DENVER — One man's Christmas wish: Hope the Broncos know what they’re doing at quarterback.
I sure don’t.
Why are the Broncos even contemplating starting Brock Osweiler on Sunday against the Redskins if the two most important things for the future are A) to see if Paxton Lynch can play at all B) to ensure a lofty draft pick in April?
Playing Osweiler against Kirk Cousins — another candidate for Colorado’s highest office, quarterback of the Denver Broncos — accomplishes neither of those things. Osweiler keeps Lynch on the bench (it’s like elf on the shelf, only taller and more frustrating) for the 26th time in the 30 games since he was drafted in April 2016. Plus, Osweiler gives the Broncos a great shot to beat the Redskins and drop further down the draft, away from the franchise quarterback they so desperately need to clean up this mess.
Just two weeks ago the Broncos held the No. 4 pick. A win at FedExField would shove them outside of the Top 10.
The Broncos had not announced the starting quarterback as of Saturday. This is silly stuff at the tail end of a lost season, if we're being real. But they should start Lynch on Sunday. It's a no-brainer.
You may have noticed by now I don’t think Lynch is an NFL starter. If it’s true that actions speak louder than words, neither does Gary Kubiak or Vance Joseph. Each opted for the other option — Kubiak last year on New Year’s Day, Joseph for Christmas Eve this year. ‘Tis the season, I guess.
“We have two healthy guys,” Joseph said last week.
Then what’s the plan, Stan?
“I’ll say this: our goal is to see him (Lynch) play before the year is out,” Joseph said. “We have two more games to do that.”
Joseph said Lynch is “90 percent” healthy. So what’s the problem? It's Week 16. At this point in the NFL season you can count on one hand the Broncos who are better than 90-percent healthy. Who wants to bet a lump of coal the other 45 active players Sunday aren’t 90-percent healthy?
“Out of the playoffs, guys are sore, but guys pushed through,” Joseph said after the win in Indy.
Truth is, the last thing I want to do during the holidays is criticize a local team that’s on a winning streak. Credit Joseph and the Broncos for beating the Jets and Colts and not mailing in the season along with their Christmas cards. But this season feels like one long Festivus, an airing of grievances. Whether it’s playing a punt returner who can’t catch punts or boasting over a “great week” of practice after another loss, Broncos Country wants one thing for Christmas.
The return of common sense.