NFL Betting: Who Will Be the Broncos' Starting Quarterback in Week 1?
As we begin the journey towards the offseason team building, there are a number of intriguing quarterback battles that should be should be sorted out by the time teams break training camp ahead of the regular season.
One such battle is on the Denver Broncos. The FanDuel Sportsbook is offering odds on who they think the Week 1 starter will be, with Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater currently tied at +145. Brett Rypien is available at +1600, while "Another" is on offer at +220.
Let's dive in and see which player we should bet on.
Last season, the Broncos certainly gave Lock every opportunity to cement his place as the long-term answer to quarterback the team has lacked since Peyton Manning retired. They surrounded him with a plethora of young receivers like Jerry Jeudy and tight end Noah Fant.
But he was far from impressive, as he completed 57.3% of his pass attempts, gaining 2,933 yards and 16 touchdowns on 462 dropbacks while also tossing 16 interceptions. He averaged -0.04 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per dropback, which ranked 29th among 32 quarterbacks with at least 300 drop backs and was well below league average (0.13). (If you want to learn more about NEP, please visit our glossary.)
The Broncos' new GM George Paton was in the front office of the Minnesota Vikings back in 2014 when the team spent a first-round pick on Bridgewater and was no doubt happy to bring him into the fold after a one-year stint with the Carolina Panthers.
Bridgewater was far more accurate last season than Lock, with a 69.1% completion rate on his way to 3,733 yards. But he managed just 15 touchdowns against 11 interceptions. He was 19th in terms of Passing NEP per drop back with 0.12, putting him right around the league average.
The Broncos didn't spend much to bring him into the building, sending a sixth-round pick to the Panthers. But they did pass on drafting either Justin Fields or Mac Jones in the first round of the NFL Draft, and the fact this front office hasn't seen Bridgewater fail in their team colors yet may give him something of a leg up over Lock.
Lastly, Rypien was pressed into starting one game in 2020 and was able to lead his side to victory over the New York Jets, as he passed for 242 yards and 2 touchdowns in Week 4. But he also tossed three interceptions in that game, and as a former UDFA, he would probably need something bad to happen to both Lock and Bridgewater between now and Week 1 to be in serious contention for a second career start.
The change in the front office, plus the substandard play of Lock in 2020, makes Bridgewater the favorite for the job in my eyes. Lock has just been too inconsistent and loose with the football and is in danger of wasting the prime years of the talent around him.
However, the odds on "Another" being the Week 1 starter is quite mouthwatering, especially as there is only one candidate for this role, isn't there?
Aaron Rodgers on this team would be something and would boost the fantasy appeal of absolutely everyone on the offense. But the Green Bay Packers look like they are prepared to wait/plead with their MVP quarterback to return, so that leaves Teddy as the frontrunner to lead this team against the New York Giants in Week 1.