Lock left the game during the first quarter, and the team promptly collapsed. For starters, there was a clear lack of leadership. Jeff Driskel is supposed to be a seasoned veteran quarterback, but at times he could’ve been mistaken for a rookie. Driskel completed 18 of 34 passes for 256 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Throwing just above 50 percent is not ideal for a quarterback. Neither is putting your receivers in dangerous catching positions.
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Driskel threw some risky passes, one of which took Jerry Jeudy out of the game for a good chunk of time. His decision making was inconsistent and unexplainable. The Broncos’ backup quarterback was unable to scramble in the pocket or make last-second decisions—he crumbled under the pressure.
The offensive line certainly didn’t help Driskel out either. Driskel was sacked six separate times throughout the course of the game, not including the one sack Lock faced. How can a quarterback be expected to focus on passing when he is clearly not being protected?
On the defensive side, the defensive line looked nothing like last week’s team. Running back James Conner had 16 carries for 106 yards and one touchdown against Denver. That’s almost 7 yards per carry. There was no drive behind the defense. This is evident in the secondary as well. The cornerbacks waited for receivers to come to them, instead of actively attacking the pass. Pittsburgh’s receiving team gathered 311 yards and 2 touchdowns from the Broncos lack of challenge.
What hurts more? Sutton’s injury turning out to be a torn ACL. The star wide receiver will join star linebacker Von Miller on the sidelines for the remainder of this season.
Drew Lock is out for another two weeks. Denver needs to find its voice. Who, if anyone, is going to step up and give this team the motivation they so desperately need? Their season record sits at 0-2 right now, and it will stay negative until a leader rises.