As the Broncos have already locked their playoff position by winning the AFC West, the only thing left to play for during the regular season is a first-round bye or home-field advantage. However, there is a more than good chance that Broncos coach John Fox will decide that playing Peyton Manning in the last couple games of the season when they already know that they're going to the playoffs isn't worth the risk of his injury. If Manning sits, according to the Denver Post's Jeff Legwold, there's a better than good chance that we'll get a good glimpse of what rookie Brock Osweiler can offer:
"If the Broncos' playoff fate is completely determined before either of their last two games of the regular season, it's a good bet Osweiler would see plenty of action in the regular-season finale against the Chiefs."
Osweiler was selected in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft with the No. 57 overall pick. He was the youngest quarterback entering the draft, and at the age of 22 he will still be fairly young even if Manning doesn't decide to retire for a few years. There are also few quarterbacks that could help prepare Osweiler for a future starting job than Manning, who will go down in league history as one of the greatest to ever play the position.
Osweiler has taken four regular-season snaps, three of which came in the in the team's game 34-14 win over the New Orleans Saints. He has yet to attempt a pass in the regular season, though. In the preseason, Osweiler completed 16 of 33 passes for 139 yards, one touchdown and one interception for a quarterback rating of 57.5.
While he may not have a lot of on-field experience, his off-field experience has been worth its weight in gold:
"But Osweiler's time in the classroom with Manning each day, watching video with Manning each day is irreplaceable and gives him the kind of developmental environment few young quarterbacks will ever have. Not only is Manning likely the best the league has ever seen at preparing for an opponent, but he's also secure in his standing in the profession."
For those who are anxious to see what the former Sun Devil can do when facing an NFL defense, pay attention throughout the final couple games of the Broncos regular season, because there's a good chance Osweiler will be on the field in place of Manning.