Paxton Lynch got a decent amount of exercise in the Denver Broncos’ season-ending 24-6 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. But to the surprise of just about everyone, that exercise didn’t come in the form of in-game experience; it came taking his parka on and off and throwing a bunch of warmup passes.
Lynch didn’t play a second in the Broncos’ meaningless regular-season finale. Denver was already eliminated from the postseason entering the game. The plan, head coach Gary Kubiak said earlier in the week, was for Siemian to start and for Lynch to get some reps. That didn’t happen, even when Denver had a 24-point lead at one point in the third quarter.
Kubiak, who reportedly told his players after the game that he intends to step down as head coach, said his plan changed once the game was going on.
It was odd for the Broncos not to get a look at Lynch, who they traded up to select 26th overall in the May’s NFL draft, in a game that had no bearing on the Broncos’ playoff chances.
Siemian played well for the most part in the win. He completed 17 of 27 passes for 206 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Kubiak clearly believed in Siemian, the second-year former seventh round pick. It will be interesting to see if the next Broncos’ head coach feels the same way.
Lynch played in roughly two and a half games his rookie season. The results in that extremely small sample size weren’t terribly encouraging. We really don’t know what he’s capable of yet.
Siemian’s first season as the full-time starter looked a lot like an Alex Smith season: Conservative decision making, a low number of turnovers, good accuracy with short throws and hardly any big-play ability.
There will likely be a battle between Siemian and Lynch this offseason for the starting job in 2017. Who knows which guy wins the job? General manager John Elway isn’t afraid to make bold decisions. With some of the moves he’s made in the past in mind, it’s possible Denver’s starting QB in 2017 is a guy who’s not even on the roster right now.
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