Undefeated Drew Lock returns to Missouri this weekend

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos celebrates as he heads to the locker room after the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on December 8, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos celebrates as he heads to the locker room after the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on December 8, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Drew Lock comes back home to take on the AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs, and he brings a rejuvenated Denver Broncos team with him.

When Drew Lock was drafted by the Denver Broncos, several Mizzou football fans instantly thought of Lock coming back to Missouri to play his hometown Kansas City Chiefs.

Lock was heading to the Chiefs’ division rival, so that meant he was coming home sooner rather than later to play. The fact that the Broncos would play the Chiefs late in the year gave Lock a better shot to start his rookie season at Arrowhead Stadium, with the belief that he would sit for a while.

Now that time will come on Sunday when Lock makes his return to the Show Me State.

Fresh off a big upset victory over the Houston Texans, Lock is 2-0 and ready to come back to the state he grew up in and played football for his whole non-pro career. Lock, a native of Lee’s Summit, claimed his first road victory of his career over the AFC South-leading Houston Texans 38-24 last weekend.

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In that game, the man dubbed a “rock star” by All-Pro pass rusher Von Miller completed 22 of 27 pass attempts for 309 yards and three touchdowns. He was only the Broncos’ fourth rookie QB to pass for more than 300 yards, following John Elway, Marlin Briscoe and Tim Tebow. Lock defeated AFC West rival Los Angeles Chargers in the first game of his career.

The second-round pick is the starter going forward in Denver after coming off injured reserve last month. He hurt his thumb in a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers and was forced to miss most of his rookie year because of it. The Broncos placed starter Joe Flacco on IR several weeks ago, and backup QB Brandon Allen was a fill-in until Lock was ready. He’s played exceptionally well since being named the starter last week.

How well? He might be the NFL’s best rookie quarterback, despite falling in the NFL Draft as the fourth QB taken.

Now he has led his 5-8 Broncos to greater results than what the team had before he was activated. The team has been fun to watch, and he has been given plenty nicknames out in Denver, the latest is Buzz Lightyear. This week will be another fun game for fans to see as Lock and the Broncos go back on the road to face Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs.

Lock talked to a group of reporters after Sunday’s win about returning to K.C.

"“I think it’ll be blown up that I’m going back home, going to Kansas City,” Lock said. “But if you think about it, that’s my home, I’ve been there a thousand times, nothing new about it except for I’m going to be blue and orange and not red and yellow, so it’ll be a little different."

Lock’s right — this week will be all about a welcome home party for the new Broncos starter. It’s not often, if ever, where fans of the Chiefs root for the Broncos. But lately, many Chiefs fans have found joy in a Broncos player’s success, given the QB is a Mizzou Tiger while the Chiefs also had a substantial AFC West lead that now has given them a fourth straight division crown.

Still, many Chiefs fans are Kansas and K-State crowds, or none of the above, and could care less about “the Donkeys” and Lock. The Chiefs have owned the AFC West over the past five years, losing only three games total in the division, and all in the final 30 seconds. The Chiefs are 25-3 since 2015 against the Broncos, Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers.

That is what Lock is going up against. But he went up against a solid Texans team last week, and looked how that turned out. He will try to end a run of Chiefs dominance over the Broncos this weekend. Kansas City has won eight-straight games in the series.

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Denver was mathematically knocked out of the playoffs last Sunday despite winning two straight to begin the month of December. So this Sunday’s game against Kansas City is just another step for Lock and his team to jell and try to improve before the team moves on to 2020.

A big step would be to play a complete game at Arrowhead, just miles from where Lock grew up.