If you ask Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton, Kansas City Chiefs fans are likely overlooking the talent of Drew Lock.
Courtland Sutton is excited by what he sees in Denver Broncos second-year quarterback Drew Lock. He also thinks Kansas City Chiefs are likely overlooking the real thing based on how he looked during a loss during a snowy day during his rookie campaign.
It’s no secret that the Chiefs absolutely wiped the floor with the Broncos last year. The Chiefs have dominated the AFC West for the most part for the last few years, but last year, Denver performed miserably against a Chiefs team struggling with injuries themselves. At home in Week 7, they fell 30-6 with Joe Flacco at the helm of what became the Chiefs defensive turnaround. Eight weeks later, things were even worse.
In Week 15, the Chiefs hosted the Broncos at Arrowhead with a chance to see the Broncos rookie quarterback up close. It was a bit of a homecoming for Lock as it was, given that he’s a Missouri product and was born in Columbia, but it wasn’t a successful showcase as the Chiefs held the Broncos to a single field goal in the second quarter. So much for that offensive resurgence.
Sutton, however, says otherwise. We’ll let him explain things, with quotes from a recent conference call with Broncos reporters.
"“The only game he lost was to the Super Bowl winners in a snow game. We missed some opportunities. I know that y’all have seen the play with Tyrann Mathieu. That play is something that did haunt me for a while. I moved on from it.”“I also had another drop, a slant in that game,” Sutton said. “That bothers me thinking about it, but Drew didn’t play bad in that game at all. He was giving us chances to win. For him to go 4-1 as a rookie, it brings so much promise to this upcoming season. I know everyone in our building is excited to see his second year of what he’s going to do because, like I said, there’s so much promise.”"
To Sutton’s credit, the final numbers look solid from Drew Lock’s first five games overall as a pro. Even with the egg laid in Kansas City, Lock finished 4-1 as a starter and threw 7 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. He completed 64 percent of his passes (100 of 165 attempts) for 1,020 passing yards. He also rushed 18 times for 72 yards.
Lock led the Broncos to wins over both division rivals other than the Chiefs (the L.A. Chargers and Oakland Raiders) as well as the Detroit Lions and a playoff team in the Houston Texans. The road win at Houston was a thing of beauty as Lock threw for a career-high three touchdowns in a December game that clearly hurt Bill O’Brien’s standing in the playoff race.
As for the version observed at Arrowhead, Lock did not look efficient or effective. He completed 18 of 40 passes for 208 yards and 1 interception (the aforementioned play by Mathieu). Lock also fumbled once and was sacked twice in the game and held to 3 rushing yards on 2 attempts. In short, the Chiefs defense dominated the game.
Still, the Chiefs were a Super Bowl winning team last year and Arrowhead is a hard place to play. The snow game didn’t phase Patrick Mahomes in the slightest, but the elements have affected many quarterbacks in the past—even at the highest level. And every rookie is going to have a hiccup of a performance like this or even worse.
Is Lock the real deal? Will he look better in his second go-around against the Chiefs? Sutton seems to think so but there’s only one way for the Broncos to reverse the headlines about Lock or anyone else on the team. They have to win.