Paul Klee's Scorecard for the Broncos' game Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers: 


OK, so there is one potential downside to inserting Drew Lock sooner than Vic Fangio and Co. preferred: seven of the past eight starting quarterbacks here suffered various injuries behind the Broncos’ offensive line. Stay safe out there, No. 3.

Advantage: Chargers


Perhaps the most telling aspect of Drew Lock’s likely first week as QB1 was how closely the Broncos ‘D’ watched his every move. Chris Harris Jr., for example, listened intently to Lock’s media session, nodding approval. The defense has waited years for a balancing act.

Advantage: Broncos

Special teams

What would ease the transition for Drew Lock is a special teams or defensive touchdown. While the Broncos rank second with 16 defensive scores since 2015, they haven’t celebrated one in over a calendar year — Oct. 18, 2018, at Arizona.

Advantage: Chargers


Which Broncos coach has the most to gain or lose with Drew Lock’s eventual ascension to starter? No question the correct answer is Rich Scangarello. Develop Lock and it’s a successful first season as offensive coordinator. Don’t, and his seat warms up.

Advantage: Chargers


What constitutes a promising debut for Drew Lock, if it happens Sunday? Forget the stats, even the final score. What the Broncos want to see is a 23-year-old QB who doesn’t lose his mind when something goes wrong. Dwelling on mistakes doomed Paxton Lynch.

Klee’s pick: Chargers (minus-3) 23, Broncos 13 (Record: 6-5 overall, 6-5 ATS)

(Contact Gazette sports columnist Paul Klee at or on Twitter at @bypaulklee.)


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