Did the Denver Broncos officially lose the Russell Wilson trade on Monday night? No, let’s not be that extreme that already happened a while ago, but Drew Lock’s epic drive to score a 20-17 win for the Seattle Seahawks over the Philadelphia Eagles capped a weekend of wins for former Broncos quarterbacks.
While Russell Wilson’s Broncos took a very tough loss in Detroit that cratered the team’s playoff hopes, three former Denver quarterbacks led comeback wins—all improbable in their own right. Lock led Seattle, Joe Flacco also captained a 20-17 Browns win and similarly Case Keenum pushed the Texans to a 19-16 win. It was such a winning Week 15 for former Broncos quarterbacks that even Teddy Bridgewater held the clipboard while the Lions knocked off Denver 42-17 on Saturday.
Lock, the former starting quarterback in Colorado, was sent to Seattle in the mega trade that brought Wilson to Denver. It was Lock’s second start as a Seahawk both coming in the past few weeks. He has backed up Geno Smith, who was out injured again on Monday. Lock’s win was his first as a starter since December of 2020 when the Broncos beat the Panthers. Despite not finding out he would be QB No. 1 until moments before the game and not playing well for huge chunks, he earned his fourth game-winning drive on an unreal throw and catch to stud rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Lock’s follow-up interview to his 22-for-33, 208-yard performance with the victorious touchdown captured just about everyone in the football world’s hearts. The win moved Seattle to 7-7, keeping them alive in the playoff hunt, Lock’s one touchdown raised the Seahawks playoff chances by 21% alone.
More important to the current Broncos than Lock was both veterans former Denver starters Flacco and Keenum spot-starting and leading AFC teams to essential wins after being out of jobs a few weeks ago. Both have stayed above Denver in the standings thanks to the former Broncos. Flacco has now led the Browns to two straight wins. He threw for 374 yards and led an 80-yard late four-quarter comeback drive to tie the Bears then another 63-yard drive in the game’s dying moments for a game-winning field goal. Keenum was more efficient, throwing for 23-of-36 for 229 yards, and notched his touchdown late in the fourth, getting a game-winning drive to beat the Titans in overtime.
Wilson’s 49.5 QBR was second-best among the four in Week 15, falling just behind Lock’s 56.6. But Lock was the only one who threw for fewer yards than Wilson’s 223. And it was only Russ who lost, let alone got blown out. In fact, Lock was the only of the quartet to not even get a turnover. An impressive win for the Seahawks and the former Broncos starter turned Seattle backup quarterback.
Maybe there’s still a future for the 27-year-old in the NFL, like the way the team has reinvented their starter Geno Smith’s career; who knows? If the Hawks can pull it off, it’ll just be another notch in an increasingly growing list of wins for Seattle from the Russ trade. Let alone for the Broncos, all the former quarterbacks of that didn’t work out forcing the need for the trade in the first place. It’s another part of the past haunting Denver this Christmas as Wilson gets embarrassed by Sean Payton.
If it makes you feel better, at least the combo of starter Trevor Siemian, backup Brett Rypien and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett lost with the Jets, ending their season and guaranteeing New York’s playoff drought will still be longer than the Broncos.