Detroit Lions look to keep Denver Broncos’ rookie quarterback Drew Lock from getting established, comfortable
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer
DENVER — The Denver Broncos have seen a great game, an ordinary outing and a stinker in the snow from rookie quarterback Drew Lock.
Now they get to see how he bounces back.
One week after getting buried in a blizzard at Kansas City, the Broncos (5-9) host the Detroit Lions (3-10-1) Sunday with a forecast of 62 degrees at kickoff.
“It’ll be a big measure this week to see how he responds against Detroit,” offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello said. “But I don’t think it’s the end-all, be-all.”
The second-rounder’s poor performance last week comes with an asterisk. Scangarello told his young quarterback that he’ll never face a tougher task than playing in his hometown as the enemy for the first time, in a snowstorm, against these Kansas City Chiefs.
Scangarello gave Lock high marks for handling all that pressure.
“You’ve got to bank that,” Scangarello said, “and I think he’ll continue to step forward. We’ll see these next eight quarters how he plays, but I think he’ll trend in the right direction.”
A nice rebound from Lock could allow GM John Elway to head into the offseason without having to search for a new head coach or starting quarterback for the first time since 2015.
Lions coach Matt Patricia suggests Lock is already a lock.
“The thing about Drew that’s so impressive is his athleticism and his speed,” Patricia said. “A lot of guys, and you see it on tape, maybe underestimate how fast he is, how mobile he is. You see him just run away from linebackers and safeties and he makes a lot of guys miss when you have him in the open space.”
Lions undrafted rookie QB David Blough has made some history as well. He’s only the third QB ever to have at least 70 completions, 745 passing yards and three TD passes in his first three career games.
The others are Kyler Murray this season and Cam Newton in 2011, both No. 1 overall draft picks.
Blough, 0-3 as the Detroit starter, squared off against Lock in a shootout last year when Purdue lost 40-37 on a last-second field goal to Missouri. Blough threw for a program-record 572 yards to Lock’s 375 that afternoon. They combined for 947 yards on 65-of-98 passing with six TDs and two interceptions.
“Let’s go over,” 950 yards in the rematch, Blough said. “Yeah, that was a good battle in college … when I got to play against him.”