The Broncos were lucky Brock Osweiler walked

The Broncos dodged a massive bullet when Osweiler opted to leave, and Monday’s 27-9 win over his Texans was the latest example.

A Broncos flag waves in the breeze during the unveiling of Broncos Boulevard in front of the City and County Building. Sept. 7, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)denver broncos; football; civic center park; city and county building; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
A Broncos flag waves in the breeze during the unveiling of Broncos Boulevard in front of the City and County Building. Sept. 7, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver broncos; football; civic center park; city and county building; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
The Broncos didn’t appear to miss former QB Brock Osweiler much Monday. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Prior to kickoff of the Broncos’ Monday Night Football shellacking of the Texans, former Denver quarterback Brock Osweiler was introduced at Sports Authority Field for the first time with his new team.

Osweiler ran onto the turf and was met with a chorus of boos. Like, a lot of them.

It was a semi-curious reaction.

Sure, Osweiler turned down a healthy Denver offer to sign a deal with the Houston Texans in free agency worth $37 million guaranteed as soon as he could; it took him less than 72 hours after Peyton Manning retired to decide he was leaving.

But so far this season, Osweiler has proved to the Broncos and the folks who root for them that offering him all that money was a gargantuan mistake in the first place. Instead of booing Osweiler before the game, perhaps Denver fans should’ve cheered. The Broncos dodged a massive bullet when Osweiler opted to leave, and Monday’s 27-9 win over his Texans was the latest example.

Osweiler was pitiful against the Broncos. He needed 41 attempts to throw for 132 yards. For the long division-challenged people out there, that comes out to 3.2 yards per attempt, which looks more like the GPA I’d magically pull out of my butt in college than a highly compensated NFL quarterback’s yards per attempt line.

Osweiler looked inaccurate and frankly a little bit overwhelmed. He didn’t break 100 yards passing until a little more than five minutes remained in the fourth quarter. He was doing this late in the game:

And there was also whatever the heck this was at the start of the fourth quarter:

That was ruled a fumble. Denver recovered and eventually hit a field goal to go up 24-9. Nobody touched him, nobody was even near him. He just lost the ball. Here’s another view:

Osweiler’s cap hit is $12 million this year, according to Spotrac. Next season it’s $19 million.

Trevor Siemian, whose cap hit is just $538,195 this year, outplayed Osweiler. That’s saying something, considering Siemian wasn’t particularly good himself. He completed 14 of 25 passes for 157 yards and one touchdown.

Denver did the brunt of its damage offensively on the ground. C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker combined for 33 carries, 190 yards and two scores.

The Broncos kept pace with the Oakland Raiders in the AFC West. Both teams are 5-2. At times during Monday’s game, I kept wondering what Denver’s record would look like if they’d paid Osweiler.

So many of the resources the team used to pay Von Miller, Emmanuel Sanders, Russell Okung and Donald Stephenson wouldn’t have been there; it’s impossible to know how that would’ve affected the team’s record if some of that cash had gone to Osweiler.

What I do know is that John Elway and the Broncos’ front office are lucky as hell Osweiler walked. Or else they could be on the hook for eight figures this season and the next for a guy who can’t even complete 60 percent of his passes.

 

 

 

Christian Clark

Author: Christian Clark

Christian Clark covers sports. He's worked for outlets that include the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Oklahoman, Columbia Missourian and Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine. He likes music and Mexican food. Lots and lots of Mexican food.