Published: Sat, January 09, 2016
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Benching of Brock Osweiler won't end Broncos' quarterback debate

Or maybe Kubiak and his players really do believe Manning gives the Broncos the best chance to win.

Osweiler was 4-2 as a starter and a key contributor to the Broncos' earning home-field advantage in the AFC in Manning's absence and Kubiak had said repeatedly that he has conveyed to both quarterbacks that the Broncos "will need everybody" in the postseason.

"Look, I'd be lying to say I've never thought of it", Manning said.

The team made the decision official on Thursday, opting for the veteran Manning, over Brock Osweiler, who started most of the games in the second half of the season.

Ya gotta think with a full off-season of work, as the man, that Osweiler could improve on what was an already pretty good product.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images The Broncos are turning control of the offense back over to Peyton Manning for the playoffs.

However, it's also probably the "right" move to go with Manning.

John Elway, the Broncos' executive vice president of football operations/general manager, had said when the team signed Manning in 2012 and DeMarcus Ware in 2014 that "I like Hall of Famers with chips on their shoulders".

"Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Who knows?" said Osweiler, who threw for 1,967 yards this season with 10 TDs and six interceptions.

Manning has said the foot injury had bothered him for "some time" even before he suffered the tear in Indianapolis.

"Peyton is going to start in the playoffs", Osweiler added later, "and that's something that I support 100 percent". Coach Kubiak had seen enough to insert Manning back into the starting unit. However, he has been overall the better of the two quarterbacks for Denver this season. Manning also has been the losing QB in two Super Bowls -with the Colts against the New Orleans Saints to end the 2009 season and with the Broncos against the Seattle Seahawks to end the 2013 season.

Denver will play the lowest remaining seed from Saturday's wild-card games - either Pittsburgh, Kansas City or Houston.

Manning had worked extremely hard over the course of his past few weeks, for one reason, to participate. Coach Bill Belichick waited until the following Wednesday (there was no extra week off before the Super Bowl that year) to announce Brady as his starter. I was encouraged by what I saw from Brock Osweiler for the future of this team, and I think if the Broncos are able to keep him around after replacing him when they did, everyone is a victor in that situation.



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