TAMPA, Fla (The Sports Xchange) – Paxton Lynch was able to watch from the sidelines as the Denver Broncos jumped out to a 3-0 start. The rookie quarterback was thrust into action Sunday, and helped the Broncos pull away to a 27-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Lynch, Denver’s first-round pick out of Memphis, came in and played well from the start. He completed passes of 16 and 18 yards in the final 90 seconds of the first half to set up a late field goal and a 17-7 halftime lead.
He added a touchdown in the fourth quarter, and finished 14 of 24 for 170 yards, playing mistake-free football on a night when the Bucs committed three turnovers, leading to 17 Broncos points.
“I thought he handled himself well,” Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said. “He made some big third downs for us. He got the ball down the field, and I really liked the way he avoided some bad plays and threw the ball away. I thought that was impressive.”
Siemian had been impressive last week, throwing for four touchdowns in a win against Cincinnati, and his first pass Sunday was a touchdown for a 7-0 lead on the Bucs.
But when he left the game, the lead was only 14-7, and Lynch didn’t give the Bucs any short fields, as Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston did for the Broncos on two easy touchdown drives after interceptions by Aqib Talib. There was little doubt for Denver, despite playing on the road against what had been a potent offense through three games.
“It’s a good month,” Kubiak said of his team’s 4-0 start, including impressive wins against playoff teams in Carolina and Cincinnati. “You divide it up into quarters, and obviously we’ve had a good first quarter. There’s so many things we can improve upon as a team. That’s what I’m excited about.”
The Broncos won’t know the severity of Siemian’s injury until the results of an MRI exam, but if they have to go with Lynch, that was certainly the plan at some point. In a season where young QBs have stepped up across the NFL — Carson Wentz with the Eagles, Dak Prescott with the Cowboys — this is another precocious passer making an impressive start to his NFL career.