If NFL odds fans watched Peyton Manning’s painful play this past week against Kansas City, then they know that it’s likely that his career has come to an end. He’s been slowly getting less and less effective for about a year and a half, and this past Sunday saw him throw four interceptions against the Chiefs before coach Gary Kubiak mercifully pulled him in favor of Brock Osweiler. Because of Manning’s torn plantar fascia, Osweiler will start this coming week…and may keep starting after that. Through nine complete games, Manning has thrown nine touchdown passes…and 16 picks. It’s kind of like Brett Favre’s 2010 campaign? 10 scores and 16 picks after nine games. Denver is still 7-2, but that’s been thanks to a strong running game and an ironclad defense. However, the running game vanished after the Green Bay win, and the defense was hideous against the Chiefs. So who will Brock Osweiler be making his starting debut against? That’s right, the visiting New England Patriots. There was a time when the Patriots had this marked as one of their tough games, but there’s no reason to expect that Osweiler will be able to keep things even decent against the Patriots. It will be ironic if a team that started undefeated almost through the entire first half of the season will now collapse and lose almost as many games going down the stretch. You might suggest that the Broncos give Manning the off-season to recover and return to full form next fall. The problem with that idea is that there is no guarantee that he will return effectively from these injuries. Quarterback is a mental position in this game, and if he has lost his confidence at all, there will be no reason to giving him the keys to a team’s offense this fall. It will be time for him to look in the front office or elsewhere in the organization.
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