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Mile High Morning: Drew Lock's fourth quarter vs. Chargers earns midseason award

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The Lead

How timely was Drew Lock's stunning fourth quarter?

Of course it was opportune in the course of the game; the Broncos don't complete their momentous comeback without Lock leading the team to touchdowns on each of the team's three fourth-quarter drives.

For that, Lock's stellar quarter earned the "Best-timed quarter" award from ESPN's Kevin Seifert in an article highlighting some of the best quarterback play across the league.

In the first half, Lock's play and that of the offense allowed room for doubt, and not just for this one game, Seifert writes.

"Lock's hold on the Broncos' starting job looked tenuous entering the fourth quarter Sunday against the Chargers," Seifert begins. "The Broncos were trailing 24-10, and at that point, he had managed just one touchdown pass and a 55.2% completion percentage over the course of the season. But Lock then led a stirring comeback, completing 14 of 18 passes for 155 yards and three touchdown passes in a 31-30 victory."

However, Head Coach Vic Fangio said on Monday that "the thought didn't cross my mind" when it came to any possibility of benching Lock. And it's a good thing it didn't, because Lock helped foster one of the finest comebacks in team history.

"Some of that outburst can surely be attributed to the Chargers' perplexing defensive approach," Seifert writes. "They blitzed only once in the entire quarter, allowing Lock to spend an average of 2.96 seconds before throwing -- well above the NFL average of 2.73 for the season. Still, Lock bought himself some time and equity in a season the Broncos seemed to have set aside for determining whether he can be their long-term starter."

Below the Fold

Aside from the Broncos' Super Bowl XXXIII win, Denver's most memorable game against the Falcons may be when Jake Plummer set the franchise's single-game passing yardage record. The Broncos lost, which still seems to pain Plummer, but some others things stood out to him as he looked back on it in a conversation with ESPN's Jeff Legwold. "A victory would mean a lot more, especially since it's still kind of there in the records, but sitting here talking about it I do remember Rod [Smith] was just on it that day," Plummer said. "I know every time I looked up he was open."

If you've got Jerry Jeudy on your fantasy team, you may want to play him this week. In a roundtable discussion, sports analytics writer Seth Walder picks Jeudy as "a fringe fantasy player" that fantasy football enthusiasts should start this week. "Jeudy ranks 17th among wide receivers in expected completed air yards per game -- based on NFL Next Gen Stats' expected completion model -- so volume is also working in his favor," Walder wrote.

The Unclassifieds

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