Why Peyton Manning should be benched

Credit: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports

We are now just halfway through the preseason and I’m already asking for a quarterback change.

I can’t believe I’m saying this but it is time to bench Peyton Manning.

Sorry Peyton, but you need to step aside. It’s not you, it’s me. You see, I have been watching some of these preseason games and I’m seeing a few things that alarm me.

First of all, there were the first two Bronco games. Peyton Manning picked up where he left off last year going 22/27 for 180 yards and a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers.

The offensive line has looked more than capable and Demaryius Thomas looks even better than a year ago. Thomas already has 10 catches for 89 yards while playing about a quarter and a half.

But it was a play by Thomas that has given me this pause. We all saw the play in the second quarter of the San Francisco exhibition when Thomas was blocking and ended up leaving the game with an injured finger. The injury turned out to be minor and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
But that injury did plant a seed of doubt.

The other preseason games that made me take notice were the first two games played by the Houston Texans. All NFL fans know that defensive J.J. Watt is a defensive force to be reckoned with. But now with the addition of rookie Jadeveon Clowney, the Texans present a problem that I would prefer not to face.

Now I realize that the game versus the Texans is the third preseason game and therefore considered a “dress rehearsal”. Most teams like to put their starters out there for most of the first half and possibly even play into the third quarter.

They hope to get their first team some success as well as give the fans a reason to show up at these glorified scrimmages.

I don’t care.

I don’t want Peyton Manning and the rest of the starters anywhere near Watt, Clowney, and Co.
Not in an exhibition game that matters not a whit.

Peyton can wear a visor, hold a clipboard, or even do a few more commercials for all I care. Just don’t put him on the field.

We have already seen that Manning and the starting offensive unit are more than ready for the season to begin. They can get their reps and timing down in practice with Peyton wearing the “don’t touch me” quarterback jersey.

I just don’t want to see this 38 year old quarterback with history of neck problems facing a dangerous defense with nothing on the line.

The other side to this is that the Broncos truly need to see what they have at the backup quarterback position.

Should Manning have to leave a game even for a series or two, could backup Brock Osweiler drive the car without completely totaling it?

In the past, Osweiler has been passable between the 20 yard lines, only to struggle when the field became more cramped. So far this preseason he has gone 16/25 for 190 yards and two touchdowns. However, most of those statistics have come against backups and players that will soon be looking for new jobs.

Not only do we need to see what Osweiler has in case Manning were to leave a game, we need to know what Osweiler can do for the future. And not necessarily his future in Denver.

How much longer will Peyton Manning play? One year? Two or more? With his cerebral approach to the game it isn’t beyond the realm of reality to think Manning could play three or four more years.

If that is the case, then maybe Osweiler’s days in Denver could be numbered and the Broncos need to showcase his talents for future suitors. They can also use these final two games to take a look at both other backup quarterbacks Zac Dysert and Bryn Renner.

It may go against traditional thought but the Denver Broncos need to sit Peyton Manning down for the rest of the preseason and turn the job over to Brock Osweiler.

But just for now.

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