Any Broncos fan who predicted an AFC West division title 17 weeks ago would not have been called crazy. Claiming the number one seed in the AFC? Not as safe a bet as the first, but not outrageous. Anticipating a changing of the guard under center midway through the season? Forget about it. Envisioning a Broncos win over the Patriots, with Brock Osweiler leading an 83-yard drive and capping it with a go-ahead touchdown pass with 1:09 left in the game? You’re out of your mind.

Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post joined Gil Whiteley on Mile High Sports AM 1340 to discuss the tumultuous nature of the current Denver Broncos season, from inconsistent play, to the brewing situation that sits under center – not just for the playoffs, but moving forward as well.

Whiteley quoted defensive coordinator Wade Phillips who said, “In 40 years, I’d never been a part of a game with 5 turnovers and we still won.”

Jhabvala expressed her challenges covering the team as a sportswriter:

“They’re so difficult to cover; This team has been such an anomaly, because every half is different.”

At the heart of this up-and-down year has been the situation at quarterback. Prior to this season, future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning was still electrifying. In his first three season with the Broncos, he thew for nearly 15,000 yards and a staggering 131 touchdowns.

However, injuries have taken their toll on Manning and have kept him on the bench since Week 10. His return Sunday against the chargers marked his first in game action since early November. In his absence, Brock Osweiler has guided the team to a 5-3 record, tossed for 1,900 yards and 10 touchdowns, and helped clinch a 5th straight AFC West title.

While the short-term situation at quarterback may soon be settled to avoid distractions during the postseason, Whiteley and Jhabvala believe it could re-ignite once the season is over. The no-trade clause in Manning’s contract will expire, and Whiteley thinks a shake-up could be on the horizon.

“The Broncos own Peyton’s rights, and they won’t just cut him. I think he could be traded,” said Whiteley.

“I don’t know if a team will be willing to take that on. That’s a lot of money for a quarterback who will be 40 by then,” cautioned Jhabvala.

Brock Osweiler will be a free agent at season’s end, but is only 25 years old.  Many questions remain about Manning’s health, but his name and reputation may hold more clout than his current playing ability. It may be time for John Elway to finally figure out a Plan B.

Listen to the full discussion in the podcast below…

Catch Gil Whiteley every weekday from 11a-1p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of what’s new and what’s next in Colorado sports.