Bridgewater named Broncos starter over Lock

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The Denver Broncos have chosen Teddy Bridgewater as the winner in their starting quarterback competition over incumbent Drew Lock, the team announced Wednesday.

The decision comes after coach Vic Fangio, who informed the team of the decision Wednesday morning, had maintained through training camp that the battle was “even-steven.”

“The good news of this competition is we’ve got two quarterbacks that we feel we can go win with,” Fangio said Tuesday.

Bridgewater, 28, is with his third team in three seasons. He was 4-11 as a starter for the Carolina Panthers in 2020 and a perfect 5-0 while replacing the injured Drew Brees for the New Orleans Saints in 2019. Bridgewater is 26-23 in his career in Minnesota, New Orleans and Carolina.

Lock, 24, is 8-10 in two seasons with the Broncos, who took him in the second round of the 2019 NFL draft. He tied for the most interceptions in the NFL last season with 15 and was last among the league’s starters in completion percentage. Bridgewater had the fifth-highest completion percentage in the NFL.

For much of training camp, the quarterback clash was a drudging one in which neither passer strung together stellar performances from one day to the next, and sometimes not even from one drill to another.

Both of them elevated their play in the preseason, however.

Lock had a splashy game at Minnesota in the preseason opener, but Bridgewater won the job with a stellar relief performance against the Vikings and an outstanding start at Seattle.

Lock’s preseason included an 80-yard touchdown throw to KJ Hamler, and on Tuesday he began practice with a 60-yard dime to Jerry Jeudy. But Lock continued to scuffle in three-wide formations and didn’t show as much huddle command, pre-snap management, pocket awareness and precision as Bridgewater did.

Bridgewater will become the 11th quarterback to start for Denver since Peyton Manning retired after winning Super Bowl 50. Manning was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this month.

The Broncos are 32-48 since he retired.

Information from ESPN’s Jeff Legwold and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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