Chiefs Broncos Football

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) dives into the end zone to score against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of an NFL football game Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER — Broncos coach Vic Fangio thought Drew Lock played his best game on Saturday. 

But it still wasn't enough. And the one thing separating the Broncos and the rest of the AFC West is an elite quarterback, Fangio said, all but spelling it out that Lock and Teddy Bridgewater are likely not the future. 

"Those other three teams have top-shelf quarterbacks, which is obvious to everybody," Fangio said referring to the Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders. "We just need to get a little bit better."

Lock, who has started the last three games in place of the injured Bridgewater, was 12-for-24 on Saturday for 162 yards and two touchdowns, both of which came on the ground. He finishes the season with 787 passing yards, while Bridgewater had 3,052 in his 14 games. 

Bridgewater will be a free agent, but Lock, who was drafted by the Broncos in 2019, will still be under Broncos control. Despite the fact that the Broncos lost all three games that Lock started, he said that he still feels that he has what it takes to be the leader next year. 

"Winning in this league, you always want to win, we didn't get that done today" he said. "That's the most important thing to me. I felt like with the play of myself and the guys around me, we put ourselves in a good position to get a win today and we didn't finish it. I do feel like if you put me out there there's not a plan you can't run with me."

Bridgewater and Lock pushed each other this season, with lineman Garett Bolles even commenting that this was the first time Lock had any real competition. Bridgewater beat out Lock for the starting job, and Lock had to learn how to be the backup for the first time in his career.

"He helped me put together a little plan after practice of what to do and to work on real life movements," Lock said. "I appreciate him and everything that he has helped me do this year."

He said this season that getting his playing time taken away was the most adversity he's faced in his career. Lock felt like he was prepping for the Super Bowl when he got his first start of the year. 

But the Broncos, who like every team are vying to be in the real Super Bowl next year, will have to decide if Lock is the guy who can take them there. 

"I'd like to believe there can be a foundation with me in it," Lock said. "But that's not my choice."

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