Brock Osweiler starting will answer big questions for Broncos

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Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) in the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 47-14. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Is he the long term answer?

This is going to be a near-impossible question to answer in just one career start, but Osweiler has been around for four years, so the Broncos have some kind of idea where they are at with him and his development this season and over the course of the last four years.

This has been the question surrounding Osweiler since he was drafted in 2012 as Peyton Manning’s eventual successor. The ideal plan for John Elway would have been for Manning to win a Super Bowl in years 1-3 of the experiment and let Osweiler have his fourth and final season of his contract to start the whole year and prove whether or not he needed to move on or keep him around for the long haul.

That question hasn’t been answered on the field, but the sample size in preseason reps and practice reps has been large enough that the time has come for Brock to prove whether or not he is ‘the guy’ for the Broncos moving forward. John Elway couldn’t afford to use a first round pick on a QB in 2012 after just signing Peyton Manning while also attempting to rebuild a terrible defense, but using a 2nd round pick on one was pretty darn close in terms of the investment made.

The Broncos took a shot at a very young, very raw, very talented quarterback out of Arizona State and they’ve been developing and molding him. He seems to have commanded the respect of his teammates, and has patiently waited for his time to come. 17 interceptions has paved the way for no. 17 to get his shot to prove that the investment the Broncos made in 2012 can pay dividends for the future. Even just this one game can force Denver’s hand with the way quarterbacks are at such a premium in this league.

Oh, and Osweiler will be turning 25 on Sunday. He’s still really young, with a lot of football left in him.

Next: Manning to blame?