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.
Drew lock isn’t the real deal. They just want us to fail at this point— Captain Obvious (@bronc4life7) December 9, 2019
There's a very real possibility that Drew Lock ends the 2019 season #2 among all #Broncos rookie QBs in pass attempts, completions, and passing yards.— T. Kothe (@tkothe_nfl) December 9, 2019
And a good chance that he'll finish #1 in touchdown passes.
In 5 games. #Drewcember
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again...Drew Lock throws the prettiest deep balls I’ve ever seen. So accurate and they drop perfectly. He’s the real deal. https://t.co/3cRBogPlZ0— Matt Moreno (@TheMattMoreno) December 9, 2019
Drew Lock the real mf deal— Alex (@R6Alex_) December 9, 2019
Yo fr tho. Drew Lock looking like the real deal. https://t.co/W2K1CendjW— Javi (@JaviAran_) December 9, 2019
Drew Lock in his last 2 starts, 2-0.— Chayce (@TrapLordTerm) December 9, 2019
Tom Brady in his last 2 starts, 0-2.
Really makes you think who the real goat is.
is the real deal folks. He carries himself so well and to go out there in his second game and ball out...I can’t wait for 2020!!— Ahh geez. (@danno928) December 8, 2019
Ok if you made it through all that...most of it is me propping up my team. But for real... @DrewLock23 is the real deal folks. The future is bright for my @Broncos with @I_CU_boy, @SuttonCourtland, @VonMiller, @astronaut and gang!!— Ahh geez. (@danno928) December 8, 2019
I said it last week and I'll say it again— Isaiah Leung (@hawaiiancaliboy) December 8, 2019
GO AND ORDER YOUR DREW LOCK JERSEYS NOW!!!!!!!!!!! THAT KID IS THE REAL DEAL. DENVER HAS FINALLY FOUND THEIR FRANCHISE QB https://t.co/oBR0xLfrgV
I’ve been saying Drew Lock was gonna be the real deal since the day Denver drafted him. I understand it’s only two game but— Kyle Untereker (@TheFatHonestAbe) December 8, 2019
Drew lock is the real deal and I couldn’t be any fucking happier :’) https://t.co/6yz3l9AMTQ— manuel (@Alcan7ar) December 8, 2019
Drew Lock was spectacular today, threading needles downfield multiple times. Von Miller’s “rock star” take, however, is questionable since he also said:— John Daigle (@notJDaigle) December 9, 2019
- Paxton Lynch “looks like a superstar”
- Trevor Siemian “has that Peyton Manning vibe"
- Brock Osweiler brings “energy"
Best Quarterback Peformances in Broncos History:— John (@JDavisD12) December 9, 2019
1. Drew Lock vs Texans
2. 2013 Peyton Manning
3. Elway on The Drive
Obviously when I said "let's troll by starting Eli Manning"— Peter Howard (@pahowdy) December 9, 2019
I meant let's troll with Drew lock
Fellow haters likley understood the message, obvi pic.twitter.com/HjtVZIjHNT
Great Job you got that it factor like John Elway and Peyton Manning. Oh how I wish mr. Lock that you wouldve been healthy and started the season. You give us fans hope for the future. I hope you win a superbowl and stand up and say this one is for Von miller.@DrewLock23— Xolotl68 (@Xolotl68) December 8, 2019
Drew Lock is balling. As a Broncos fan, I’m optimistic we got our long term guy. I thought the same about Brock Osweiler once too though, so I’ll just temper my put him on the Broncos Rushmore of QBs with Elway and Manning till he gets a full year. At least Joe Flacco is done!— Coach Chris Chaddick (@CoachChaddick) December 8, 2019
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@DrewLock23 IS THE SECOND COMING OF PEYTON MANNING— Herro/Nunn BETTER (@MattyPfromVB) December 8, 2019
DREW LOCK IS TAKING THE BRONCOS TO THE SUPERBOWL— Harrison Keatinge (@harry_keatinge) December 9, 2019