Last week, we began our Arrowhead Pride Interview Series podcast with Pro Football Network’s Trey Wingo. Over the next three weeks, we’ll take trips around the AFC West to preview the 2021 season of the Kansas City Chiefs’ greatest rival. Our first stop was in Denver, where we spoke to former Broncos safety and current radio host Nick Ferguson about all things donkeys heading into the year.
The Broncos are currently in the midst of what the Chiefs had to deal with from 2007 to 2013 — no sure answer at the game’s most important position, quarterback. The Broncos have last year’s starter returning in Drew Lock, but they also traded for former Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater this offseason.
“First and foremost, everyone is definitely excited about the Aaron Rodgers talk — whether it will come to fruition or not, we don’t really know, so we only have to deal with the quarterbacks that we already have in Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater,” explained Ferguson on the Arrowhead Pride Podcast Network. “Looking at Drew Lock — he’s a Kansas City guy, went to Missouri, he hasn’t really played that well. Now — playing against the Chiefs, I think it was last year in Arrowhead, gave the fans somewhat of an idea. Like, ‘Hey, maybe Drew Lock might be the guy,’ because the score wasn’t one of those large, lopsided losses for the Broncos.”
The Chiefs defeated the Broncos 22-16, but Ferguson felt the margin was more about the Chiefs playing poorly than anything that Lock did. On that night, Lock was 15 of 28 for 151 yards, two touchdowns and two picks.
“What I saw was a lot of mistakes in that game by the Chiefs,” said Ferguson. “There was one touchdown that Tyreek Hill caught, but no one knew it was a touchdown.”
The reference is to this infamous play:
In part due to the mishap, Lock had an opportunity to drive down the field near the game’s end for a potential tie. Tyrann Mathieu intercepted a pass to seal it.
“It wasn’t like Drew Lock was impressive to give me an idea that one, he should win the starting job — or the Broncos are really close from that quarterback position if he’s the starter.”
Ferguson is much higher on the prospect of Teddy Bridgewater, who Ferguson feels played a much better game in his one opportunity in Kansas City in Week 9.
“In that game — it was a real close game, and it just showed me the tangible that Teddy Bridgewater brings to the table and most people here, and I try to tell my other radio cohorts that when we look at Teddy Bridgewater, most of you guys look at him and say, ‘Well, he’s just kind of a check-down Charlie.’ But I say, ‘Well, I want a guy who’s going to make quality decisions.’”
To Ferguson’s point, Bridgewater threw for more than 300 yards and had two passing touchdowns, as well as a rushing touchdown in Kansas City. Panthers kicker Joey Slye missed a near-impossible 67-yard kick as time expired, but had he done something miraculous, Bridgewater would have spearheaded a 34-33 stunner.
“When I look at a quarterback that you guys had a couple years ago in Alex Smith, everyone said that he was a game manager. And at first, I used to not like that term game manager, but I love it now because what that tells me is that guy is going to do everything right. He’s not going to try to play outside himself, and this is where Drew Lock has an issue — because when he faces off against a guy like Patrick Mahomes, he feels as though, Hey I’m a Kansas City guy, went to Missouri, so I have to showcase my arm. And what happens with not just Drew — but a quarterback I played with in Jay Cutler — that arm talent that everyone’s talked about, it gets them in trouble because they try to force balls into tight situations.
“And I’m like, ‘Dude. You are not Patrick Mahomes. Patrick Mahomes has learned the art of improvisation. You have yet to learn how to do that, so play within yourself. And he’s still hasn’t done that.’ But I like Teddy Bridgewater to win that quarterback position.”
Ferguson also discussed the Broncos’ key offseason additions, his most significant concern entering the season and their overall outlook on Denver’s chances against the Chiefs in 2021.
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