly stood out, the fact that Siemian will start the all-important 3rd Preseason game, looks good for his chances to earn the job. So, with the almost stunning reality that Siemian will be the starter of the reigning Super Bowl champs, I felt that it was important to ask the question: Who is Trevor Siemian?
Personally, I am familiar with the Denver QB. This is due to the fact that I am a college football junkie and remember him with the Northwestern Wildcats. To be honest, Siemian was not exactly a star player in the Big Ten. The 6’3” QB was solid with the Wildcats, but certainly not spectacular or particularly memorable. After backing up the great, Kain Colter, for his first two years, he earned the top spot as an upperclassmen. As a Junior he was very middle of the pack, with his stats ranging from 6th to 9th amongst QBs in the Big Ten (Completion Percentage, Yards Per Completion, Total Offense). As a Senior, he might have been even worse, ranked as the 11th best QB in the conference, ending his season with a major injury. Despite being a smart kid (2 time Academic All-Big Ten), and possessing a clearly strong arm, it looked as if his mediocre college production, would prevent Siemian from making it to the NFL. Nevertheless, John Elway selected Siemian in the 7th round of the 2015 NFL Draft. At that point, the expectations are low. Maybe he makes the team, maybe he becomes the backup for the QB of the future (Brock Osweiler). While that may have been the plan on paper, it has not become the reality. Due to Peyton Manning’s rapid demise, Brock Osweiler’s hurt feelings, and John Elway’s stubbornness, this situation has presented itself.
Now onto the main question: Does it matter who the QB is for the Broncos? Many people will argue that Manning was the worst QB in the league/history last year (which is true), and that Denver was still able to win a Super Bowl. I believe that it does matter. Quite bluntly, the Denver Broncos got absurdly lucky last year. The amount of fluky, random, close games that they won last year, was unbelievably ridiculous. Even on their run to the Super Bowl, they benefited from injuries on opposing teams, home field advantage (which they only got because of Bill Belichick’s cockiness), and soft oppositions (Cam Newton). Odds are that things balance themselves out, and Denver losses a lot of those close games. With the loss of key defenders like Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan, and the weird situations involving Aqib Talib and Von Miller, it is likely that their defense won’t be as strong. The 2015-16 Broncos had a magical, fluke season. This year, John Elway’s cockiness will backfire, Gary Kubiak’s mediocrity will be exposed, and the Broncos will fall back to Earth. Good luck, Trevor Siemian.