Who Should Be the Denver Broncos Starting Quarterback in the Playoffs? [POLL]
We have seen the best and worst of Brock Osweiler. Peyton Manning has returned from injury. Now, we have to ask the question, who should the Denver Broncos' starting quarterback be in the playoffs?
It's a question that Denver Head Coach Gary Kubiak will have to answer, and most likely will have his answer later this week when the Broncos begin preparation for their Divisional Playoff game next weekend.
The Manning/Osweiler question has divided the Bronco faithful pretty much all season. Manning supporters believe his experience and intellect give Denver the best chance to make it back to the Super Bowl. Osweiler backers believe Peyton's time is done, and that this is now Brock's team.
The overtime win over Cincinnati was Osweiler's strongest statement yet that he deserves to be the #1 quarterback. A prime time game against one of the top AFC teams with a playoff berth on the line gave the 6'8" signal-caller the stage to make his case - and he did not disappoint.
Five turnovers into the regular season finale against San Diego gave Kubiak a good excuse to make a change, even if it's not permanent, and even though Osweiler's performance may not have been worthy of having him yanked.
But, Manning's appearance, for whatever reason, gave the Broncos new life in a game they desperately wanted to win, but were spiraling toward a home defeat at the hands of a four-win team. With Manning in play, the team looked better and played better.
In four scoring drives, the Broncos offense looked confident and efficient. Manning looked like he hadn't missed a single game. The end result is the only thing that really matters. The Broncos win the game to claim the #1 seed in the conference and a first round bye in the playoffs.
That leaves Gary Kubiak with a decision to make. Who is going to start for the Broncos in the playoffs?
As of Monday morning, Kubiak was completely non-commital about his quarterback situation saying "I have no timeline. I will do what's best for our football team."
It would be surprising, barring any sort of physical set back, if Manning isn't the playoff starter. But, it's also possible that Kubiak wants the transition from the Manning era to begin now. If he's as smart as we think he is, he will lay aside his plans for the future and play the hand he's holding now - a Super Bowl experienced quarterback who desperately wants to win the big one just once more before riding off into the sunset.
Brock Osweiler may be the Broncos quarterback of the future, but Peyton Manning is the quarterback of the present, and a healthy Manning still gives the Broncos the best chance to get back to - and win the Super Bowl.