The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
How serendipitous, indeed, that quarterback Brock Osweiler will get his frist career start not only on his birthday, but also against the very head coach who drafted him — John Fox?
Osweiler relieved Manning in the Broncos 29-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, after the five-time MVP threw four interceptions and overall looked completely unlike himself.
Manning entered Week 11 hobbled by a plantar fascia (foot) and rib injury and although he was limited in practice all week, believed that he'd be good to go on gameday.
"I wanted to go, I wanted to be out there for the team," Manning said Sunday post-game. "I did feel like we had some guys down, with Talib down and DeMarcus down, and weren’t really sure Emmanuel was going to be able to play. So I wanted to be out there."
Alas, it was the wrong call and Kubiak appropriately fell on the proverbial sword, taking the blame for allowing Manning to play. Kubiak attempted to rectify that mistake with six minutes and 34 seconds left in the third quarter.
Osweiler entered the game with a 22-0 deficit and put 13 points on the board. He went 14-of-24 for 146 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He breathed life into the dormant Broncos offense, getting the ball to the unit's playmakers.
Monday, Kubiak talked about how Osweiler changes the offense.
“You saw Brock yesterday," Kubiak said. "He moved around, made some great plays, made some guys miss and those kinds of things. Every player has their abilities and their strengths, but we have to run our scheme better regardless. That’s the bottom line, so that’s our focus right now.”
Now, Manning will focus on rehabilitation, but if Osweiler sparks the Broncos offense, which has underperformed all season long, and the Broncos continue to win games, the coaches will be faced with a very tough decision if and when Manning recovers.
That's assuming Osweiler plays well. In his first start, he'll be going against a coaching staff intimately familiar with him and a defense that has markedly improved of late. Nothing is guaranteed. For his part, Osweiler is taking his next opponent in stride.
"Yeah, Coach Fox knows a lot about us, but we also know a lot about him," Osweiler said Monday. "I think it's going to be a great football game that's going to take the entire team to go into Chicago and get a win this weekend.”
But at 7-2, the Broncos are in full command of the AFC West, with a three-game lead. Some have speculated that Manning could be out for 3-6 weeks with his torn plantar fascia, and the Broncos have some juggernauts coming to town in the next several weeks, including the currently undefeated New England Patriots in Week 12.
Manning will be inactive for Week 11. Rookie Trevor Siemian will backup Osweiler in Chicago.
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Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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