Stuart Scott would marvel over how calm and collected Trevor Siemian has been. You can call him T-Money if you’d like, or say that he’s benefited from a number of dropped interceptions and lucky breaks. Just make sure that you mention the following: he’s 3-0 as a starter for the reigning Super Bowl champions, holds a 95.9 passer rating and when the Bengals looked him dead in the eye and dared him to beat them with his arm, Trevor looked right back and said, “Hodor.”
Actually, he said, “Okay.” Then he did just that. And to think, there were all these haters out there who didn’t think Siemian could step up and win a game when he had to, including this idiot: “Trevor Siemian is the best bad option at quarterback. The least defective of a group of misfit toys.”
Oh yeah. That was me. Nothing like a nice helping of crow for breakfast on a Monday morning.
In my defense, up until yesterday the criticisms of the pride of Northwestern were warranted. Siemian had thrown just one touchdown pass to go with three interceptions and there was an alarming lack of efficiency in the red zone. The Broncos were putting together solid drives between the 20s and then stalling out when it was time to cash in. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders grumbled that they weren’t seeing the ball enough. This continued through the early portion of yesterday’s game and there were just a few too many similarities between Siemian and Kyle Orton (minus the neckbeard).
And then something clicked. Siemian not only started leading scoring drives, he did his best impression of Peyton on a Sunday morning, dropping touchdowns on the Bengals like it was 2013. Cincinnati’s defense stacked the box because they didn’t think Siemian could stretch the field. I suppose that’s why they’re known as the Bungles, and why armchair general managers like me can’t even run a fantasy football team.
T-Money proved a lot of people wrong yesterday and it was beautiful. We haven’t seen a Broncos quarterback ball out like that since before Peyton Manning’s body gave out on him, and that includes the $17 million man down in Houston. What’s his name again? Bruce? Did I mention that Siemian is only making $525,000 this season?
At the very least, Trevor has the goods to be a more than adequate placeholder while Paxton Lynch finds his way, but at best? Well, I’d have to think that the sky’s the limit. Trying to throw the ball through defenders and missing some easy completions are growing pains that all young quarterbacks have to work through, but no matter how rocky the boat gets, Siemian never panics and veers off-course. That’s an intangible that eludes even some of the more capable veteran signal callers, such as Carson Palmer and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Those two will earn a combined $33 million in 2016 and also threw a combined 10 interceptions yesterday. No, that is not a typo.
I did mention that Siemian is only making $525,000 this season, right?
Should Trevor correct his mistakes and avoid the pitfalls that have undone many promising quarterbacks, then who knows how far he can come by the end of the year. The team believes in him and Siemian seems to understand that he doesn’t have to do everything on his own. More importantly, when the Broncos needed their quarterback to put the game on ice, Trevor answered the bell. Just call him Mr. Freeze.
No, I am not as witty as the late Stuart Scott. Siemian will probably never be as great as Peyton Manning (in all fairness, who will?), but for yesterday he delivered everything that the Broncos required of him: manage the game, avoid any crucial mistakes and when it’s time to put the final nail in the coffin, step up and nail that sucker shut. Time will tell if Siemian can offer a long-term solution at quarterback, but if he can follow that formula for the duration of 2016, then the Broncos will be in the hunt for their fourth Lombardi Trophy.
I heard Trevor call “Omaha” a couple of times yesterday. If that’s not the only thing he learned from the Sheriff, this may not be the last column I write singing Siemian’s praises.
That would be just fine with me.