Last week at this time, Broncos fans still reeling from the team's humiliating loss to the Las Vegas Raiders were ready to toss alleged quarterback-of-the-future Drew Lock onto the ash heap of NFL history. But now, following an unlikely 20-13 triumph over the seemingly resurgent Miami Dolphins on November 22, many of those same folks are singing Lock's praises (or at least not calling for him to be drawn and quartered) and suggesting that a trip to the playoffs remains in the realm of possibility despite Denver's south-of-mediocre 4-6 record.
The debate on Twitter has been both bizarre and schizophrenic — but amusing nonetheless.
The Dolphins came into the contest on a high, thanks to three consecutive victories under first-year QB Tua Tagovailoa, with a tie for the AFC East lead just a W away — and early on, Lock seemed eager to do his part to help Miami achieve that goal. He threw an interception on just his second pass, giving the Dolphins a short field — and a Tua toss to DeVante Parker later, Denver was in a 7-0 hole.
The fans attending the game in person (they'll be the last this season, owing to spiking COVID-19 numbers) couldn't have been blamed for expecting the worst. But a funny thing happened on the way to disaster: The Broncos' defense, which has had a better season than most casual fans realize, made the highly touted Tagovailoa look like a standard-issue rookie rather than a phenom. Meanwhile, a mixture of effective Lock passes and strong running from Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon gave the Broncos life — and a 13-10 lead going into intermission.
Denver extended that margin to 20-10 in the second half, resulting in Tagovailoa being benched in favor of veteran backup Ryan Fitzpatrick, who promptly led his squad to a field goal that reduced their deficit to a single possession. At that point, Lock and company responded rather than folded, and could have guaranteed a victory had Gordon not done what he does all too often — fumbled at the worst possible time, giving Fitzpatrick another chance to tie. Only a Justin Simmons interception in the end zone prevented that from happening.
This narrow escape didn't harsh the vibe of the Broncos' most faithful, as witnessed by post-game tweets suggesting that a trip to the post-season isn't out of the question, despite tremendous odds to the contrary.
Continue to see some of our favorite examples, juxtaposed with some opposing views and a concluding post that will put a smile on your face whether you love Lock or loathe him.
Like him or not. Pretty nice answer from Drew Lock today.— B Fresh (@bfrischy7) November 23, 2020
I’m glad my team won, but we aren’t doing anything if we move forward with Drew Lock. I don’t know the answer there, either.— BoondockVol (@BoondockVol) November 23, 2020
So Drew Lock doesn’t suck but might not be good— Evgeni Plushenko (@SharpSk8HotTake) November 23, 2020
Broncos get healthy, Chargers get healthy (and some line health) Raiders get some key pieces on defense and we got ourselves 3 teams to the Playoffs easy— Áüšt?ñ (@malott_austin) November 23, 2020
Broncos might’ve won but drew lock still fucking sucks— (@JeudyHours) November 23, 2020
With the raiders loss against the chiefs, the broncos chances for playoff contention widens a little more! The broncos are only 2 wins less than the raiders. I pray to God that we can just keep finding ways to win, and the raiders can find ways to lose. 6 games remain. #Broncos— The Broncos Wall (@2015Broncos) November 23, 2020
Nice rebound after the pick... the talent is there, I hope patience is.... please let him develop .— Dan Sacharoff (@SacharoffDan) November 23, 2020
I’m clinging on to this broncos win for dear life while also trying not to let it give me hope— hamster eater (@Queasynade) November 23, 2020
The broncos are inconsistent right now, a young team coming into their own. But it’s not a surprise everyone took the Dolphins. Everyone took Oakland last week. Everyone will likely pick the Saints next week because that is where the Broncos are right.— charlie (@charlie48036363) November 23, 2020
Drew Lock still isnt the answer..lol— ShoreFrontBum (@ShoreFrontBum) November 22, 2020
Broncos still have hope https://t.co/YkMyuhdf3A— Tonjiro (@antonnocelo) November 23, 2020
That's what being in the middle on Drew Lock is. It's miserable. I hope he improves so I can enjoy writing about the Broncos again. https://t.co/IlzVnmSz8A— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 23, 2020
There's a couple ways the Broncos could end up with a playoff spot. Gonna need some luck, but nothing matters unless you can win the games— ? (@Kamui__Kid) November 23, 2020
I hate how if u don't make a positive spin on everthing about lock 24/7 people just assume u hate him. Knowing who the broncos play the next two weeks I don't think now is the time to start the hype train back up...hope I'm wrong— Dexter Monson (@ddmonster14) November 23, 2020
Win or lose Drew Lock isn’t the answer ride till end of the year then— Chris Hitchcock (@Chris_Hitchcock) November 22, 2020