This isn’t about allegations. This isn’t about rumors and this isn’t about Peyton Manning.
This is about the Denver Broncos. This is about the present, and the future.
On November 17th, I wrote that the Denver Broncos quarterback job would be Brock Osweiler’s to lose — among the first to make such a bold claim. A few reasons factored into my reasoning, including Manning’s injury (6-8 week recovery process), his play during the first nine games of the season and the ineffectiveness of the run game out of the pistol and shotgun.
Today, those words have withstood six Brock Osweiler starts, which, at this point, includes a 3-0 record in freezing temperatures, two of which came in primetime against the number one and two seeds in the AFC at the time of the games. In both, Osweiler led the Broncos back from 14-point deficits against top-ranked defenses.
In six starts playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league, Osweiler has been hit a lot, which is a concern. But in his first six starts, Osweiler has shown growth and has been clutch in big moments. On Monday night, he played through a grade-two separated left shoulder and an injury suffered to his left elbow during the game.
This did not stop him from leading three potential game winning drives and from completing 69 percent of his passes, throwing for 299 yards and one touchdown, with no turnovers and a 100.3 passer rating. Osweiler also took fewer sacks than in previous games, yielding three, all of which came at the hands of Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap working against embattled right tackle Michael Schofield.
“Nothing has changed with Brock," Kubiak said. "If something would change, the players would know first and you would know second.”
This statement comes as no surprise, as Manning has been unable to practice for seven weeks now and suffered a minor setback during his first week back in his individual throwing sessions. Manning will have to string together a few team practices before he can even be considered an active player on gameday, let alone regain the starting position.
Our very own Doc Bear wrote just last week on Manning’s injury. It is clear that if Manning is healthy enough to play this season, he will still be far from being 100 percent. If we believe what Archie Manning (not the Denver Broncos organization) claimed in regards to Manning’s foot, then that would mean the Broncos would be getting back a quarterback who last we saw was the worst in the NFL — who still leads the league in interceptions — playing on a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot.
With every start Osweiler makes, Manning does get healthier. In a backup role, Manning can continue to heal and if called upon, the five-time MVP and future Hall of Fame quarterback, is far from a bad option.
This brings me to the main point of this article. The Broncos QB job is Brock Osweiler's. I can throw a multitude of fancy stats at you to support my claim, but that might bore you. With staple comeback wins against the Patriots and Bengals, Brock has earned the right to be the Broncos starting quarterback.
His growth over the past six games is a testament to his drive to improve. The way the team has rallied around him shows the leadership he has and respect he has earned. Most importantly, his comments in regard to Peyton Manning show a maturity that many fail to grasp.
“Most of all this isn’t about Peyton," Osweiler said. "This isn’t about me. Tonight is about this football team. What this team did tonight is truly special. It was a huge team win. That’s what the story is.”
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