The Denver Broncos made it through their first game without Peyton Manning on the field, getting just about enough from Brock Osweiler to beat the Chicago Bears. Does this mean the transformation is over? It is Osweiler’s team now?
The former Arizona State quarterback took quite a lot of hits, getting sacked five times. But he’s strong, big and young, which means it doesn’t affect him like it did Manning, especially when he was destroyed in the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Osweiler completed 20-of-27 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns, finally making Vernon Davis happy, completing half of his passes to tight ends. Ronnie Hillman helped with 102 yards on the ground.
Is Brock Osweiler a better quarterback than Peyton Manning? No. However, it’s all about what makes the most sense in present situations. And even if Manning is healthy, Osweiler just makes more sense for the Broncos and their play-it-safe approach on offense. Manning just isn’t going to buy into a system that completely limits his decisions making. He’s done too much in this league and has too big of an ego to just become a system quarterback while Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison tell him what play to run.
Osweiler isn’t very mobile, and he took quite a lot of hits in the win over the Chicago Bears. He doesn’t make it very easy to stretch the field (although he does have a big arm) and it means the Broncos offense is a little bit predictable. But as we’ve seen from Manning time and time again this season, every hit he endures takes a lot of out of him. His throws are getting shorter, his decision making iffier and in short, he’s become almost like a liability.
Maybe Kubiak plans on playing Manning before the regular season is over. Maybe a little time of rest is necessary for Manning to once again become useful to this team. However, with the offensive line still leaky and Manning not getting any younger, using Osweiler, who has been waiting for this opportunity for quite some time, just seems like the sensible, safe way to go. Manning? Reports suggests he’ll keep playing next year, be it with the Broncos or some other team.