NFL AM: Broncos To Start Brock Osweiler Against Patriots


Gary Kubiak announces Brock Osweiler will start vs. Patriots and Peyton Manning gets second opinion:

Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak clearly didn’t feel like wasting a lot of time answering questions about the starting quarterback position this week, so he wasted no time in naming Brock Osweiler the starter when the Broncos host the New England Patriots Sunday.

While giving Osweiler the nod against the Patriots is a huge sign of confidence in the young signal caller, it wouldn’t make much sense to rush Peyton Manning back after the way he looked when he was last on the field.

Manning visited Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte North Carolina, who the Denver post called the Dr. James Andrews of feet, on Monday for a second opinion.

Kubiak also responded to speculation that Manning might be focused on a 2016 return instead of getting back on the field right away.

“I can just tell you for there to be any rumors that his mindset is anywhere but on getting healthy and helping this football team is totally false,” Kubiak said. “I know how hard he’s working to get back.”

Osweiler played well in his first career start completing 20 of 27 passes for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 17-15 Broncos victory over the Chicago Bears, making the situation and decision even more interesting for Kubiak.

If Osweiler can continue to play well, there will be no rush to get Manning back on the field, but if Manning can start to show that he’s healthy and getting more on his throws in practice, you have to assume that the former perennial MVP candidate will get another opportunity to prove he can regain his Hall of Fame form.

Eagles frustrated and pointing fingers after pair of disappointing losses:

You need look no further than into the words of Philadelphia Eagles’ players to understand the dysfunction in Philadelphia. From players anonymously pointing fingers at each other to the utter disbelief by others at how badly they were beaten by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Eagles have all the signs of a team searching for as many scapegoats as answers.

“You just have no clue as to what you’re doing if you have 12 players on the field,” explained safety Malcom Jenkins. “It looks bad on the coaching staff and it looks bad on the players as individuals, especially at that time, because you’re holding onto every ounce of enthusiasm and momentum that you have, and you just give it back by having a really elementary brain (cramp). It’s tough.”

While some Eagles may be looking for someone to blame, defensive coordinator Bill Davis fell on the sword saying it starts with him, but there was plenty of blame to go around the way the Philadelphia defense was blown off the football all day.

“Awful. All day. Starting with me. The whole thing was awful,” said Davis. “That’s not news to anybody out there. We didn’t stop the run. We didn’t stop the pass. We will get it fixed, but we’ve got to move on from it . . . Credit goes to them. They outplayed the hell out of us today.

“It was technique issues, it was fit issues, I could have put us in better calls,” Davis continued. “But the guys did not quit. They did not get down about it. They fought all the way to the end . . . We got a whupping, we took it, and we gotta move on.”

The fun didn’t stop there for Philadelphia, as running back DeMarco Murray had his heart questioned by an anonymous teammate who brought up a play from the Miami game as evidence of Murray dogging it, and running back Darren Sproles getting into it with Mark Sanchez.

One teammate openly questioned whether Murray gave his all on a short yardage opportunity a week earlier in Miami.

“Well, when you see DeMarco sliding before getting hit, you tell me. Was that giving full effort?” The anonymous Eagle said. “You see that (stuff), and it makes you wonder.”

There was no anonymity when it came to the frustration between Sproles and Sanchez. The Eagles back-up quarterback explained after the game why the pair was jawing late in the team’s disappointing loss to Tampa Bay.

“We’re in the middle of a game where we’re getting beat pretty good and I’m pissed that he stopped and he’s mad that I didn’t throw it right to him,” Sanchez explained.

The NFC East is still wide open because the division isn’t very good, but with the clear lack of chemistry and togetherness inside the Eagles locker room, it’s hard to imagine that they find a way to be the team that sneaks out of the heap.

Patriots hold on against Buffalo to stay undefeated:

The New England Patriots looked nearly unstoppable in getting off to an 8-0 start, but after needing a gift from the New York Giants to get to 9-0, the Patriots started slowly on Monday night before taking control of the game in the second half to get to 10-0 against the Buffalo Bills.

In a game that included Tom Brady getting battered to the point that he ended up having a nice talk with his offensive linemen on national television, and a bizarre inadvertent whistle call, the Patriots proved to be too much for Rex Ryan’s Bills despite never looking like the dominant juggernaut they looked like earlier in the year.

The Patriots offensive line is a mess, and has to be a major source of concern for Bill Belichick and company. Right now the New England O-line does not look ready to compete for a Super Bowl title.

For many teams the injury issues the Patriots are facing on the offensive line would be a death knell, but Brady and Belichick have been here before. The Patriots offensive line was performing so bad early in the 2014 season that it effected Brady’s play enough that some knucklehead reporter actually asked Belichick if he would evaluate the quarterback position.

Today the Patriots offensive line isn’t remotely close to being good enough to win a Super Bowl, but everything we’ve seen in the past tells you they’ll be better heading into the playoffs unless they continue to lose bodies.

The New England defense was strong again in the victory over Buffalo. After losing players like Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and Vince Wilfork, there were a lot of questions about whether or not the Patriots defense would take a huge hit, especially in pass defense.

While it’s no surprise that the Patriots are second in the league in points per game, it’s more surprising that they’re fourth-overall in points against.

Despite having to replace several cornerbacks, including arguably the game’s best in Revis, the Patriots are 11th-overall against the pass. When you consider how often, and by how much the Patriots have led this season, that number becomes even more impressive.

Monday night’s victory over the Buffalo Bills was anything but dominant, and there’s plenty of reason for the Patriots to be concerned with their team right now despite their 10-0 record. New England doesn’t look like the best team in football at this very moment, but anyone who’s been watching the game over the last decade knows it would be absolutely silly to count them out.

About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.