Posted on November 1, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
Midway through what so far has been a disappointing season, the Denver Broncos are making a switch at quarterback. Head coach Vance Joseph announced Wednesday that Trevor Siemian will be benched for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles in favor of Brock Osweiler. The move comes on the heels of a three-game losing streak for the Broncos, who face a schedule that doesn’t get any easier over the next month.
Siemian has been Denver’s starter for the past year and a half. The past two preseasons he has held off former 1st round pick Paxton Lynch for the starting job. Siemian appeared to show improvement early in the season, including a four-touchdown performance in Week 2 against the Cowboys. But things have quickly gone downhill for the Northwestern grad. After throwing three picks on Monday night against the Chiefs, Siemian now has more interceptions on the season than touchdowns.
With the Broncos at 3-4 and quickly fading from contention in the AFC West, it was time to make a change. However, Lynch has been out most of the season with a shoulder injury he suffered during the preseason. He only recently returned to practice, and so if the Broncos were going to make a move, they were left with Osweiler.
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“Paxton is still healing up,” said Joseph. “He’s getting better day-to-day, but it would be unfair to put Paxton out there right now. He hasn’t played since Week 3 of the preseason and he’s only practiced four days, on a short week. It wouldn’t be fair to our football team or to Paxton.”
Just two seasons ago, Osweiler was Denver’s starting quarterback for a seven-game period while Peyton Manning was out with an injury. The Broncos were 5-2 during those seven starts and needed all five of those wins to secure home-field advantage in the postseason, which ultimately helped them to win the Super Bowl. Of course, Osweiler signed with the Houston Texans the following offseason. After struggling in Houston and a pit stop in Cleveland, Osweiler returned to Denver to serve as Siemian’s backup after Lynch got hurt.
After the Broncos won the Super Bowl, many envisioned Osweiler becoming Manning’s successor and Denver’s quarterback of the future. Things have obviously not gone as anyone planned. But somehow, Osweiler is back in a position in which he can play his way into being Denver’s quarterback of the future or at least the present.
Expectations are obviously low based on what Osweiler did last year and his inability to win the starting job in Cleveland during the preseason. If Osweiler can’t lead the Broncos to wins over the next few weeks, they are likely to turn to Lynch. But for the time being, Osweiler will get his chance. He spent four seasons in Denver and is familiar with most of his current teammates, so it shouldn’t be that difficult for him to transition into the starting role. At this point, the Broncos have nothing to lose by making the switch, while Osweiler has everything to gain.