Observation: “He gave us the best chance to win the game.” SD vs DEN (27-20)

A note on why the Broncos decided to make the switch at QB:

There is a certain phrase that gets thrown around when teams decide to make a crucial but difficult change. This is typically called a cliche because it is one of those phrases that is used more often than it should. But, in cases like this, this saying holds a delicate truth, that many players, coaches, and fans can take the wrong way. Especially when it is heard by someone who is in the unfavorable position of being benched:

“He gave us the best chance to win the game.”

Keep in mind, its not saying that Player A or Player B is a better player. Nor is it saying that Player A or B is a better individual, better teammate, better talent, or plays with more effort. It is exactly what it sounds like: Player B gave the team the best chance to win at that particular time. And so Player B played while Player A sat on the bench.

It is a change that was needed when the game was on the line. And it is a decision that is hard to make as coaches because we risk hurting our players long-term for the satisfaction of winning. Because winning is the goal, especially in the NFL.

Which is why we must take a step back form the situation and analyze the factors which led up to the decision.

During this game, the Broncos turned the ball over in costly situations which could have been easily remedied if the players were mentally aware. The defense played with great effort in taking advantage of the situation and they got five turnovers as a result. The fumble by CJ Anderson, the drop that led to the pick, the mis-identification of a secondary pressure by Brock, and the fumble by Eammanuel after the 47 yard catch and run which would have set the Broncos up for six were all costly to this degree.

Then you have the glaring issue in pass protection on the right side of the line. You have a developmental guy in that spot who is getting taking advantage of inside vs the pass rush and it seems the only way to make the issue go away is to have a QB who can get rid of the ball fast enough.

Which brings me to putting Peyton Manning in the game. The two calling cards that you can say about Peyton Manning regardless of his issues with his arm, lack of mobility, or poor preseason start is that he is the walking emphasis of mental focus and intelligence. He also holds his teammates accountable for making mental errors as it seems merely with his presence. During this game, there were five turnovers when Brock was quarterbacking and zero with Peyton, regardless of whether or not Brock was responsible for all five of his team’s turnovers.

It is also because of this intelligence and his quick release that he knows where he is going with the football and delivers these strikes and protects the football than someone who has shown in previous games that he has been unsure of what he was seeing on the field. Peyton Manning only got sacked one time in his playing time and threw no interceptions while Brock had a strip sack and a couple of interceptions which have come regardless of whether he was at fault or not.

So, this is something to keep in mind about the coaching staff. This kind of move doesn’t say anything about Brock being a bad QB. Nor does it say anything about Peyton being better. This was simply a move in the game that gave the Broncos the best chance to win the game. And you know what, they won the game.

I apologize for not being a part of the game thread. Figured I would relax today and just casually watch football. As always, I will be happy to answer any questions you have about the game and please feel free to let me know some of yours in the comments below.

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I am a former film coordinator for a FCS school. Currently serving in the Navy. I was glad to be around the game of football and had the chance to learn from a lot of great people. I wouldn't be where I am without the gracious support of my family, coaches, assistants, players, and friends. I also greatly appreciate you guys who take the time to read my stuff and show genuine appreciation. It means a ton! You guys are awesome! Twitter Handle: @FBDubs