Broncos QB Brock Osweiler upgrades playmakers


The Denver Broncos are Brock Osweiler’s team, now.

At least, that’s what we can say for the time being.

The Broncos made the switch to the fourth-year quarterback out of Arizona State while Peyton Manning nurses a couple of pretty serious injuries, injuries that neither helped nor caused is horrid outing on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs when he completed four passes…to the wrong team.

Manning’s five completions on the game were sickening to watch, and his performance against the Chiefs was the worst by any quarterback in the history of Pro Football Focus’ grading, for whatever that’s worth. The Broncos have had some dud performances in the last five years at QB, so that alone is impressive.

Even Tim Tebow’s two completion game against Kansas City a few years back was more effective than Manning’s performance on Sunday, which gave way to the Osweiler era in Denver, and my hope is that the Broncos never look back. That would leave Manning tied atop the record books with Brett Favre for wins by an NFL QB, but it’s a decision the team might have to make.

Osweiler has a chance to come in and prove he belongs as the starter in this offense, but not only that, I think he’s going to help the playmakers the Broncos have developed over the years see a significant upgrade.

There are areas where Osweiler will struggle. There will be times where he holds the ball way too long and takes a sack. There will be times when he overthrows receivers and you’re raising one eyebrow wondering who might have been the intended target on a pass. But Osweiler has a live arm, escape-ability, and the ability to spread the ball around, as evidenced by his 14 completions on Sunday against the Chiefs in just over a quarter of work.

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Osweiler threw an interception in the end zone on a ball that was poorly thrown, but then he came right back and sent the Broncos down the field for their first two touchdown drives of the game. It wasn’t a perfect performance, as he had 10 incompletions to go along with his interception, but he showed some really nice pocket poise at times stepping out of contact and making throws downfield, as well as converting on some key third down plays.

The Broncos have maintained that Manning is this team’s quarterback when he’s healthy, but Osweiler has a chance to make that a tougher decision than they might think they are going to make. He is in his contract year, and has never started an NFL game until the Broncos travel to Chicago on Sunday. He has never had the opportunity to lead the team out of the tunnel with the mindset that he’s going to have the ball in his hands and he’s going to be the one helping lead the team.

The offensive weaponry is sure to be upgraded. We all saw that Peyton Manning doesn’t have the necessary traits right now to be able to spread the ball around, to push the ball downfield, or to make plays outside the pocket. Osweiler has that ability. He has fresh legs, a live arm, and he’s got an incredible amount of motivation.

Unlike the situation surrounding Jay Cutler, who was considered a punk young quarterback at the time taking over for the guy who had very nearly led a team to the Super Bowl the year prior in Jake Plummer. This time around, Osweiler has patiently waited his turn, and Manning has thrown 17 interceptions in nine games this season. The players aren’t blind, nor are they ignorant to how poor he’s played. The prospect of inserting the younger Osweiler into the lineup should revive the Broncos’ passing game, even if there are still inconsistencies.

This is an exciting time, and Osweiler has a huge opportunity on Sunday to prove that he’s the man for the job.