Ole Miss Football: Chad Kelly Finishes Out Good 2018 NFL Preseason

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 18: Quarterback Chad Kelly #6 of the Denver Broncos passes against the Chicago Bears during an NFL preseason game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on August 18, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 18: Quarterback Chad Kelly #6 of the Denver Broncos passes against the Chicago Bears during an NFL preseason game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on August 18, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Ole Miss football fans have been watching former Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly do very well in the NFL preseason and Thursday night he made his first start.

As Ole Miss football fans we love to see our former Rebels find success at the next level. When they are talented and just starting out their professionals careers we watch their development and success. Former Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly is certainly one of those players who we have watched have a very impressive NFL preseason. Kelly finished the preseason Thursday night as he started the Broncos final preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. Kelly went 12 of 19 for 126 yards and 1 INT playing just the first half.

At halftime the Broncos trailed 7-3 but managed to get the 21-10 win on an almost flawless second half by the Broncos No.3 QB Paxton Lynch. Lynch, who was facing potentially being cut by the Broncos, had a very good night going 14 of 15 for 128 yards and 2 TDs. Lynch has been under a lot of pressure to perform since being ousted from the No.2 spot on the Broncos roster. It is doubtful Lynch’s impressive performance did little to help regain the No.2 spot but it may have saved his spot on the final 53-man roster.

A Lot To Think About?

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One thing is certain, Lynch’s performance Thursday night gave Broncos GM John Elway a lot to think about. The Broncos have been pretty bad or maybe just unlucky when it comes to talented quarterbacks lately, well since Peyton Manning.

Lynch has been what most Denver fans feel to be a another bust and I’m sure Thursday night did little to silence the boos of the Denver faithful when all is said and done. Of course, these are the same Denver fans of whom some were critical of Elway when the Broncos selected Chad Kelly as ‘Mr Irrelevant’ in the 2017 NFL Draft.

John Elway is under a tremendous amount of pressure as a result of some of his past general manager decisions. There have been a few which didn’t pan out very well and Lynch is one those which hasn’t until tonight. Was it enough to keep him?

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Based on the way Lynch has played throughout his career and not just one preseason half he hasn’t been everything Elway or Broncos fans expected. Lynch has had much longer to develop than Kelly and is much less impressive. It really was cut and dry Chad Kelly would be No.2 and Lynch would likely be released. However, the decision for Elway was once again made more difficult by Lynch Thursday night.

Observations And Opinion

It may be fun being a Monday morning quarterback but its even better being a Monday morning general manager. In this case of what I would do if I were John Elway, first I would look at both QBs thru the four preseason games. Chad Kelly finished the preseason going 40 of 60 for 463 yards and 3 TDs while throwing 2 INTs. Paxton Lynch went 28 of 44 for 230 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT. For the sake of fairness I’ll throw Case Keenum’s 21 of 35 for 231 yards preseason numbers in here as well.

We can look at the numbers and we see the good and the bad of both Kelly and Lynch in the 2018 NFL Preseason. Both quarterbacks numbers are some what deceiving to look at and not know those numbers were four different bodies of work over four games. Of course, one look and you see typical Kelly numbers when it comes to the completions, yardage and touchdowns. And honestly the 3 INTs really doesn’t surprise me, Chad will force some throws other QBs wouldn’t normally attempt. However, Chad completes most of them.

Just Too Little Too Late

Paxton Lynch doesn’t have bad overall numbers for the preseason and he did have an impressive finish under pressure. However, when you break down the numbers they really don’t match up to Kelly’s. Before Thursday night Lynch had gone 14 of 29 for 102 yards and 1 INT. Its obvious his second half against the Cardinals Thursday night did a lot to make his preseason numbers look much better. Did it do enough for him to stay in Denver?

I really don’t believe it does even though I was very impressed with the way he played under the gun. There is no guarantee Lynch will come out and give you the same thing next time on the field which presents the entire problem. Inconsistency has been a problem for Lynch since he been in Denver and it has drawn the ire of the fans. Paxton Lynch, who out of Memphis was a No.1 draft pick in 2016, has failed to develop into what Elway nor Broncos fans had expected.

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It would have been a much easier decision for John Elway Thursday had Lynch came out and fell flat on his face but once again Elway didn’t get that lucky. Elway now has the questions of keeping two backup QBs on his 53-man roster and which will be the No.2 on the depth chart. If I were John Elway or Paxton Lynch I’d want Lynch out of Denver. Paxton Lynch may indeed become a great QB in the NFL but it probably won’t happen in Denver. If it does it will be because Lynch wears ear plugs and Chad Kelly isn’t on the roster. With the QB mess Elway and the Broncos have seen lately it would be very foolish to let go of the most athletically talented QB on the roster. Hotty Toddy!