It seems like a very long time ago that Lock and Bridgewater were part of the least suspenseful pre-season quarterback competition ever. There was never any real doubt that Bridgewater would win the day, yet his performances prior to Sunday hadn't succeeded in completely silencing Lock loyalists. Simply put, he's looked like Steady Teddy against subpar competition (such as the Jaguars, Jets and Giants), but thoroughly mediocre when facing strong squads such as the Baltimore Ravens. But when Bridgewater was knocked out of the latter contest with a concussion, Lock's efforts were infinitely worse.
This dynamic was repeated on Sunday, when Bridgewater limped off the field with a leg injury during the second quarter, with the Broncos ahead 7-0. Lock managed to complete a seven-yard pass to Noah Fant before coughing up the ball during a sack. Fortunately, Tim Patrick was able to recover it, and running backs Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams took over from there, with the latter reaching pay dirt via a nine-yard burst that followed a Lock incompletion. But the resulting 14-0 lead was cut in half after a Lock toss wound up in the mitts of safety Derwin James; the turnover led to a Chargers touchdown.
Broncos fans had seen this movie before, as had head coach Vic Fangio, who ordered a clearly hampered Bridgewater back onto the field to start the third quarter — and while he hardly looked like a world-beater, he managed to help manufacture a ten-play, eighty-yard fourth-quarter touchdown drive set up by Surtain, who'd grabbed an errant throw by Chargers hurler Justin Herbert. A few minutes later, Surtain's second snag of the day sealed the triumph.
The W left the Broncos at 6-5 and mathematically in the playoff hunt. Trouble is, Denver's still got to play the suddenly resurgent Kansas City Chiefs twice, including next Sunday, December 5 — and with more injuries to the Broncos' offensive line, the chances of Bridgewater getting hurt again are higher than anyone in Colorado would like, especially given the alternative. As DNVR's Andrew Mason points out, Bridgewater has thrown five interceptions in 339 attempts this season, for an average of one in every 67.8, while Lock has two in 28 attempts, or one every fourteen times he spins the pigskin.
No wonder Broncos Country on Twitter isn't exactly dazzled by Drew. Count down our picks for the twenty most memorable post-game tweets about Lock:
If we had to play a whole game with Drew lock we would be in trouble he has to go we need a real backup— Johnny Smoke (@JohnnySmoke3) November 29, 2021
what r u talking about. with the exception of peyton the broncos have only had variants of drew lock for like 20 years— Respected Overlord (@faxsnoprinter) November 29, 2021
It’s funny to see browns Twitter in the same place with baker that the broncos Twitter is in with drew lock. Once you understand both suck life will become so much easier— Carey (@careyteam) November 29, 2021
Please stop calling for Drew Lock every time they lose. You saw it. It isn't pretty. Stop. Also, fire fangio.— Eli Brookside (@accordingtoeli) November 29, 2021
The biggest win of the day was putting the Drew Lock fan boys to rest #Broncos— Denver Broncos 365 (@DailyBroncos) November 29, 2021
I cannot wait for the day that Drew Lock is no longer on the Denver Broncos tbh— chim ritchellsdick (@FlygodSZN) November 29, 2021
The unmatched, IMMACULATE vibes of the Broncos smoking a divisional rival, keeping their playoff hopes and the nightmarish Drew Lock discourse dying all at once!! pic.twitter.com/8DaZSkh3dX— Zach Segars (@Zach_Segars) November 29, 2021
After today... And prior games where Drew Lock has come in, it's clear that he is not the answer. I hope the @Broncos figure something out, cuz Teddy isn't the answer either— Joe Hamilton (@Hamilton7Joe) November 29, 2021
No matter how the Broncos finish this season, can we all agree that neither Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock can create enough offense to be a Super Bowl caliber team?— Brian Preece (@bpreece24) November 29, 2021
Improving the QB position has to priority number one for George Paton in the off-season.
Lock is so bad its almost kinda sad at this point. I think he has talent and could be a good QB. He needs a new coach and a new team. I'll forever say Shurmur and Fangio broke Drew Lock. #Broncos— MileHigh (@5280aMileHigh) November 29, 2021
Guess you've never heard of Drew Lock.— BuyuDev (@BuyuDev) November 29, 2021
All I’m saying is if drew lock plays good football in the 2nd quarter the Broncos wouldn’t have to put in an injured bridgewater. Time and time again he gets an opportunity and does nothing with it he’s not the guy!— Broncos network (@broncosvision) November 29, 2021
Drew Lock should never see the field again. Wow that was bad! 2nd play fumble? Just an awful pick too. He literally played like 15 plays and almost cost the @Broncos the game I’d play Rypien from here, place Lock on the practice squad. Are we done @jamesmerilatt ?— TrüDüin the Blüe (@dfblank22) November 29, 2021
“Why is Drew Lock not starting for the Broncos?”— Lamar Jackson fan (@nflmemery) November 29, 2021
*Check into game & Fumbles*
*Benched for injured Teddy* pic.twitter.com/dVqaXrMhji
Just so we're clear #BroncosCountry— My name is CO (@CesarOmarBTS) November 29, 2021
Drew Lock has nothing to offer to this team and never has. We just needed to see a collective of 20 or less plays to get the idea that #Broncos cannot be safe with him starting.
begging for drew lock how dare they— sblaze (@moneyveliabm) November 29, 2021
If it weren’t for Drew Lock, the Broncos would’ve held the Chargers to 6 points.— Luke Yañez (@LooBeezy) November 29, 2021
Drew Lock has just not been good in his 2 spot attempts this year. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe things are different if he gets the job and builds momentum. Who knows. Either way the Broncos need a QB next year. Doesn’t mean they can’t make a run this year. Let’s go Broncos!— Steven Kriz (@skrizPO) November 29, 2021