Due to an injury to starting quarterback Drew Lock and poor play from backup Jeff Driskel, the Denver Broncos marched out quarterback Brett Rypien as their starter for Thursday night’s matchup with the New York Jets.
If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Brett is the nephew of former Washington quarterback Mark Rypien, who won two Super Bowls with Washington. Brett Rypien was named the starter earlier in the week after taking over for Driskel late in Week 3, though his head coach had him confused with his uncle.
While the undrafted passer from Boise State was making his first career start on Thursday, there were moments where it sure didn’t look like it during Denver’s 37-28 win.
Right from the start, Rypien was not afraid to push the ball and let it fly. Some quarterbacks getting their feet wet in the NFL for the first time like to ease into the role and look for the easier plays, not Rypien. His first career touchdown came on a 48-yard bomb to Jerry Jeudy.
The wide receiver made an outstanding play on the ball, but credit to Rypien for noticing the one-on-one matchup and putting the ball in a place where his man could get it.
Later in the first half, Rypien once again went deep downfield to Tim Patrick, showing that he can drop the ball in the bucket with ease. The pass would set up a touchdown for Denver.
The young quarterback continued to shine in the second half, once again connecting with Patrick for his second passing touchdown of the night. This time, Rypien showed his ability to thread the needle, firing the ball in to the only spot it could go.
Rypien’s work had some seeing déjà vu from the days when his uncle Mark was working with “The Posse” of Art Monk, Ricky Sanders and Gary Clark.
From there, Rypien’s inexperience did begin to show. Back-to-back possessions finished in interceptions and temporarily surrendered the lead for Denver. Still learning under center, it was clear that Rypien was forcing some passes when he did not need to.
Still, the young passer was able to rebound on the following drive and move the Broncos into field goal territory for what would be the go-ahead kick.
All in all, Rypien’s performance was what one would expect out of a quarterback making his first start. He finished with 242 passing yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. There were some poor decisions at times, but also flashes of a talented passer that could find success in this league.
At times when he dropped back, it felt like being transported back to the 90s when his uncle was commanding the offense in Washington.