It was eerily similar to Peyton Manning's Broncos debut four years ago. It was efficient, turnover-free (Denver's first interception-free game this season), and enough to win. And it was the type of performance one would expect from a fourth-year veteran, not a player starting at quarterback for the first time.
Brock Osweiler's NFL debut was victorious, memorable, and invigorating. On Sunday, Brock Osweiler was a veteran literally but a rookie figuratively; he looked more the former in Denver's 17-15 knockout of their former coach's Chicago Bears.
Kubiak: Osweiler "did a really good job." Praised his composure under pressure, particularly in the first half.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) November 22, 2015
It's easy to throw out the usual platitudes, and so we will: Osweiler looked poised. He was sacked five times, and at least two of them were aided by his own indecisiveness. He didn't let the hits rattle him. He maintained his composure through the 4th quarter, executing three drives of over 70 yards in Denver's win, two for touchdowns.
"I was comfortable. I really was, from the very first snap," Osweiler said after the game. "Last week helped a lot."
Osweiler was efficient. He completed 20 of his 27 pass attempts, and he spread the football to eight different receivers. With Emmanuel Sanders inactive, Osweiler got the tight ends involved - Owen Daniels had four catches for 69 yards, and Vernon Davis had six catches for 68 yards. Demaryius Thomas and Cody Latimer caught Denver's two touchdowns. Osweiler also out-played Peyton Manning in any game in 2015 and led the Broncos to a more effective offense per drive. Did we mention the no-interceptions already?
Osweiler was confident. He addressed his teammates the night before the game, making sure they were right mentally before a game with a new QB, in the cold, and on the road. He acted like a leader, and the Broncos rallied to the cause.
Said Osweiler postgame: "I could not be more proud of the entire football team."
It's important not to overreact; one game does not a Hall of Fame career make. But this was a promising start to the Brock Osweiler era, whether that continues next week or at another time. We finally saw our first real work from Brock Osweiler in the regular season, and it was as good as the first time we saw Peyton Manning in orange and blue.
We're looking forward to seeing where Brock goes from here.