Denver Broncos: Time to Commit to Brock Osweiler


The Denver Broncos proved they can win with Brock Osweiler under center, so is it time they commit to him as the starter for the remainder of the season?

The Denver Broncos won their third-straight game, after defeating the San Diego Chargers. Moreover, Brock Osweiler continues to demonstrate a keen ability to manage the game and lead the Denver Broncos to victory. Peyton Manning went down with a partially torn plantar fascia injury just over three weeks ago, and people wondered how the Denver Broncos would respond with a young, inexperienced quarterback running the offense. With Osweiler continuing to impress in his trial-run as starting quarterback, should the Denver Broncos commit to him for the remainder of the season?

-= Related: Denver Broncos’ Defense Leads Way in Win Over Chargers =-

The Denver Broncos do not know how much longer Peyton Manning will remain sidelined due to his foot injury; also, Manning did not travel with the team the past two weeks to focus on his rehab. The Denver Broncos stated that Manning would miss an additional two weeks before they played the Patriots, hinting that he may return to play against the Raiders. However, after three impressive victories by Brock Osweiler, Manning seems like a distant memory for Denver Broncos fans. With four games remaining on the schedule, the Denver Broncos are better off with Osweiler under center.

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With Peyton Manning as the starting quarterback, defenses never feared him beating them with deep passes over the top; thus, opposing teams cheated up on Manning and the Denver Broncos’ offense in order to stop the short passes and running game. In turn, since Brock Osweiler became starter, the Denver Broncos average over 160 yards on the ground, up from under 100 yards with Manning under center. With a rejuvenated run game, the Denver Broncos look like the team to beat in the AFC, especially with a battered Patriots squad struggling the past two weeks.

In addition to the new-look running game, the Denver Broncos have limited their turnovers the past three games. Before Manning’s injury, he led the NFL in interceptions, and his mobility is somewhat laughable. Manning averaged nearly two interceptions per game, but Osweiler threw just two interceptions in his first three starts. Also, Osweiler and Manning’s mobility is like night and day, with Osweiler flashing some wheels, able to pick up much needed yards if the receivers are not open.

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Too many times this season, we saw Peyton Manning immediately go to the fetal position as soon as he sees pressure coming his way. However, Osweiler offers much more upside than Manning at the current stages of their respective careers. Manning struggles to throw the ball down the field, which led to Demaryius Thomas‘ touchdown drought to start the season. With Brock Osweiler as the starter, the Denver Broncos are a more balanced offense, and they do not have to rely solely on the passing game.

With Peyton Manning, the Denver Broncos struggled to gain any yards on the ground, leaving Peyton Manning to fend for himself in the passing game. Manning looked two steps behind and overmatched most of the time, unable to break down defensive schemes like in the past. However, Manning put up respectable passing yardage totals, but it came at the expense of a slew of turnovers. With Osweiler, the Denver Broncos offer a much more balanced offensive attack. C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman put together the best weeks of the season over the past three games, improving the team’s rushing totals on the year. 

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  • The Denver Broncos have a chance to win home field advantage heading into the playoffs as long as they take care of business down the home stretch of the season. With the Steelers (on the road) and the Bengals (at home) standing in their way, the Denver Broncos must go with the hot hand at quarterback to ensure they enter the playoffs with a full head of steam. Brock Osweiler, during his three-game win streak, has done nothing to lose the starting quarterback job, and Peyton Manning did nothing to prove he deserves the job back (besides legacy/tenure).

    Thus, the Denver Broncos and Gary Kubiak need to keep the ball rolling with Osweiler under center. Each week, Kubiak leans more towards Osweiler as his starter, changing his tone towards Manning in each press conference. Initially, Kubiak stated that Manning would resume the role as starter once healthy, but now, Kubiak will do what is best for the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning moving forward. The Denver Broncos are a Super Bowl caliber team this season, but not with Manning as their quarterback. Also, keep in mind, the Denver Broncos have cold, outdoor games ahead on the schedule, and Manning does not bode well in those conditions.

    Next: C.J. Anderson: Denver Broncos' Starting Runningback?

    The Denver Broncos host the Oakland Raiders next week, and you should expect to see Brock Osweiler start his fourth-straight game. Gary Kubiak has a tough decision on his hands in the upcoming weeks, if Manning proves to be healthy enough to return. The quarterback decision in Denver is like a double-edged sword, with a lose-lose situation looming large. Keep an eye on Manning’s status heading into next Sunday.