By Bobby Fausett
Peyton Manning is terrible. This entire season has been a joke for the Denver Broncos from the quarterback standpoint. Nine touchdowns to complement 17 interceptions is an embarrassment. To get benched after having thrown fewer touchdowns, having a lower completion percentage, having fewer yards per game, and having more than double the interception percentage as compared to your backup and then be given the starting job back in order to make a playoff run is incomprehensible. It would be one thing if Manning was a playoff stud, however, based on his NFL history leading 13 exits in postseason play with only one Super Bowl victory, he has more often than not proven to be a playoff dud.
In this instance, the Broncos played into the nostalgia of a past career as well as the fear of the criticism they may receive by keeping Manning on the bench. Perhaps most of all, however, the Broncos fell into the trap labeled by the writer of the Four Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss, as the decision to choose unhappiness over uncertainty. The Broncos chose to rely almost solely on their defense and were willing to overcome the danger and unhappiness of sticking Manning in the quarterback position, over seeing what they had in a young quarterback and potential postseason superstar.
Now Osweiler could just as easily come out and play terribly, but the Broncos are playing with a stacked deck having that defense. And honestly, it would be tough to play worse than Manning has this season, especially when Osweiler has played relatively respectable. By playing Manning, the Broncos will see a low floor without much hope for a high ceiling. Playing Osweiler you have a similar floor but the sky is the limit for his potential. Quit looking toward the past when Champions are looking toward the future.