The Broncos have made the decisive decision to bench future Hall-of-Fame QB Peyton Manning in favor to Brock Osweiler. It’s safe to say Manning has been nothing short of a disappointment this season. Manning has a 67.6 QB rating for the year with 9 TD’s and 17 INT’s. Although it is his age 39 season and people didn’t expect him to be the best QB in the league, his drop off in play has been startling. Not because of his drop off in stats necessarily, but the poor decisions with the football has been mind boggling. Throughout the season Peyton has made downright terrible decisions on throws consistently. You may be thinking, “hey, they’re still 9-2 right?” Trust me, they aren’t 9-2 because of Manning, they are 9-2 inspite Manning.
It took awhile, in fact it took until a historically bad performance from Manning vs the Chiefs where he ironically beat Brett Favre’s passing yards record, but Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak finally had his hand forced and made the change. Back-up QB Brock Osweiler came in to take over and immediately the offense improved. In his first NFL start, Osweiler threw for 250 yards and 2 TD’s with no picks, a 127.1 QB rating in a win over the suddenly hot Chicago Bears. He then followed that up with a win against the undefeated New England Patriots where he threw for 270 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT, a 72.5 QB rating.
This change has improved the team as a whole. Demaryius Thomas, who some believe is the best WR in the league, can now prove he deserves that title. Osweiler can do things Peyton Manning just can’t do anymore. He’s younger so he can move better, he can move around the pocket and scramble with higher quality than Manning can, and as he grows more experience as the season wears on, he will make better decisions that the 2015 Peyton Manning.
The 9-2 Broncos hold a 3 game lead on the 6-5 Chiefs but have some tough games ahead while the Chiefs have the easiest remaining schedule left in the league based on winning %. The defense will need to take initiative and Osweiler will need to make plays down the stretch to lock up the division and a top 2 seed for a bye in January.
Broncos Remaining Schedule
Week 13 @ Chargers (3-8)
Week 14 vs Raiders (5-6)
Week 15 @ Steelers (6-5)
Week 16 vs Bengals (9-2)
Week 17 vs Chargers (3-8)