Well, so much for the quarterback controversy – or so we think.
The Denver Broncos have announced that Brock Osweiler, who has gone 2-0 since replacing an injured Peyton Manning, will start at quarterback for the rest of the season.
Is this the right move?
“Here’s the deal,” CBS’ The NFL Today analyst Tony Gonzalez began on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “As far as Brock Osweiler goes, if I’m the Broncos – and this is just me, if I was the guy running the show down there, if I was Coach (Gary) Kubiak or John Elway – I would say a healthy Peyton Manning is the best bet for that team to go far and to win a Super Bowl. If he’s healthy. Now, if he can’t get back healthy, which all my inside sources say he’s on his way back to being healthy, then obviously yeah, you go with Osweiler. It’s kind of a no-brainer.”
Osweiler led the Broncos to a 30-24 overtime win over the previously unbeaten Patriots this past Sunday, throwing for 270 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Denver also gashed the Pats in the running game, rushing 32 times for 179 yards – 5.6 yards per carry – and three touchdowns.
“Yes, (Osweiler has) played well, yes, he’s not turning the ball over, and yes, he is running Kubiak’s offense to a T,” Gonzalez said. “It probably makes life easier for Kubiak to be able to say, ‘You know what? We’re going to run the ball, we’re going to boot-leg, we’re going to take snaps from under center – which is what I envisioned and what I want and what I know best. And now I don’t have to deal with (anything) because I have Osweiler there and Peyton is not there anymore. I don’t have to go with what he wants to do in that pistol offense, and it’s working.’
“But for me, I’m not counting out the Hall-of-Famer,” Gonzalez continued. “(He’s) the best to ever do it – him, and Tom Brady and Joe Montana, whatever order you choose. I’m going with the healthy Peyton Manning, and he’s showed that when he’s healthy, he can go out there and put up big numbers. He did that coming off that bye week when he was pretty healthy and shredded the Packers’ defense.”
True, Manning had a nice game after the bye, but hadn’t he been healthy before that? He’s missed the last 2+ games and still leads the league with 17 interceptions.
“I believe that he wasn’t healthy,” Gonzalez said. “I said on our show a couple weeks ago (that) the Broncos need to think outside the box. You can call me crazy for this because they say if you have two quarterbacks, you have none – and I agree with that. But in the case of a Hall-of-Famer, maybe it would be great to just rest him, maybe play him every other game or play him in the first quarter and the second quarter – I don’t know what (the answer) is. But I feel like there has to be an outside way of thinking – maybe some unprecedented stuff that’s never been thought of before with this type of situation – with a guy of his caliber. I don’t know. Call me old school, nostalgic – I love Peyton on and off the field. I think that he still can go out there and do an effective job, meaning he can be a top quarterback in this league – as long as he’s healthy. As long as he’s healthy.”