It took four years, multiple bad draft picks and a questionable trade for Joe Flacco, but the Denver Broncos might have finally done it. Ladies and gentlemen, they might have finally found a franchise quarterback.
Although there’s no guarantee that Drew Lock will be the future of the franchise, he definitely looked like he’s headed that way with his performance against the Texans on Sunday. In the first road start of his career, Lock shredded the Texans for 309 yards and three touchdowns in stunning 38-24 win for Denver.
Lock’s performance was so impressive that he actually made some NFL history, becoming the first rookie to throw for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns in the first road start of his career.
If the Broncos had any worry that Lock might be overwhelmed by going up against a first-place Texans team on the road, those worries probably disappeared after the rookie threw his first pass of the game.
With the Broncos pinned inside of the their own 10-yard line, Lock dropped back to pass on Denver’s first play from scrimmage and made a veteran throw that set the tone for the rest of the day: He hit fellow rookie Noah Fant for a 48-yard gain.
Sometimes, you’ll see a rookie quarterback check down on a play like that because they don’t want to make a mistake near their own end zone, but not Lock. He played with no-fear against the Texans in a game where he made big play after big play.
One of those big plays capped the Broncos opening drive when Lock hit Fant again. This time, the Broncos rookie made another highly impressive throw, hitting his tight end with a laser down the seam for a 14-yard touchdown. The most impressive thing about the play is that it came in a high-pressure situation, with the Broncos facing a third-and-12.
Fant finished the game with four catches for 113 yards and a touchdown.
The win over the Texans means that Lock is now 2-0 in his career, and fittingly, he’s matched John Elway as one of just three rookies in Broncos history who have won their first two starts (Gary Kubiak is the other). Although Lock wasn’t too flashy in his first win last week over the Chargers (18 of 28 for 134 yards and two touchdowns), he proved that he can carry the team if that’s what the Broncos need going forward.
The law of averages said that John Elway had to find a quarterback at some point, and it looks like he might have finally done it.
Denver 38-24 over Houston
San Francisco 48-46 over New Orleans
49ers-Saints grades by Patrik Walker (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Baltimore 24-17 over Buffalo
Atlanta 40-20 over Carolina
Cleveland 27-19 over Cincinnati
N.Y. Jets 22-21 over Miami
Tampa Bay 38-35 over Indianapolis
Green Bay 20-15 over Washington
Redskins-Packers grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Minnesota 20-7 over Detroit
Lions-Vikings grades by Cody Benjamin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
L.A. Chargers 45-10 over Jacksonville
Pittsburgh 23-17 over Arizona
Cardinals-Steelers grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Tennessee 42-21 over Oakland
Titans-Raiders grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Kansas City 23-16 over New England
Chiefs-Patriots grades by Tyler Sullivan (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)