DENVER —** After winning the starting quarterback job on the strength of his decision-making and his arm, it was Trevor Siemian's legs that got him going in Saturday's 20-17 win over the Packers.
The first drive stalled after Siemian moved the sticks once, and the second drive ended when Siemian was intercepted after he overthrew wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.
It was a tough start for Siemian, who played mostly mistake-free footage in the first two preseason games. He needed a play to get him and the offense back into rhythm.
He found it with five minutes left in the first quarter when the pocket broke down and a running lane appeared. Siemian scrambled past one lineman, juked another, and then he ran through open field for 16 yards before sliding.
"I think I just ended up moving around a little bit," said Siemian, when asked what he thought changed between the first two drives and the rest of his time. "I think that I made a play and then I kind of got in a rhythm from then on. But I thought it was good, obviously. The pick stunk and then [there were] a couple other plays I'd like to do over again, but good to kind of get in the flow of a game."
Siemian's mobility has not been his calling card, of course, but the third-year quarterback has been able to run when he feels the pressure and has the opportunity to move downfield. But when he was asked postgame if his wheels were underrated, Siemian made sure to shut down that notion.
"No," said Siemian, after he finished laughing. "Not at all. I was waiting for somebody to tackle me. I was wondering if anybody was out there. But I was joking on the sideline, you know, like, 'Every time I've broken on a run, it felt like a 65-yard run and I look over and it's like 11 yards.' But yeah, it was good to keep us going there."
After the first-down run, Siemian threw for two more first downs before running back C.J. Anderson capped the drive with a 16-yard touchdown. Siemian led two more drives into the red zone, and he finished the day with 127 yards on 13-of-22 passing.
Two of those plays Siemian wanted back were near-misses to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in the second quarter. If he had connected on them — one deep down the right sideline and one in the end zone — Siemian's day would have had a completely different feel.
But Siemian said he felt those connections would come with time before the regular season begins Sept. 11.
"I think those are kind of the last things that come along with the offense is the timing on those," Siemian said, "on the deep ball and the double moves and those things. I like where we're at and we've got probably two good weeks of work before we get ready to play the Chargers."
In-game action photos from the Broncos' preseason home opener against the Packers. (Photos by Gabriel Christus unless noted)