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For his encore, Drew Lock dances into Atlanta

Broncos QB says he part of football's dancing generation.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Peyton Manning danced to Rocky Top during the stretch portion early in practice once.

But never during a game. (Although he did stage a keep-away skit with his teammates after setting the career touchdown pass record that has since been broken by both Tom Brady and Drew Brees).

John Elway would throw both arms and fists in the air after big touchdowns. But otherwise his celebrations usually went no further than the high 5 and a huge grin.

Drew Lock doesn’t need much to show off. He’ll point at an opponent on his way in for a first quarter touchdown and he’ll dance after game-winning touchdowns – even if critics say he doesn’t dance well.

"Hopefully my dance moves get better in the public eye because I promise that they’re not going to stop," Lock said Thursday during his weekly Zoom media conference.

Nope, Lock is not apologizing for how he is. If the Los Angeles Chargers didn’t like it, they could have stopped him for four quarters, not just three.

He said he’s been dancing since his college days at Missouri.

Credit: AP Photo/L.G. Patterson
Missouri quarterback Drew Lock (3) celebrates a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arkansas Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, in Columbia, Mo.

"I’m a part of a younger generation of football that might have a little more fun as far as dancing goes," he said. "I’ve been a music guy my whole life. It’s kind of just who I am."

In the two games and three quarters of a third – 11 quarters in all – since he returned from his strained right throwing shoulder injury, Lock had thrown 5 interceptions with zero touchdown passes. Groan.

And then in the 12th quarter of his return – fourth quarter against the Chargers -- he threw three touchdowns to lead the Broncos to an improbable, 31-30 come-from-behind victory.

"I thought he showed great poise," said Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. "I think we learned from a couple of weeks previous, you have to take what they give you at times. They were a defense going into where they didn’t give you a whole lot of opportunities for big plays, so we had to do that, and I think he executed well. He showed that he can lead us to victory. I think he can build on that. Obviously, the challenge for us is to get a faster start, so that we’re not putting any of ourselves in those situations."

It did seem like the short passing game was emphasized to Lock last week after he had seemingly taken too many deep shots the previous two games. Especially in the first half – when he completed 9 of 15 for only 58 yards – it seemed like Lock was purposely curbing his style.

"That kind of had to do with the defense that we thought we were facing," Lock said. "Certain plays to beat their certain rules of the defense and that was kind of in the game plan. There might have been a play or two where I did check it down and maybe could have fit one in down the field, but that was part of the game plan last week. We wanted to get the ball out of our hands and let guys make plays and advance it on this defense. They played it a little bit different, held us up a couple times, forced us off the field with a couple points and then we adjusted at half."

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Credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) celebrates a touchdown against the Houston Texans during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Houston.

He was 15 of 19 for 157 yards and three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. It may have only one great quarter out of 12 for Lock. But it was also his most recent quarter that he will bring into the Broncos’ next game Sunday at Atlanta.

"We can definitely carry it into this week because of momentum," Lock said. "I feel like we prepped extremely well last week practice-wise and with guys doing it on their own. We had to operate from home for a day last week. So, maybe just taking some of the ways that we went about last week into this week—I think that can help carry us into this weekend."

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