After your Denver Broncos secured an ultra-unlikely 38-24 road victory against the vaunted Houston Texans on December 8, the players celebrated as if they'd just clinched a playoffs slot rather than their fifth win against eight losses. But in this misbegotten embarrassment of a season, it's tough to blame them for their excitement — and the same can be said of those fans on Twitter leaping to anoint rookie quarterback Drew Lock as the second coming of Peyton Manning.
Granted, Lock looked mighty good for the majority of the contest, completing 22 of 27 passes to folks wearing the same uniform as he was, for 309 yards and three touchdowns. More important, he only made one embarrassing rookie mistake — a second-half interception on a ball that never should have left his hand — and maintained his confidence and poise in an environment that would have caused most precious flowers to wilt.
Of course, his numbers after intermission were much less impressive than those he collected before the break, just as they were during his first start last week, which Denver won only after baiting the Los Angeles Chargers' Casey Hayward into a moronic interference penalty. But most of the blame for that belongs on offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello, who's demonstrated a proclivity for taking his foot off the gas pedal way too soon. And even though this approach resulted in the Texans putting up 21 points in the final two quarters, the Broncos' lead — supplemented by a defensive TD courtesy of Kareem Jackson, making a triumphant return to Houston, where he began his NFL career — was too big to blow this time.
That doesn't mean Lock is on a guaranteed trajectory to Canton. Daniel Jones was ballyhooed after turning in a couple of better-than-anticipated performances for the New York Giants a month or two ago, only to subsequently prove that he's still got a long way to go before he can be counted on week in and week out. We'll have a much better idea about Lock's true ability after next week, when Denver heads to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs, who just bested the Patriots in New England for the first time in forever.
Not that Twitter-pated Broncos boosters are waiting to sing his praises. For every person who posted words of caution in regard to Lock, there were three others predicting that, at long last, Denver's search for the quarterback of the future is over. See what we mean by counting down our picks for the twenty most memorable tweets about the game.
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