Arguably the most intriguing quarterback battle in NFL training camps this summer is with the Denver Broncos between Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. You can bet on the Week 1 starter at 5Dimes.
I would argue that the only playoff-caliber team with a starting quarterback battle ongoing in training camp this summer is with the Denver Broncos between Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. OK, the Houston Texans have Tom Savage and Deshaun Watson, but Coach Bill O’Brien has already said Savage is his starter Week 1. Whether you believe that is another story.
Denver still has a playoff-caliber defense, two good receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, and a solid stable of running backs in CJ Anderson, new addition and long-time Chief Jamaal Charles and Devontae Booker (although he's hurt already). If the Broncos can get simply league-average QB play, they can return to the playoffs after missing out last year for the first time since 2010.
The Broncos opened training camp Thursday, and new head coach Vance Joseph has said it’s truly an open competition. Joseph said this spring the coaches weren’t keeping score during the offseason program. Now they will be. Joseph added he doesn’t have a timetable for naming his Week 1 starter – the Broncos are -3.5 on NFL odds against the visiting LA Chargers on Monday, Sept. 11 – but is hopeful of naming one by the team’s third preseason game Aug. 26.
5Dimes offers a prop on which quarterback starts Week 1 of the regular season, and Siemian is the -260 favorite with Lynch at +180. Siemian was the surprising winner of last summer’s quarterback derby to replace the retired Peyton Manning. The 2015 seventh-round pick from Northwestern started 14 games and the Broncos were 8-6. Siemian completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 3,401 yards, 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. That was good for a rating of 84.6 that was 23rd in the NFL.
GM John Elway, a pretty decent QB in his day, traded up from No. 31 to No. 26 in the first round of the 2016 draft to take Memphis’ Lynch; if Elway hadn’t made that trade, the Dallas Cowboys probably do and take Lynch, meaning no Dak Prescott in Big D. Lynch saw action in three games last year and completed 59 percent of his throws for 497 yards, two scores and a pick for a rating of 79.2.
At 6-foot-7, 244 pounds with a big arm, Lynch clearly has the higher ceiling, and the fact it’s a new coaching staff might help him. Siemian (6-3, 200) is more of a dink-and-dunker, although former head coach Gary Kubiak’s West Coast offense was designed that way. Elway says the call on a starter is completely up to Joseph – but Elway traded to get Lynch for a reason.
For what it’s worth, Siemian opened camp on Thursday getting the first-team reps, but the Broncos plan to rotate days where Siemian and Lynch are working with the ones. Exhibition games are largely worthless, but Denver’s first two, Aug. 10 at Chicago and Aug. 19 at San Francisco, are clearly important.Free NFL Pick: Lynch +180Best Line Offered: 5Dimes