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LA Chargers: Drew Lock’s play action and five keys to beating the Broncos

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 25: Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos smiles as he celebrates a first quarter touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs at Empower Field at Mile High on October 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 25: Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos smiles as he celebrates a first quarter touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs at Empower Field at Mile High on October 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

5. Don’t allow Drew Lock to use play action

There’s no doubt that Drew Lock has struggled this season. Since his return from injury in Week 6, Lock has thrown for zero touchdowns, four interceptions, 53.1% completion, and a 49.2 passer rating. The future looked bright for the rookie quarterback last year, but there’s irrefutable evidence that he has struggled in his sophomore campaign.

Interestingly, whether or not the Broncos go with play action has had a massive effect on Lock’s passing.

Per @PFF, Drew Lock has the best Play Action completion % differential of any starting QB at +21.4%.

With play action, 18 for 25 (72%), 198 yards 1 TD & 0 INTs (108.4 Rating)

Without play action: 39 for 77 (50.6%), 481 yards, 0 TDs & 4 INTs (48.7 Rating)#BroncosCountry

— Ryan Edwards (@redwardsradio) October 29, 2020

The play action tends to work well for Lock due to the running backs at his disposal. Defenses have to give some thought to Gordon or Lindsay running the ball, as mentioned earlier. If the Broncos get down early in the game though, they won’t be able to use play-action nearly as effectively.

The stats with normal passing setups are astonishing. 50.6% completion, no touchdowns, and four interceptions this year with normal passing drop-backs is something no one would’ve expected through Lock’s first few games this season. Shoulder injuries are always tough to come back from, but this seems like something more than the usual injury yips.

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Even with Lock’s slump, he’s always a threat if the Broncos’ running game gets going. If the defensive line stops the 1-2 punch at running back from being effective, they can also drastically limit Lock.

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