Should Trevor Siemian or Pax­ton Lynch start vs. Oak­land?

The Denver Post - - OFF & RUNNING -

Kiz: For the first time since John El­way took over the foot­ball op­er­a­tion, the Bron­cos will play an ex­hi­bi­tion game dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son. But Sun­day’s game doesn’t have to be mean­ing­less, and the in­trigue will be how Gary Ku­biak di­vides the snaps be­tween quar­ter­backs Trevor Siemian and Pax­ton Lynch. How would you do it? Jhab­vala: Treat it like the fourth pre­sea­son game and let Pax­ton Lynch start. He needs the reps, plain and sim­ple. The tran­si­tion for Lynch is dif­fi­cult given the of­fense he was used to play­ing at Mem­phis. With noth­ing on the line, let him use this time to con­tinue to get com­fort­able in the pro sys­tem. He can prac­tice all he wants, but there’s no way to repli­cate games. Plus, this gives Ku­biak & Co. another a chance to see how far he’s come in his first year. Kiz: This ain’t no party, but it feels like 1999. Let’s do a sta­tis­ti­cal com­par­i­son. Quar­ter­back A: 14 touch­downs, 14 in­ter­cep­tions, 217 yards pass­ing per game, 75.6 rat­ing. Quar­ter­back B: 16 touch­downs, nine in­ter­cep­tions, 246 yards per game, 83.9 rat­ing. The first QB? Brian Griese in 1999, when the Su­per Bowl champs took a hard fall. The sec­ond QB is Siemian this year. Siemian ain’t bad. But he’s not much bet­ter than Griese. Is that good enough? Jhab­vala: Uh, five fewer in­ter­cep­tions is a lot bet­ter. Pro­tect­ing the ball is the big­gest job of a quar­ter­back, es­pe­cially one in this of­fense and with this de­fense. And you’re ca­su­ally omit­ting some key de­tails. Brian Griese had more sup­port: He had a near-1,200-yard rusher in Olan­dis Gary and a much bet­ter of­fen­sive line, with guys such as Mark Sch­lereth, Tom Nalen and Matt Lep­sis. Griese was 5-9 in his 14 starts. Siemian is 7-6 in his 13 games. His last one was his worst out­ing, but he av­er­aged more than 300 pass­ing yards in his pre­vi­ous six games. Kiz: The Bron­cos need to find out how much Lynch has learned as a rookie and how much work he has yet to do. Yes, his foot­work is still a mess. But the Bron­cos have scored two of­fen­sive touch­downs in the past three games, on drives of six and 26 yards. Can Lynch do bet­ter? Or is he much worse? Let’s find out. Start Lynch and let him play the whole game. Jhab­vala: I agree that they should start Lynch. One game will not pro­vide the Bron­cos with all the an­swers, but it will give them a new mea­sur­ing stick of where Lynch is in his de­vel­op­ment. He needs these reps more than Siemian right now. The Bron­cos have a lengthy list of ques­tions to an­swer this off-sea­son, with their ros­ter and their coach­ing staff. Maybe one more start for Lynch will help to an­swer a few.

Bron­cos quar­ter­back Pax­ton Lynch drops back to pass against the Jack­sonville Jaguars dur­ing a game on Dec. 4. John Leyba, Den­ver Post file

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