ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– In Thursday Night’s 37-28 comeback win over the New York Jets, Brett Rypien not only led the Broncos to their first win of the season, but he also made some history in the process. He became the fifth quarterback in team history to lead a fourth-quarter comeback in his first career start.
“You know you can tell guys really wanted that win,” Rypien said. “It’s not over until it’s over, so that’s something you have to learn playing quarterback. You have to have a short-term memory and thankfully I was able to get that last drive there to get the win.”
Rypien’s road to his first career win was filled with plenty of twists and turns. The Spokane, Washington, native went to Shadle Park High School where he set the state’s all-time passing record with 13,044 yards and 134 touchdowns. He was named the Washington State Player of the Year in his senior season and attended Boise State University. There, he rewrote the Mountain West Conference record books, finishing as the conference’s all-time leader in passing yards (13,581), completions (1,036), and 300-yard passing games (21). He was named the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2018.
“He’s a competitor,” Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin said of Rypien in 2018 according to Idaho Statesman. “There are guys that do things well, he does things exceptionally.”
Despite the impressive stats, Rypien went undrafted and signed on with the Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2019 where he made spent the season mostly on the practice squad. He relied heavily on the advice from his uncle Mark Rypien, who led the Washington D.C. football team to a Super Bowl title in 1991. The encouraging words were needed as Brett would be released from the Broncos and passed over for the backup job twice.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say discouraged,” Rypien said on Tuesday. “I’ve always tried to take the mentality of getting better every single day. I can even go back to my uncle Mark’s career. He sat his first two years on Injured Reserve. Having conversations with him and seeing the way he overcame adversity throughout his first two years and then being able to win a Super Bowl and be a starter for 15 years.”
Brett took full advantage of his first career start against the Jets, going 19-31 for 242 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. He performance caught the eye of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 2, 2020
Rypien makin’ plays!
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) October 2, 2020
“It was great to get out there and get my first experience in an NFL game. I’m really proud of the guys for fighting through all of the adversity tonight to get the win,” Rypien said.
The Broncos (1-3) play the New England Patriots on Oct. 11 at 2:25 p.m.