Yesterday, we saw the Chiefs defeat the Broncos in overtime, a crushing defeat for Denver. It was only last year that the Broncos won the Super Bowl, so why haven’t they been doing well? A lot of it has to do with the Broncos losing Peyton Manning to retirement. Trevor Siemian, a second-year out of Northwestern University, was drafted in the seventh round to replace Manning at QB, but can he realistically take the place of a historical NFL figure?
Reality check: how many times does a rookie do as well as an esteemed veteran? Not many. Interestingly, Peyton Manning was one of the few who had an excellent rookie year. According to nfl.com, Manning passed for 26 touchdowns, averaged about 234 yards per game, and threw for a total of more than 3,000 yards as a rookie. Trevor Siemian is also on track for a good season, one that could be even better than Manning’s rookie season. In his real rookie year, Siemian took only one snap, so it’s only fair to compare Manning’s rookie year to his second year. After week 10, he has posted 15 touchdowns and over 2,000 yards. In the past three games, Siemian has posted an average of two passing touchdowns. If he keeps this up in the last five games, he will be one touchdown shy of the number of touchdowns thrown in Peyton Manning’s rookie season. Siemian also has been consistently passing for more than 250 yards per game, and if he maintains this consistency, then he will have a very realistic chance of besting Manning’s rookie stat of roughly 3,700 yards. Overall, Trevor Siemian needs two three-touchdown games and two 300-yard games along with his current averages to be a better first-year starter than Manning.
Any Broncos fan knows this better than their middle name: Peyton Manning was NOT a mobile quarterback. While you could argue that Manning was a mobile quarterback who declined due to age, he was always more comfortable in the pocket, throwing. But no one can ignore the fact that Trevor Siemian has been awful on the move. Siemian, in 26 rushing attempts, has accrued only 57 yards. In his rookie year, Manning attempted to run the ball only 15 times, gaining a total of 62 yards in doing so. This would not have projected him to be a great running quarterback, but he wasn’t getting stopped behind the line. But even compared to Manning’s lackluster rookie running statistic, Siemian has failed to post even average running statistics for a quarterback. So if you were wondering if the new kid could gain yards running, think again.
Trevor Siemian has an incredible presence on field. He is taking on a challenging role: the role of Peyton Manning. In terms of passing, Siemian seems to be on track to be an ideal successor to the legacy. Obviously, Siemian isn’t very strong when running the football. But if he can make up for that through his passing, then he will be the quarterback that has been desperately needing.
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Feature image courtesy the Broncos Team site