After the Broncos' desultory loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last week, Denver fans on Twitter seemed to decide that alleged future-of-the-franchise Drew Lock wasn't the answer at quarterback. But a lot can change in a few hours. After John Elway-draftee Lock led his squad to an unlikely 31-30 comeback win on November 1 over the Los Angeles Chargers, who'd led 24-3 in the second half, a significant slice of Broncos Country tweeters now appear convinced that he's Colorado's new savior after all.
But there are a couple of problems with this pivot. First, the Chargers are emerging as the most consistent choke artists in professional sports, having gagged up sixteen-point-plus leads in four consecutive games. And for nearly three-quarters of the contest, Lock seemed so inept that dyspeptic-looking coach Vic Fangio was probably in the midst of deciding whether he should yank his starter in favor of backup Brett Rypien or simply commit ritual seppuku on national TV when the tide finally started to turn.
What changed? A spark was provided by running back Phillip Lindsay, who finally broke through the Chargers' line in the third and discovered acres of running room; 55 yards later, the Broncos' deficit had been sliced to 24-10. Lock's next chance to trim the lead ended in an interception, but Chargers rookie QB Justin Herbert, who'd looked much better than his Denver rival up to that point, tossed a pick of his own, and the Broncos actually capitalized by way of a scoring hurl to Albert Okwuegbunam.
Another TD to DaeSean Hamilton followed, and while the Chargers moved the ball between these payoffs, they managed only a pair of field goals, opening the door for Lock — and thanks to a (legitimate) (and moronic) interference penalty in the end zone, he had a chance for victory on the final play. With a subsequent assist from the ass of KJ Hamler, which landed just inside the field of play after he snagged a throw from Lock, the Broncos had their third happy ending of the season.
Lock began excelling when he had time in the pocket — a metric that improved immeasurably after Chargers defensive beast Joey Bosa went out with an apparent concussion and Broncos lineman Garett "Giant Bust" Bolles stopped trying to live up to his all-too-appropriate nickname, Garett Holds. Such a fortunate series of events is tough to repeat, but there's still good news for the Broncos: Their next game is against the Atlanta Falcons, who are even more famous for blowing leads than the Chargers.
Continue to see our favorite tweets on the choking debate.