After the Denver Broncos did the unthinkable in benching Peyton Manning last Sunday, Brock Osweiler is now getting ready to make his first career start against the Chicago Bears.
The injured Manning will be on the sideline watching the offense try to come out of their slump, with Denver losing twice in successive games.
Coach Gary Kubiak has said that Manning will get the week off with the quarterback carrying shoulder, rib and foot injuries.
However, Bears head coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase spent the last three seasons in Denver, and that factor plays more into their hands than Osweiler's.
What can Brock bring to the Broncos?
Having a more mobile quarterback such as Osweiler may well help the Broncos - Manning and Osweiler were sacked a combined five times last week against Kansas City with the former throwing four interceptions.
The Broncos’ starter against the Bears is tall, has a big arm and has a basketball background, and it is expected that he will be moving around in the pocket with the ball in his hands.
Osweiler should have benefited from spending four years behind Manning, and the Broncos have had some good play-callers during his time at Denver too.
A bit of an unknown quantity
People don’t know what the 24-year-old is all about until he takes to the field - he hasn’t started a regular-season game since he was at Arizona State in 2011.
Osweiler has only thrown 54 career passes in the NFL, he finished 14 of 24 for 146-yards with one touchdown and one interception against the Chiefs.
The 24 passes gave him a single-season career high, and that tells you all you need to know about his experience in the league.
What does this mean for the Broncos’ season?
Well, Manning has been roughed up pretty badly, as the reports about his plantar fascia injury indicated, and that is another element contributing to his diminished arm strength.
The main problem as of late has been Manning’s ability to read opposing defenses with the precision he has shown over the years.
Denver’s offensive line continues to crumble, allowing five combined sacks last Sunday. Osweiler may be good with his feet, but he is no Cam Newton or Andrew Luck as a runner.
The Broncos do still have some breathing room in their division, at 7-2, holding a three-game lead in the AFC West and are still favorites for the division.
If Manning does not get back on the field, it is likely an abrupt ending to one of the greatest careers of all time, but Manning will be doing whatever he can to avoid that scenario.