Broncos' hunt for starting QB could be in its final eight days

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos' search for a starting quarterback is in its final eight days.

Unless it's not.

But after the Broncos' 24-17 victory over the Chicago Bears in the preseason opener Thursday night, coach Vance Joseph said that what he saw unfold in the game wasn't enough to change the plan. And the plan is to continue to let Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch compete through the coming week, which will include two days of full practices at the team's suburban Denver complex, two days of joint practices against the San Francisco 49ers and the Aug. 19 preseason game at the 49ers.

Then the Broncos coaches will step back and take a long look as Joseph decides when and whether to name a starter then.

"That won't even kind of come into effect until next week," Joseph said following Thursday's game. "... After next week we can kind of sit down and talk about if there is separation between the two guys."

Joseph has called naming a starter before the Aug. 26 preseason game against the Green Bay Packers "ideal" given that is the Broncos' third preseason game and is expected to be the last preseason appearance for the starters. But he also said he wouldn't feel compelled to rush the decision if he has not seen a clear winner.

Last summer, Gary Kubiak named Siemian the starter before the Broncos' third preseason game.

The Broncos gathered some additional information Thursday against the Bears. But the first- and second-team offenses put together just one scoring drive, a march to a field goal directed by Siemian.

Siemian looked slightly more in control of the offense, but both quarterbacks were affected by penalties. The Broncos' offense was flagged nine times -- one of the penalties was declined -- and there were multiple penalties that were off-setting, so the Broncos' 74 penalty yards do not reflect the actual effect penalties had on the tempo of the offense or the quarterbacks' ability to find a rhythm.

Five offensive linemen, for example, were flagged for at least one holding penalty.

"I was satisfied," Joseph said of the quarterbacks. "Trevor was solid. He made some nice plays in the pass game. Paxton had some nice plays, but we had so many penalties during his time of play, it hurt his drives. That's why he played more than we thought. Overall, it was a solid performance, but the penalties kind of killed us offensively and [on] third downs. It's hard to say who played well because of the penalties."

"Nobody wants to play the game like that," Siemian said of the penalties.

Siemian played 22 snaps and Lynch played 21. Siemian, who started the game, was 6 of 7 passing for 51 yards while Lynch was 6 of 9 passing for 42 yards. Lynch will get the start against the 49ers.

The Broncos' offense didn't manufacture a touchdown until most of the third-teamers were in the game. Rookie quarterback Kyle Sloter threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah McKenzie in the fourth quarter, while rookie running back De'Angelo Henderson had a 41-yard touchdown run in the game's final minutes.

"I thought I did some good things, I thought Paxton did some good things," Siemian said. "There's definitely things we're going to watch and clean up."

"I'm just trying to go out there and play good football day in, day out," Lynch said. "... Consistency is something I pride myself in, and I want to get to that point where I'm consistently playing well."

The Broncos will have their final practice that's open to the public Saturday morning and will have another full practice Monday before they leave for California on Tuesday.

"They're both playing good football," Joseph said of his quarterbacks. "Outside of the penalties, I was impressed with both guys."