Broncos name Peyton Manning the starting QB over Brock Osweiler for playoffs

Chris Harris

Once he turned to Manning to provide a lift during the victory over the San Diego Chargers in the regular season finale that secured the AFC's top seed for the Broncos, Kubiak pretty much had to go with Manning to begin the Jan. 17 conference semifinal that will be played in Denver.

QB Peyton Manning's status, along with that of Brock Osweiler, remains up the air. "When you're not out there playing, it does remind you how fortunate you are to be out there playing", Manning said. However, I am a big team player.

Which all brought Kubiak to Thursday, when he first told Manning and Brock Osweiler, followed by the team, that Manning was ready to start the Broncos' Jan. 17 playoff opener. It hasn't just been Manning's foot that has bothered him, it's also been a sore shoulder, a surgically repaired neck, sore ribs and a knee that requires a support brace.

Manning played in 208 regular season games with the Colts and completed 64.9% of his passes for 54,828 yards and 399 touchdowns with 198 interceptions for a 94.9 passer rating. Despite all of the negatives, the Broncos still feel that Peyton Manning gives them to the best chance to win in the postseason, even with Manning's nine career one-and-done's in the playoffs. "So this is kind of a week to work on yourself physically getting ready to play getting some time in and we'll do that next couple days just like we did today", Manning said.

Manning has also historically struggled in cold weather games, but the 10-day forecast for Denver says it will be sunny and in the mid-40s, so that may not be a factor.

Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburg Steelers runs with the ball against the Cincinnati Benglas at Paul Brown Stadium
Broncos name Peyton Manning the starting QB over Brock Osweiler for playoffs

And just like on Sunday night, Kubiak reiterated, "He know's exactly what we think of him". Brady went on to post an 11-3 record as the starter. That was followed by Osweiler guiding Denver to a come-from-behind home win over New England to hand the Patriots their first loss of the season. At that point, the Broncos were winning for the same reason they are now - a defense good enough to overcome Denver's deficiencies at quarterback, along the offensive line and in the running game.

Doug Marrone, the former Buffalo coach who left the Bills following two seasons, interviewed with Cleveland for its coaching job - the third candidate to meet with the Browns' search committee. "I know that he's happy to be back and everybody is happy for him".

 

When the Denver Broncos came to Heinz Field in Week 15, it was Brock Osweiler who was the quarterback.

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