The starting quarterback battle Teddy Bridgwater and Drew Lock has ended, and a winner has been named. Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio announced on Wednesday that Bridgwater will be the team's starting quarterback.
Coach Fangio informed our team this morning that Teddy Bridgewater will be the Broncos’ starting quarterback. pic.twitter.com/ZU0hNCi0kg
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) August 25, 2021
This was a race that Fangio said was too close to call on Tuesday. He and the coaching staff hadn't been able to make a decision yet because both Bridgewater and Lock had performed well.
“It’s pretty damn close,” Fangio said via ProFootballTalk. “You guys have seen it. . . . It is close, and I think it’s close for a good reason. They both have played well. The good news of this competition is we’ve got two quarterbacks we feel we can go win with.”
Fangio also said that they hadn't been trying to hide who their starting quarterback would be so their first opponent, the New York Giants, wouldn't be able to prepare. There are still two and a half weeks left until the season opener, so that seems fairly obvious. It's also exactly the type of thing someone would say if they had seriously thought about doing that but decided not to. But now it doesn't matter if the Broncos were trying to gain a competitive advantage, because the cat is out of the bag.
Bridgewater, who came to the team via trade in April, vaulted himself into the job thanks to excellent performances in both the preseason and training camp. In two preseason games he completed 16-of-19 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns, and didn't turn the ball over or take a single sack. Fangio also praised Bridgewater as a standout in practice.
This wasn't a Trevor Lawrence-Gardner Minshew situation. Lock put up a fight and made Bridgewater earn the job. The 2019 second-rounder showed off his great arm, going 14-of-21 for 231 yards with two touchdowns in the preseason.
The Broncos have cycled through a lot of quarterbacks over the last few years. Bridgewater is their fifth Week 1 starter in five seasons, and their eighth quarterback overall in that same time span. Their last quarterback to start two straight seasons was Trevor Siemian in 2016 and 2017.