The Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals will both boast backup quarterbacks on ESPN's 2015 finale of Monday Night Football in Week 16. Brock Osweiler and company are favored at home by 3.5 points against AJ McCarron and the Bengals in what could be dubbed the Battle of the Backup. Or the Battle for the Bye. We prefer the latter.
With two weeks left in the NFL regular season, playoff implications abound as the winner of this game will likely end up as the AFC's No. 2 seed. The Bengals have clinched a playoff spot and are looking to seal the AFC North; the Broncos need to win both of their remaining games to guarantee a playoff bye, let alone a playoff spot at all.
"Here we go down the stretch - big, big games and playing a really good football team this weekend," Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said.
Backup vs. backup
In his one start this year filling in for the injured Andy Dalton, AJ McCarron completed 15 of 21 passes with one TD, zero INTs, and a 115.6 passer rating. That's similar to Brock Osweiler's first start, where he completed 20 of 27 passes for two TDs, zero INTs, and a 127.1 passer rating. Osweiler hasn't completed a similar game since, although he has eight TDs to four INTs and a 84.9 passer rating on the season.