Trevor Siemian’s deep ball is encouraging, even if stats were down

Denver Broncos’ quarterback Trevor Siemian had one of his worst statistical games of his career against the Texans. He threw for only 157 yards on the night. He had just one touchdown. He avoided mistakes, with his fourth game in a row without a pick, but he was by no means lighting it up.

The problems weren’t that noticeable.

CJ Anderson and Devontae Booker were tearing the Texans apart on the ground and the Broncos leaned hard on that running attack. Since the defense was beating down the Texans’ offense and keeping the score low, it also made sense for the Broncos to keep the ball on the ground and let the clock run. All of that made it look like Siemian’s showing against the Texans was much better than it was against the Chargers a week ago, even though he put up more yards and completed a higher percentage of his passes last Thursday.

However, one of the most encouraging things from the Monday night game wasn’t even technically a play. It was that nice early throw to Demaryius Thomas for a 20-yard gain, the one that got called back for holding. If you’re having trouble remembering which one, it’s because that’s been happening a lot lately.

But the throw from Siemian was great. On target, with power, farther down the field than we’d seen in a long time. It was a nice play to spread the defense out.

He took another deep shot to Sanders during the game that fell incomplete. Again, that’s something that hardly shows up on the stat sheet, but he was willing to throw it and it pushed the defense back.

Against the Chargers, it was hard to believe he even could make that throw, and the defense just stopped respecting it. They didn’t need to. Siemian doesn’t necessarily have to hit everything downfield just to show the defense that he has the option. As long as they know he’ll take those shots, it helps spread things out and keeps them from jumping the short routes.

Then, near the end of the third quarter against the Texans, Siemian did this:

He recognized the single coverage and gave his wideout a chance to win the one-on-one battle. And Sanders won it, as he usually does, for one of the biggest plays of the night.

That’s not a bomb, per se, but he did throw it deep effortlessly and it was better than just about everything he threw against the Chargers. All throughout the game, he simply looked like he had more power on his throws.

So, what does it mean?

Well, it first means that his shoulder is doing fine. The raw stats would tell you he was limited, and the Broncos didn’t have him throw 50 times, but that was more because of where they were in the game. When he needed to throw, he was on. The second quarter, in particular, saw some excellent rhythm out of the offense as it marched down the field.

If Siemian was still hurt, the Broncos would have reigned it in to nothing over ten yards, but they didn’t.

They let him throw. Regardless of the results, it means he’s feeling well enough to make those throws, and that bodes well for the future. This injury isn’t going to be something that lingers all year and really takes the Broncos out of contention.

There’s still a lot of work for him to do. But the concern after last week wasn’t about how much work had to be done, it was about whether or not he could physically do it at all. We now know that he can, and he should look even better next week.

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