I said it before the season started, and I got laughed at. I said it again, when the Denver offense was clicking during the second quarter against the Cowboys yesterday, and I got scoffed at. And I say it again today, when the Broncos are 2-0 and Trevor Siemian’s stat line reads as follows:
450 Passing yards, 6TDs (plus a rushing TD), 2INTS, 65% completion percentage, 106.9 QB Rating.
Trevor Siemian is a better QB than you gave him credit for.
Yes, he’s certainly better than Brock Osweiler, who’s only there to be a warm and cheap body on the bench. He’s better than any of the free agent options that were available to the Broncos, with the added advantage of knowing the system. And he’s better than heir-apparent Paxton Lynch, at least for now.
Winning the starting QB job for the Denver Broncos wasn’t a fluke.
But, you’ll say, those are good, solid, but unspectacular numbers. He hasn’t thrown for a lot of yards, and he’s thrown mostly short passes in an offense that’s tailored to his style of play. He has trouble throwing downfield and he’s a seventh round pick. He’s already reached his ceiling.
To which I’ll counter with: that’s exactly what naysayers said last year, and at training camp and after the first game of this season.
But let’s break down the complaints, one by one.
First: Siemian has put up solid, but unspectacular numbers.
Answer: He’s done exactly what the Broncos have asked of him, and if you consider 7TDS, six throwing, one running, unspectacular numbers, then why is Siemian the only NFL QB with those numbers right now? The problem with the offense last year wasn’t just that Siemian was a rookie, no, it was that the Broncos had no running game to speak of and a porous offensive line. This year, they’ve improved both and the offense in general has benefited.
Second: He hasn’t thrown for a lot of yards, and he’s thrown mostly short passes in an offense that’s tailored to his style of play.
Answer: All offenses are tailored to the QB. That’s a silly complaint.
Third: He has trouble throwing downfield.
Answer: Siemian’s problem is not his arm, it’s his accuracy downfield. But, considering he only now has a full season as a starter under his belt, and he’s making better reads and better decisions than he ever has, it’s hard to discount the possibility that, just as he’s improved in every other facet of his game, he’ll improve in this – arguably his biggest weakness.
Fourth: He’s a seventh round pick.
Answer: So? Tom Brady was a sixth round pick. He got better. Trevor Siemian has gotten better with every game he’s been on the field, and he’s only been a starter for 16 of those. Why not give him a chance to keep getting better?
Truth be told, Siemian being here, at all, is already an improbability. He was a mediocre QB on a bad college team, which means he was lucky to even get drafted. Add to that the fact that he was drafted so late that just making the team was considered success.
But that’s not all. He was a third-string-quarterback in his first year. How many 3rd string QBs become their team’s starting QBs the next year? Yeah, not many.
The Broncos invested literally nothing in him, other than time, and he beat out a first-round draft pick (twice!) for the starting job.
All along the Broncos have been expecting just one thing out of Trevor Siemian – don’t suck more than Peyton Manning did in his final season, and maybe, maybe, we can ride the defense to another championship.
Surprisingly enough, they’ve gotten way more than that. They’ve gotten a good quarterback. And, with his progression, who’s to say they haven’t found a great one?