The Denver Broncos are 5-0, but you’d never be able to tell by looking at Peyton Manning’s numbers. Through 5 games, he has a mere 1,234 passing yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions. In seasons past, particularly during his years with the Indianapolis Colts, the team would be off to a slow start and in danger of losing the division. But the 2015 Broncos are different – they seem to be winning despite Peyton’s poor play. So here’s the question… Should the Denver Broncos bench Peyton Manning in favor of Brock Osweiler?
The answer is yes. Take last game, for example. The Oakland Raiders (specifically Charles Woodson) picked off Peyton Manning two times, including a crucial redzone interception. They also held him to under 250 passing yards and no touchdowns. In fact, the only touchdown the Broncos scored that day was on the defensive side of the ball. If we include his game against the Minnesota Vikings, over the past two weeks Manning has thrown for 1 touchdown, 4 interceptions, and 479 yards.
It is becoming increasingly clear that this could be Peyton’s last season. His mobility was always an issue, but he seems less able to avoid sacks this year than ever before. His arm strength was never the best in the league, but now it is arguable among the worst. His ability to manipulate the defense seems to be gone as well, mainly because nobody respects his downfield passing ability anymore. If this is indeed Peyton’s final season, they need to know if Brock Osweiler is the QB of their future.
It is very hard to make a case for a team that is 5-0 to make a change at QB, but this isn’t about benching for poor play – this is about leveraging what is likely the best defense in the National Football League to limit the risk of seeing what kind of future Osweiler has. If Osweiler comes in and throws for zero touchdowns and two interceptions last week, the Broncos would have still won – at least Denver would know that they might need to pursue other options for that position once Peyton is gone.