He was less Buzz Lightyear than Missouri mule, stubborn to the last. But Drew Lock wasn’t going to put a sore rib in the way of a week 11 start against the Miami Dolphins at home.
“I was unusually determined (to play),” said Lock after throwing 270 yards and rushing another 23 in a 20-13 win Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High. “There has been a lot of played-this-week or no-playing-this-week (speculation). Pain would be nothing to stop me from playing. ”
Lock appeared to suffer from a ripple load during the second quarter of a week 10 shellacking against the Raiders in Las Vegas, which left his status in front of the dolphins in the air for much of the prep time leading up to Sunday. The second-year quarterback admitted after the game that the pain meant “it wasn’t an easy practice week,” or so comfortable in the heat of the fight.
But the former University of Missouri’s most standout was on his 13th NFL appearance – the win pushed his career mark as a starter back above .500, to 7-6 – against a Dolphins defense that came in this afternoon with the fewest points on fifth place in the NFL. allowed per game (20.2) and No. 6 in forced moves per opponent’s possession (15.5%).
“For him to come out here and be resilient and do what he had to do to help and lead his team after taking so much heat last week,” said traffic jam-back Melvin Gordon, who was a salty Broncos attack with 84 yards, “It just shows what kind of player he is.”
Especially considering that the hosts’ first drive had ended on a Lock pick, making it the sixth consecutive game in which the signal caller had thrown an interception. Trailing 7-0 to a young Miami team that came in on a five-game winning streak with road wins in San Francisco and Arizona, Lock set the tone for the rest of the game on the third stage of the Broncos.
Facing a third and 10 to his own 27 after two omissions to open the series, Lock hit rookie KJ Hamler for a 15-yard win. On the third and 13th on Miami 39, Lock scrambled to the right and wandered, ribs and all, for a 14-yard gain and another first down. Three plays later, the Broncos scored their first touchdown of the day on a 1-yard Gordon dive.
“Those are plays we should have in these games,” Lock said of his toss down. And they are there for us to make.
“And that was one of the plays that we might not make last week or the week before, and we’re off the field. It’s a different atmosphere that goes to the sidelines. So I am proud of us because we are always making progress. ”
Speaking of progress, Sunday’s second half, when the Broncos outperformed Miami 7-3, was Lock’s first half with no sales since the first half of a week 9 loss in Atlanta.
“I think Drew is coming back from bad play,” said coach Vic Fangio. “That is one of its good qualities. I don’t think he lets it linger and hangovers from it. ”
It also helped that the Broncos built a lead at half – their first half-time kiss since week 6 in New England – and therefore could lean on the running game behind Gordon and backfield buddy Phillip Lindsay (82 rushing yards). Miami crowding the box also opened up a good look for Lock on bootlegs and rollouts, especially on his right side.
“We let (Lock) know that he doesn’t have to conquer the world alone,” Lindsay said after the game. “There’s another 10 of us (in transgression) doing it as a unit.”