Sometimes, people surprise me. And sometimes, those people are you guys, our readers. Or, if not readers, then definitely whoever sees us on social media. Yesterday, I decided to run a poll through the use of our Twitter. I asked the question, “Are the Broncos making a mistake by naming Peyton Manning their playoff starter?” My three choices were “yes”, “no”, and “without a doubt”. My third choice should’ve really given you guys an idea about what my opinion is.
Surprisingly enough, most of you did not agree with me. As of 6:36 on Friday night, 46 votes had been cast. 57% of you said that Denver wasn’t making a mistake (about 28 of you. So since choices one and three were literally the same, 18 of you agreed). In case results have since changed, I’ve included a link to the tweet here so you can see for yourself. I’m sorry guys, but if you think Peyton Manning is the best option for the Broncos, you’re just downright delusional. Yup, I used that word. Delusional. Psycho. Crazy. Whatever synonym you good guys who are on my side want to use, plug it in.
There’s pretty much 2 reasons why this move shows that the Broncos are waving the white flag on their bye week and already giving up the playoffs this year.
The first is that Peyton Manning CANNOT THROW THE BALL ANYMORE! PERIOD! EXCLAMATION MARK! That’s it! He can’t throw from the far hash mark to the sideline. His neck doesn’t work. His last time out, he was an ugly 5-9 for 59 yards. Yeah, that might be okay (I guess? But really not) against the Chargers, but when it’s time for the big boys? Nuh uh. That. Won’t Fly. His ducks are quacking more than they ever have. Not to mention, consider who his top two targets are. You’ve got Demariyus Thomas, a tall receiver known for stretching the field, on one side, and Emmanuel Sanders, a shorter but much faster receiver who also stretches the field, on the other. Manning’s arm doesn’t even match up with his teammates’ skill sets. Sure, Sanders has the ability to go underneath. But both players are at their best 15-20+ yards down the field. That’s a fact.
Second, I’ve heard people argue that “Manning has playoff experience, you don’t know what Osweiler will do in the playoffs”. In this case, the devil you don’t know is better than the devil you do know. And that’s because the devil you do know is awful. One of the all-time worst playoff performers in the history of the NFL. THE most one-and-done seasons by a quarterback EVER. THE most playoff losses by a quarterback EVER. A man who straight up embarrassed himself and his team on the biggest stage only two short seasons ago. A man whose only title came against the 2005 Chicago Bears, who were lead by Rex freakin’ Grossman. And for what it’s worth, he threw more picks than touchdowns in that particular playoff run, so the Super Bowl title, whether he won MVP or not, wasn’t even his doing.
I won’t say that Brock Osweiler has been great this year because he hasn’t. 10 touchdowns and 6 picks over the course of 6 games are solid for a guy who’s never been a starter in the NFL before. Keep in mind- he beat the Pats and he beat the Bengals. Whether Denver deserved to win those games or not is a different discussion (for those of you still upset about that snowy loss), because they’re wins at the end of the day. He’s just as competitive. He works just as hard. He’s healthier and this team has been his for the last month and a half of the season. Throwing Manning out there is like throwing the season out the window. In fact, here’s a live look-in on what Brock thinks of this insanity.
If I was a Broncos fan, and Manning lost the in the divisional round, which would be his tenth one-and-done playoff appearance, then I would want Coach Gary Kubiak fired before he even gets to the locker room postgame for making such a bonehead move. I’m ultimately okay with it, because I’d rather face Manning in Denver than Osweiler in Denver if that’s what the AFC Championship came down to. But that won’t happen. Not anymore, anyways. You’re all entitled to your own opinions. And if you sincerely and seriously disagree with me? Bet me. Before you agree to that though, I will leave you with this.
Cover photo courtesy of USA Today.
GIFs courtesy of patspulpit.com, FanSided, SB Nation and Reddit, in no particular order.