Sports

Twitter Nation Agrees Drew Lock Sucks After Ravens Crush Broncos

Drew Lock meets the press after the October 3 Baltimore Ravens game.
Drew Lock meets the press after the October 3 Baltimore Ravens game. Denver Broncos via YouTube
Since I haven't seen the Denver Broncos play in person for two years, I was thrilled when my daughter Lora gave me two tickets for the October 3 match-up against the Baltimore Ravens as a Father's Day gift. But while it was still great fun to attend that game, something happened midway through the Ravens' disturbingly easy 23-7 win over the previously undefeated Broncos to turn my pre-game hopes into despair.

And that something is named Drew Lock.

When recent arrival Teddy Bridgewater won the overhyped pre-season quarterback competition over Lock, plenty of folks were unhappy, feeling that despite his struggles during the 2020 campaign, the Drewster had the bigger upside. And even a 3-0 start under Steady Teddy didn't quell all the doubts, since the opponents in question (the Giants, the Jaguars and the Jets) are varying degrees of horrible. For that reason, the contest against the Ravens, a brawny contender with a former MVP, Lamar Jackson, calling the signals, was viewed as the squad's legitimacy litmus test. But the questions lingering in Broncos country weren't answered...at least not the way fans wanted them to be.

In the first half, Bridgewater looked noticeably less sharp than he had during previous outings in orange, but he was also hampered by receivers dropping catchable passes, as well as lousy play-calling that consistently resulted in third-and-long scenarios custom-made for the Ravens to tee off on Denver's depleted offensive line.

Bridgewater took some heavy hits prior to one just before halftime that was more serious than fans realized at the time. Turns out Teddy suffered a concussion, and when the Empower Field at Mile High announcer revealed that Lock would be taking over the quarterbacking duties, the crowd of more than 74,000 made a noise that could be roughly translated as "What the hell?" And Lock's poor play over the next two quarters — lingering in the pocket too long, missing open targets and generally looking inept despite having a year-plus as a starter under his belt — turned that question mark into an exclamation point. His teammates instantly began playing down to his level, causing the entire stadium to slowly, sadly deflate.

Granted, the Broncos had other problems beyond Lock. The decision to try and contain Jackson rather than blitz him was a total failure, leading to two first-half touchdown drives. A subsequent strategy shift that unleashed extra rushers helped a bit, but Lock's ineptitude meant the defense was left on the field for far too long — and the unit eventually ran out of gas.

After the final whistle, Twitter exploded with frustration over Lock, with some correspondents seriously called for third-stringer Brett Rypien to start if Bridgewater isn't cleared to play at the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday. And if the suggestion seems crazy, consider this cry we heard from a guy sitting behind us: "Bring back Tebow!"

Continue to count down our picks for the twenty most memorable tweets about Lock and company, interspersed with photos from the game.
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Fans streaming into Empower Field at Mile High were exuberant and optimistic.
Photo by Michael Roberts
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My view of the pre-game pageantry.
Photo by Michael Roberts
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Fans leaving early when it became clear hope had taken the L.
Photo by Michael Roberts
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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