The Denver Broncos on Friday had a good view of what the franchise could look like in the not-too-distant-future as Brock Osweiler led the team to a 22-20 win against the Seattle Seahawks in the preseason opener. Osweiler, the heir-apparent to Peyton Manning at this point, took all of the first half snaps and left his team with a 19-10 halftime lead.

Head coach Gary Kubiak decided earlier in the week that Manning would not play, electing to protect the 39-year-old quarterback from the potential dangers of starting behind an offensive line that is still very much a work in progress. As James Merilatt and Josh Pennock pointed out on the Mile High Sports show on Mile High Sports AM 1340 and 104.3 The Fan, it was a wise decision by Kubiak, as the line (which includes three members who have never taken a regular season NFL snap) faltered on several plays that could have meant a bad result for Manning.

But that didn’t keep some fans from wondering if Manning shouldn’t have seen at least some action, or if Osweiler saw too much. The concerns are twofold. First, that Manning – who is playing in a new, zone blocking, run-oriented scheme – needs the reps to adjust to his new offense. Second, that by allowing Osweiler to shine in the preseason, the Broncos run the risk of prompting a bidding war come the offseason when Osweiler becomes an unrestricted free agent.

But as Merilatt and Pennock point out, playing Osweiler throughout the preseason is still the best option for the Broncos, who are in “win now” mode.

Listen to the full discussion in the podcast below.

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