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‘Indecision 2017’ continues as Broncos wait to name Sunday’s starting QB

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NFL: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country!

And welcome to Week 9 of Broncos’ Indecision 2017 campaign.

For a quick recap (that I’m not-so-arbitrarily starting with the away game against the Chiefs), enjoy this condensed timeline:

After Trevor Siemian had five turnovers against the Chiefs, Brock Osweiler started for three games, getting benched in Week 11 after losing to the Bengals by three in Week 10.

Paxton Lynch then started against the Raiders, looking mostly pedestrian before going down with an ankle injury. So it was back to Trevor Siemian.

Although Siemian couldn’t rescue the Broncos against the Raiders, he did build some positive momentum, which led to getting the start in Week 13 against the Dolphins. Despite throwing three picks on the way to a 35-9 blowout loss in Miami, the third-year QB was given the start the following week against the Jets.

Though mostly mediocre, Siemian redeemed himself by being just good enough to protect the ball and let the defense take over to pitch a shutout against the AFC’s New York team.

The following week, however, Siemian went down with an injury after a rather abysmal start against the Colts. Osweiler came in and engineered a bit of a comeback to take the lead and then go on to beat Indy handily.

Whew! Did you get all that? Good, please go to Dove Valley and fill them in because our coaching staff is still trying to catch up.

As of practice yesterday (which was Thursday, and as a friendly reminder, game is Sunday), Vance Joseph had not yet named a starting quarterback against the Redskins.

“We’re still working through it,” Joseph said, noting Lynch and Osweiler split reps down the middle (oh, hello Training Camp 2017).

Although Lynch was limited in practice again yesterday (once again, that was Thursday, game is Sunday), the coach is still interested in waiting just a little longer to see if Lynch is healthy enough.

“Our goal is to see him play before the year is out. We have two more games to do that,” Joseph said Thursday. “My concern is making sure he’s healthy enough to play at a high level. He has an ankle injury and he hasn’t practiced in three weeks. He’s a quarterback that can use his legs when he’s in danger, so I want to make sure he’s right. That’s about it.”

Joseph noted the Broncos are “taking our time” trying to figure out if Lynch is ready to play.

So, another recap:

Although it is unclear still if Lynch is healthy enough to play Sunday, Joseph has still not decided whether Lynch or Osweiler will get the start in three days. And the coach really doesn’t th

A disclaimer on bias:

I have literally not agreed with ANY move this team/coach has made regarding the quarterback this season. Not one. So my bias is front and center here.

I didn’t agree with cutting Kyle Sloter. I didn’t agree with starting Trevor Siemian. I didn’t agree with not benching Siemian at halftime of the Chiefs game. I didn’t agree with benching Osweiler after the Bengals game. I didn’t agree with giving Siemian the start for the Jets game (I was fine with him starting in Indy, but that marks only one tiny “decision” that has been acceptable in my mind.)

And I absolutely don’t agree with the decision this week to wait until the last minute to decide the starter against the Redskins. That helps no one - and here’s why:

If you say you are in it to win it these last few weeks, then play the guy who can win it for you. And there’s no question that the best option for that is Osweiler. He’s the only one acting like an NFL quarterback out there, so go with the hot hand and win the final two games.

If you want to insist on needing to watch Lynch in a full game or games in order to know his future with the Broncos, then announce him as the starter for the final two weeks, give the justification and then move forward and let him get the most out of two weeks of practice.

If playing Lynch was always the plan - but he just isn’t quite healthy enough to play - then name Osweiler the starter at Washington and Lynch the starter at home against Kansas City as long as he’s healthy by next Wednesday.

Mostly, quit waffling all week while the offense guesses who its signal caller is going to be. Name Osweiler the starter against Washington and Lynch the starter at home against the Kansas City.

Let the offense work with the starting QB on all the reps rather than splitting down the middle ala training camp. We’ve seen all season just how well that idea worked out with a troika of QBs trotted in and out of games.

But waiting to name a starting QB until the end of the week when Lynch is still not proving healthy enough for the designation is just irresponsible. It’s not good for Lynch if he’s not 100 percent by now, not good for the offense to work with different QBs and not good for the team as it tries to put together some consistency and wins to finish out the season.

“It’s about winning, absolutely, but it’s also about figuring out our future at the position,” Joseph said. “It’s a fine line between ignoring those things. Brock played well, we won a game and we want to win the game on Sunday. That’s going to factor into it also, but we have to consider this football team’s future at quarterback. That’s fair for all of us.”

Perhaps, but even the coach knows that’s mostly bullsh*t. Asked about the benefit of playing a carousel of three quarterbacks this season, and Joseph advised against it.

“That’s why most teams don’t do it. It’s not ideal to play three guys and have three different starters. It’s not what you want to do, but that’s where we’re at,” Joseph said. “We’re going to play the hand we’re dealt and make the best of it. It’s not ideal to play three guys and to split reps for most the season, even preseason and training camp. It is what it is.”

It is what it is - and it’s a damn shame it isn’t what it could have been.

RIP Dick Enberg

Dick Enberg, beloved broadcaster, dies at age 82
The Hall of Fame broadcaster known for his "Oh my" calls, has died at the age of 82, his family confirmed Thursday night.

Horse Tracks - docllv’s picks of the day

The Kirk Cousins market may have changed, but demand has not - The Washington Post
The Denver Broncos will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season, and their quarterback troika — Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler — proved hopeless this season. John Elway is not a personnel head who believes in rebuilding, and Cousins’ agent, Mike McCartney, is viewed inside the league as having a strong relationship to Denver’s management.

The NFL is in need of vision. Its owners can’t see through the white-out. - The Washington Post
Upcoming sale of the Panthers is an opportunity for the league to get younger and more diverse in its top ranks.

Why Coaches And QBs Should Divorce After 5 Years Of Not Winning |FiveThirtyEight
No Super Bowl-winning combo has taken longer to bring home the trophy.

Horse Tracks

Former Redskin Will Montgomery joins 'the skinny club' - The Washington Post
Will Montgomery left behind his 'all-you-can-eat' days for 34-waist jeans and nutrition podcasts.

The Kirk Cousins market may have changed, but demand has not - The Washington Post
The Denver Broncos will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season, and their quarterback troika — Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler — proved hopeless this season. John Elway is not a personnel head who believes in rebuilding, and Cousins’ agent, Mike McCartney, is viewed inside the league as having a strong relationship to Denver’s management.

The Great NFL Passing Boom Is Over. Hope You Enjoyed It! | FiveThirtyEight
After a steady six-year climb, NFL offensive numbers have fallen back to Earth this year.

Kirk Cousins in orange and blue? Broncos will get a clear visual Sunday
Broncos quarterback still undecided prepping for Washington Redskins

NFL playoff percentages for every team in the hunt | Week 16 - NFL Videos
With more and more teams clinching as the season winds down, find out who has the best chance of grabbing the remaining seeds in the NFL in Week 16.

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson to sell team after allegations of workplace misconduct
It won’t happen until the season ends.

Here Are The Most Absurd NFL Playoff Scenarios | FiveThirtyEight
The 8-8 Bills? The Lions? The Raiders? We detail some possibilities and their (un)likeliness.
Larry Fitzgerald not sure what his plans are for 2018 - NFL.com
The 2017 season is coming to an end for the Arizona Cardinals. Could this Sunday be the last time fans see Larry Fitzgerald play in Glendale?

Giants interview Louis Riddick for general manager job - NFL.com
The New York Giants announced Thursday that they interviewed former NFL player and personnel executive Louis Riddick for their open general manager position.

Seahawks fined for not following concussion protocol - NFL.com
The Seattle Seahawks were fined $100,000 by the NFL on Thursday for failure to follow concussion protocol during their 22-16 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10.

Oakland Raiders' Derek Carr: No regrets, I'd try to score again - NFL Nation- ESPN
Given the chance, the Raiders QB would again attempt to win the game for his team even if his effort against the Cowboys had dire consequences.

Broncos starting QB: Denver unwilling to rush decision
Though formally listed as limited, Paxton Lynch returned to practice for the first time Wednesday since injuring his left ankle and split reps evenly with Brock Osweiler.

Mason's Prospect Guide: Players to watch in this week's bowls
Wyoming's Josh Allen and SMU's Courtland Sutton are among the draft prospects to watch this week.

Broncos Injury Report: Paxton Lynch splits reps, limited for second straight day
WR Emmanuel Sanders was also held out of practice because of an ankle injury.

Jaguars can win a Super Bowl with Blake Bortles, who might be a franchise QB after all - The Washington Post
The No. 3 overall pick in 2014, Bortles has looked like a bust to this point in his career. But the way he is playing now has Jacksonville in the AFC title mix.

Poll

To start or not to start Paxton Lynch? That is the question.

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    No it’s not the question - Rock with Brock~
    (75 votes)
  • 24%
    Agree with starting Lynch if he’s healthy, so you have wait until you know.
    (48 votes)
  • 21%
    If Lynch wasn’t definitely healthy enough Thursday, he’s not game-ready for Sunday.
    (42 votes)
  • 12%
    Geez, just put Sunshine back there and be done with it.
    (25 votes)
  • 3%
    "Shasta"
    (6 votes)
196 votes total Vote Now