Trevor Siemian will remain the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos in their Week 17 matchup against the Oakland Raiders. However, first-round quarterback Paxton Lynch will get some playing time, too.
“Trevor deserves the right to go back out there as the starter," Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak said Wednesday. "He's done a lot of good things this year. He's a young player; he needs to keep going."
In his last game, a 33-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Siemian had his worst outing of the season. He completed just 39.5 percent of his passes for 183 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. The loss officially eliminated the defending Super Bowl champions from the playoffs.
Kubiak said that he wanted Siemian to "get the Kansas City taste out of his mouth" in the Broncos’ final game of the season.
In his first season as a starter, Siemian has been steady but not a big playmaker. In 13 games, he’s completed 59.3 of his passes for 3,195, 16 touchdowns, and nine interceptions.
Kubiak didn’t reveal how many snaps either quarterback would take, or when Lynch would enter the game.
"I kind of have it in my mind, but I've got to see how the game goes, too," Kubiak said.
The 26th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft has only seen the field once since early October, when Sieimian was out with a foot injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars. In Lynch’s second start, he was 12-for-24 passing for 104 yards, adding 11 rushing yards on two attempts in a 20-10 win. It wasn’t a stunning effort by the rookie, but it was a somewhat effective outing against a surprising Jaguars defense that ranks fourth in the NFL.
In three games (two starts), Lynch has thrown for 497 yards and two touchdowns at a 59 percent completion rate. However, the quarterback has thrown an interception, fumbled twice and been sacked nine times.
In a meaningless game, it seems like a no-brainer for Kubiak and the Broncos to see more from both quarterbacks, especially Lynch. After all, they didn’t spend a first-round pick on the quarterback for nothing.
A big game from either quarterback could be a major glimmer of hope for a surely devastated Broncos team and fan base that had aspirations for a second consecutive Super Bowl. A solid outing from Lynch could reassure Kubiak, the team and Broncos fans that the first-rounder will be Denver’s guy moving forward.
An opportunity to beat the division rival Raiders, who will be without starting quarterback Derek Carr, would be a bonus. A Broncos win could bounce Oakland out of a potential first-round bye and division title, which could be a moment of pride for the Broncos and the team’s fans.