Trevor Siemian is, according to many, the biggest surprise among the 2016 NFL season’s crop of starting quarterbacks. His numbers at Northwestern were unremarkable, and so was his draft position – 250th in the 2015 NFL draft.

And while he did see some action last season, he didn’t throw any passes, merely taking a knee in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But for what it’s worth, he’s the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback, and one who had led a second-half comeback to help Denver beat the visiting Carolina Panthers, 21-20, in a rematch of Super Bowl 50.

Siemian’s does well overall despite throwing two picks

Looking at Siemian’s numbers against the Panthers, he wasn’t a standout in his first start. He did connect on 18 out of 26 passing attempts, but threw for only 178 yards and had one touchdown pass to two interceptions, good for a 69.1 QB rating.

Still, he stepped up when it mattered the most, showing the strong arm and the intangibles that convinced coach Gary Kubiak to go with him as the starter.

He led two second-half touchdown drives and helped the Broncos overcome a 17-7 deficit at halftime.

The first game-changing touchdown drive came in the fourth quarter, as Siemian threw his first touchdown pass of his NFL career, connecting with running back C.J. Anderson on a 25-yard screen pass. On the Broncos’ next possession,

Siemian led the second touchdown drive, which ended with Anderson scoring a second touchdown on a one-yard run.

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All this allowed the Broncos to become the first previous Super Bowl champ to pull off a comeback win after trailing by eight points or more at halftime in their season opener.

Could Siemian keep it up and remain solid for the Broncos?

Once again, it wasn’t a perfect “proper debut” for Siemian. The two interceptions and sub-70 quarterback rating won’t exactly put him among the top quarterbacks in the league after the opening week games are completed, and he’s definitely not close to being the man whom he replaced, NFL legend Peyton Manning.

But Kubiak remained confident in Siemian and pointed out to reporters that the second interception may have been on account of Denver not picking up Carolina’s blitz as they should have.

Indeed, it wouldn’t be right to judge Siemian on an imperfect, yet nonetheless solid first game as a starting quarterback. But if he fails to sustain his momentum, the Broncos do have a fairly good insurance policy in their 2016 first-round pick, Paxton Lynch.

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