As Mark Sanchez Slips in Preseason Game, Paxton Lynch Sees his Chances to Start Denver Broncos Improve
The Super Bowl 50 Champion Denver Broncos lost a close one to the San Francisco 49ers Saturday, but it’s preseason, so that doesn’t matter. The real story line is the developments in the Broncos’ competition to replace quarterback Peyton Manning. And Mark Sanchez blowing yet another golden opportunity.
Sanchez, who relieved Trevor Siemian in the second quarter, had the chance to show up the young quarterback and solidify a starting position after Siemian’s pick-six. Instead, in typical Sanchez fashion, he decided not to hold on to the ball.
Try to follow this: Sanchez had a great 75-yard drive and got the Broncos down inside the red zone. Failure to even attempt to secure the ball led to a Sanchezian fumble right into the 49ers’ arms. The Niners decided they didn’t want the ball either—you know, because who needs it?—and gave it right back to Sanchez. And, again, Sanchez blew his opportunity, fumbling for the second time in about 30 seconds. The 49ers took a knee and ended the half.
“I just squandered a great opportunity to separate myself, and I put the team in a bad situation,” said Sanchez when asked what the hell he was doing out there. “There’s no excuse for that, poor, poor quarterback play. It’s difficult playing like crap on two plays and then ruining an opportunity. That’s difficult.”
He sure made it look easy, though.
Fortunately, rookie Paxton Lynch gave Broncos fans a glimpse of hope for the future with 113 yards and two touchdowns. Lynch also had one costly interception that sealed the game for the Niners, but overall he looked a lot more ready to start than Siemian and Sanchez.
“I’m going to play the guy that I think is best for our team,” said head coach Gary Kubiak, reminding everyone that Lynch is still very much in the running to start. “Obviously, he is a young kid. He did some really good stuff tonight. He made some mistakes, too. I think I’ve continued to tell you guys that he is behind the others from a knowledge standpoint as far as running the group. Obviously, we need to keep coming, keep bringing him along.”
Personally, I think Lynch will be the starter come Week One. Saturday was a good step forward for the rookie.