CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Trevor Siemian needs a break. Not from the starting lineup. He's entrenched. He needs this bye week to rest his left shoulder -- "I won't be doing much bench press," he said with a smirk -- and comb back over his game film to correct mistakes.
The statistics say he's 7-2 as a starter on pace for 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. It's the equivalent of shrugged shoulders and khaki pants. Just meh. The Broncos don't do OK. To win their sixth straight AFC West title and secure a top playoff seed, they need Siemian to "play big" as coach Gary Kubiak put it. Siemian appreciates the vote of confidence but knows he has to improve.
"I think it's good that 'Kubes' expects a lot out of me. I expect a lot out of myself, truthfully," Siemian said Tuesday. "I'd rather have that than the other way around."
Siemian has thrown four interceptions and been sacked nine times over the last three games. His toughness impresses teammates. He absorbed 11 hits in the win over the Saints, leaving his left shoulder -- first hurt on Oct. 2 at Tampa Bay -- in need of a second pain injection. While the offensive line continues to receive criticism, Siemian bears responsibility. He has drifted in the pocket and held onto the ball too long at times.
"I think it's just not seeing them right or feeling a little pressure and getting the ball out early. It's different every time, but no doubt I have to take care of the ball," Siemian said. "And I can think of one when I was too deep and that's on me. I can't do that to our tackles. That's too tough on them."
Siemian received Tuesday off, letting rookie Paxton Lynch take first-team reps. Kubiak continues to praise Lynch's development.
"Paxton shows amazing talent throwing the ball and making plays. There's inconsistencies in doing the right thing," Kubiak said. "That's why he's young."
The rest will help Siemian recover. He plans to watch Northwestern football this weekend, and dissect his mistakes.
"I'll take a couple of days off, then I'll go over every game again and check everything out," Siemian said. "I'll do a little self-scout."
Cornerback Aqib Talib practiced Tuesday and remains in line to return for the Nov. 27 game after missing three games because of a sore lower back. ... Matt Paradis will use the bye week to rest his hip, leaving him hopeful of returning to practice.
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