Since taking over for injured professional advertising spokesman and occasional quarterback Peyton Manning, the Broncos are 3-1 under Brock Osweiler. The 25-year-old became a hero to the nation when he helped defeat the unbeaten New England Patriots 30-24 in overtime in Week 12. But is Osweiler’s time under center coming to an end?
Manning is back at practice and conceivably not far from being ready to get back to woefully underthrowing wide-open receivers 30 yards downfield with footballs that look a lot like convulsing ducks. Sure, Manning appeared to have nothing left before the Broncos announced his injury, but has anyone noticed Osweiler isn’t exactly great, either?
Gil Brandt did, and he tweeted this nugget about Osweiler’s diminishing returns.
The Broncos visit the Pittsburgh Steelers this week, and there’s a very good chance it’s the last we see of Osweiler if things go badly again. The Steelers are averaging 35 points per game the past five weeks, so the Broncos settling for field goals in the red zone will likely be the end for Osweiler. The Broncos are first in total defense, but asking the team to win 9-6 or 12-9 against the Steelers is asking a lot.
And really, don’t we all want to see Manning go out on his own terms? If his final appearance in the NFL ends up being a 5-for-20, four-interception performance that ended with him being replaced by a guy with a typo in his tattoo, that might hurt his brand-marketing potential after retirement. Those Papa John’s pizzas aren’t going to sell themselves.