When Gary Kubiak the head coach for the Denver Broncos sat down Brock Osweiler in the second half of Sunday’s game against the Chargers and replaced him with Peyton Manning he knew just what he was doing.
When Manning played well after missing so much time in the win over the Chargers, Kubiak was not going to turn back another time to Osweiler in the postseason.
Denver made all that official on Thursday. Manning, who since November 15 has not started, will start for the Broncos in January 17 their first game of the playoff after a bye week this weekend, as the Broncos are the AFC No. 1 seed,
The move is risky, which sounds quite strange when is involves someone like Manning the only NFL five-time MVP. However, Manning has not been the player during this season, at the age of 39.
He threw 17 interceptions even though he did not play in six full games because of a foot injury.
However, with his vast playoff experience and Kubiak concerned with the inconsistency and lack of experience by Osweiler, this is the best option in the head coach’s mind.
Perhaps Denver feels that the struggle of Manning this season was related to his foot and other assorted ailments and he is felling better headed toward the postseason.
On Sunday, Manning completed 5 of his 9 passes for 69 yards. After the Broncos were trailing at halftime, Kubiak turned to Manning and he performed well, but not a vintage performance we all know and remember from the Denver veteran.
Osweiler has not been consistent. However, he has been overall the better of the two quarterbacks for Denver this season. He helped lead the Broncos to two comeback victories over the Patriots and Bengals, the second and third seeds in the AFC.
When Kubiak sat Osweiler following a C.J. Anderson fumble, it seemed clear the coach was itching to see how well Manning could perform after such a long layoff.
Now Denver will roll the dice with their veteran signal caller who has been here before. If the Broncos win, they likely will not make a change back to Osweiler unless Manning was to be injured.
If Manning can lead Denver back to Super Bowl 50, it would be a huge accomplishment since many figured Manning might not ever even take another snap in the NFL back in Week 11.