The Denver Broncos came into the season with a lot of questions surrounding the quarterback position after Peyton Manning retired during the offseason. The team traded for Mark Sanchez and drafted Paxton lynch as their quarterback of the future, but it was second year player Trevor Siemian that ended up winning the job. After looking average in his first two starts, NFL expert picks had the Cincinnati Bengals giving the defending champions their first loss of the season, but Siemian showed he is capable of handling the pressure on the road, and led the Broncos to an impressive victory.
Siemian threw four touchdowns against the Bengals on Sunday, which is something only Andrew Luck has done to the team in their last 28 games, and dropped the Bengals, who had hopes of making the Super Bowl this season, to 1-2.
The 1-2 start the Bengals have this year is the first time the franchise has been under.500 since 2012. It was also the first time the Bengals lost a September game at home in five years.
Siemian, who came into the game with no completions on passes over 20 yards, threw touchdown passes of 41 and 55 yards, becoming the first player to throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns in his first road start.
In the fourth quarter, the Broncos were down 17-16, then Siemian went 7 of 7 for the go ahead touchdown drive against the Bengals.
Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, finished the game with 117 yards and Demaryius Thomas finished with 100 yards and a touchdown.
The win by the Broncos showed that they are a legitimate contender in the AFC, even if they are starting what is essentially a rookie quarterback. Coming into the season, there were fears that the defense would be worn out by the time the playoffs start because they will have to carry most of the load, but Siemian and the offense showed on Sunday in a hostile environment that they are capable of doing their part.
If Denver finishes with the best record in the AFC, the home field advantage that comes with that will come in useful against the Patriots or Steelers if they play each other during the playoffs. Even if they don’t get home field, Siemian has proven he isn’t intimidated by a loud crowd.
The Bengals have to be feeling like they are stuck in the same situation they have been over the years. They are one of the most talented teams in the league but have very little to show for it. The team is a perennial playoff team, but they have been unable to get past the first round of the playoffs since Marvin Lewis took over as the head coach.
After last season’s disappointing loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Bengals were expected to be a top contender once again this year, but with an improved Baltimore Ravens team sitting at the top of the division, and a Steelers team that is expected to be in the playoffs, the Bengals might not make it to the postseason this year.
If Cincinnati misses out on the playoffs, expect head coach Marvin Lewis to be looking for a new job in the offseason.