Second-year quarterback Paxton Lynch will replace Brock Osweiler as the team's starting quarterback this Sunday. The Broncos lost all three of the games Osweiler started, which account for half of the team’s current six-game losing streak.
Lynch played three games, starting two, as a rookie last year in place of an injured Trevor Siemian. He completed 49 of his 83 passing attempts (59%) for 497 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Denver finds itself in the midst of a harrowing quarterback dilemma, with none of the candidates on the Broncos’ roster having proven themselves capable of locking down the starting job. With a 3-7 record, general manager John Elway is likely to have plenty of potential options at the position early in the draft, if none of the current options pan out.
Lynch’s promotion to the starting lineup will give the Broncos’ brass an opportunity to evaluate the 23-year-old quarterback’s development. Denver traded up for Lynch in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, hoping that he could grow into a long-term replacement for Peyton Manning.
The Broncos’ front office has always seen the six-foot-seven quarterback as a project, but through 19 months in Denver Lynch has largely disappointed. He showed flashes during training camp this summer, where he competed with Siemian for Denver’s starting job, but Lynch never seemed to fully grasp the offensive concepts.
Siemian won the quarterback competition fairly handily, but Osweiler took over the starting job in Week 9 after a string of poor performances from Siemian and a severe lack of production by the Broncos’ offense. A league-worst turnover differential certainly didn’t help Siemian’s case.
Tensions around Dove Valley are high, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Lynch is stepping into a bad situation. For starters, Vance Joseph says the offensive scheme should be much simpler with Mike McCoy out and Bill Musgrave serving as the Broncos’ interim offensive coordinator for the remainder of the season.
“I think we are going to have a chance to have a more efficient pass game [by] simply simplifying the concepts,” Joseph told Orange & Blue 760, Monday.
Of the three quarterbacks, Lynch should benefit the most from the offense’s simplification. He’s been heralded for his athleticism and physical tools but the young quarterback hasn’t shown a strong feel for the game during his time in Denver.
Starting Sunday, Broncos Country is set to get a nice, long look at the former first rounder. The Broncos will take on the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, kickoff is at 2:25 MT.