Controversy about the Broncos’ starting quarterback stirs only in uncultivable minds.
If Trevor Siemian is physically able to play on Sunday in the home game with Atlanta, he will start.
Peyton Lynch proved on Sunday in Tampa that he can play in the big-boy league’s game.
The doubt has been removed about Lynch’s capability as the Broncos’ backup.
Austin Miller will remain inactive, and Mark Sanchez can remain in Dallas.
However, Siemian’s the one.
He is 4-0 as a starter in his NFL career.
Only five other former Broncos starters have begun a season 4-0, or better. Both John Elway and Peyton Manning were 4-0 twice (Manning last season, in fact), and Craig Morton and Kyle Orton once, along with Jake Plummer.
Not even Mike Shanahan would replace Siemian with Lynch as starter at this juncture.
(Shanahan would be thrilled right now to get off the Ticketmaster commercial and get on as coach of the San Diego Chargers.)
In 2003, Plummer, in his first season with the Broncos after signing as a free agent, won his first four starts and five of his first six before losing three in a row and four of five (before the Broncos finished 10-6).
The next season, he won five of the first six. In 2005, the Broncos began with a loss with Plummer at QB, then won five straight, nine of 10 and 13 overall, and reached the AFC Championship (falling to Pittsburgh).
That obviously was not good enough for Shanahan, then the coach. He traded up in the next draft to select Jay Cutler, out of Vanderbilt, in the first round.
Plummer was on a short porch. He did start the first 11 games of 2006. After the Broncos dropped the opener, they reeled off five consecutive victories and seven in eight games. With a 7-2 record, the Broncos seemed in great position to win the AFC West and certainly get back to the playoffs — and perhaps go to the Super Bowl.
But they were beaten by San Diego, Kansas City and Seattle, and Shanahan jerked, and jerked around, Plummer.
He inserted Cutler as quarterback for the 12th game. The Broncos finished 2-2, third in the division and out of the postseason.
Plummer never played another NFL game. (After spending years away in bitterness, Plummer has returned to Colorado, and actually shows up at Broncos games, and is part of the happy family again.)
Cutler was a mediocre starter. Mediocre? His record with the Broncos in 2006-2008 was 17-19, and the Broncos didn’t make the postseason once. Cutler’s reign of terror actually led to Shanahan’s ouster, although owner Pat Bowlen once stated he was coach for life. Short-lived.
Josh McDaniels’ first task as the Broncos’ new coach seemed to be to run Cutler out of town. He succeeded. The Broncos traded him for Kyle Orton, who won his first six games as a starter in 2009. He won two the rest of the way, and Orton was gone, and McDaniels, too, before the end of the 2011 season.
The veteran Morton was aided by a great defense, “Orange Crush” I named them in 1977, when the Broncos won first six and 12 of 14. (This was before the increase to 16.)
Elway’s Broncos started 1984 1-1, but won nine in a row. In 1986, Elway won six before losing, and in 1997, he was 6-0 again. What about 1998, when the Broncos won their first 13? Bubby Brister replaced an injured Elway in games three and four and again in eight and nine (and didn’t lose).
In fact, Brister and Siemian are the only undefeated starters in Broncos’ history.
With Manning, the Broncos were 6-0 in 2013 and 7-0 in 2015.
A bunch of knuckleheads believe the Broncos should dump Siemian as the starter and put in Lynch against Atlanta and for the rest of the season.
Lynch was admirable, but limited, in his first appearance. He has shown that versus a lousy team and for a half, he can handle the task.
But Siemian hasn’t lost YET. (Yet, there is some discourse nationally that Siemian should be traded. Give me a break.)
The Broncos’ defense is still carrying this team, just as it did last year when Manning and Brock Osweiler took turns.
Siemian isn’t a doctor, but he gave us his diagnosis Sunday evening. “Bum shoulder.” He said he could have played and can play Sunday.
And he should. If he falters during the season, Paxton can take over. But not now.
Many minds are like bad soil. Nothing will flourish in either.