Well, that was fast. Head coach Gary Kubiak announced to the team on Thursday that Peyton Manning will start at quarterback for the Denver Broncos in the Divisional Round of the playoffs January 17th.
Manning replaced Brock Osweiler with little more than eight minutes left in the third quarter of the Broncos' Week 17 tilt vs. San Diego, after the Osweiler-led offense turned the ball over a whopping five times.
Trailing 13-7 when he took the field, Manning's impact was immediately felt, as he led the Broncos on an 80-yard scoring drive capped off by a C.J. Anderson touchdown plunge.
When it was all said and done, Manning's offense put up 20 points and edged out the Chargers 27-20. Although Osweiler's unit turned the ball over five times, only one of them can be rightfully laid at the feet of the fourth-year signal caller.
But Kubiak felt the team need "tremendous leadership" in that moment, and Peyton Manning most certainly provided it. It's somewhat surprising that Denver felt the need to announce a starting quarterback.
But, once the team was made aware of who would start, it would have been difficult for the Broncos to control the flow of information, likely making it a matter of time before the news was leaked.
At the end of the day, the Broncos have a plan and clarity at the most key position for the playoffs. With homefield advantage throughout the tournament, Manning will get one more swing at pulling off something no other QB in the history of the game has accomplished.
Winning two Super Bowls with two different teams.
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Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.