The Broncos’ season — for all intents and purposes — has been over for months; the only achievable accomplishments remaining are of the statistical variety and the opportunity to properly evaluate young players’ fitness for more significant roles next season.

For the Broncos, the most glaring hole is at quarterback, where even a serviceable starter this season might have made this week’s home finale against the Chiefs meaningful. So, for coach Vance Joseph, naming Sunday’s starter was easy.

“The plan is to play [QB] Paxton [Lynch],” Joseph said on Monday. “That was kind of the plan last week if he was healthy enough to play. So this week, that’s the plan, to play Paxton.”

Joseph, whose job may be on the line with another embarrassing defeat like the 27-11 drubbing they took in Washington Sunday, has to help the team find out if Lynch can even make next year’s roster at this point, let alone start. “We want to see him play. Obviously, that’s been the goal the last couple weeks. That hadn’t happened,” Joseph said. “We want to see him play with live bullets in a football game.”

The problem for first-year coach Joseph, is that a poor game by Lynch could doom them both. That’s why Joseph is sticking to the time-honored tradition of saying that winning a football game that won’t make any difference, save to diminish a team’s draft position, is of utmost importance. “Our first goal is to win a football game, obviously,” Joseph explained. “But again, with it being a quarterback issue going into the offseason, we want to see him play to see where this player is. Obviously, winning the game is always our first priority. Not saying if he’s playing we can’t win. He’s going to be our quarterback, so we expect to win.”

The Chiefs who clinched the AFC West division last weekend, my rest many of their starters against Denver, something that Kansas City head coach Andy Reid has done in the past. Joseph, who has watched has team go 2-9 in the last 11 weeks, can’t be bothered with that. “We don’t care about the Chiefs as far as who they play. It’s more about our football team, winning the football game on Sunday and having the chance to see our young quarterback play.”

For the Broncos’ brass, however, properly evaluating Lynch becomes much more difficult if they don’t see him play against top-tier NFL competition.

“We simply want to see this guy play,” Joseph said. “He’s had one start this year where he played two and a half, almost three quarters. We want to see him play. He hadn’t played much as a Bronco. It’s simple, guys—we want to see him play. It’s very simple.”

Click here to watch the full press conference with Vance Joseph, including what he had to say about C.J. Anderson quest for 1,000-yard rushing season. quarterback Brock Osweiler‘s leadership skills, and the continuing misadventures of Isaiah McKenzie — or click to watch the video below.

Video Courtesy of Denver Broncos Facebook – AMP users click here to watch on Facebook