This seems like the end of an era, doesn’t it? It’s now or never for the Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning is on his last legs, and rebuilding is upon us.

Or is it?

It may be a long while before the Denver Broncos have a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback in their backfield, but that doesn’t mean Denver’s Super Bowl window is closing. In fact, it may be on the verge of bursting back open.

Let’s start with this (and, no, I’m not trying to spark a debate): Would your opinion of the Denver Broncos be any worse heading into this game if Brock Osweiler was behind center?

At the very least, you should’ve had to think about it for a second before saying, “Maybe.” But more likely than not, most everybody should be in agreement that the answer is a solid “Nope.”

And if that’s the case, then why should we feel any different about the Denver Broncos’ prospects next season? Brock Osweiler may not be a Hall of Fame quarterback, but he’s capable; he’s capable enough to lead comeback victories over the Patriots and Bengals, and if Vernon Davis hadn’t dropped a few passes, he may have led comeback victories over the Steelers and Raiders, too.

He’s capable enough that if C.J. Anderson doesn’t fumble the ball on Denver’s first drive of the second half against the San Diego Chargers in Week 17, Osweiler’s starting in the Super Bowl this Sunday — at least in theory.

We’ve seen enough from Brock Osweiler to know that he’s, at worst, an average NFL quarterback — or, in other words, a 39-year-old Peyton Manning — and in moments, we’ve seen much more.

The question then becomes, can Denver keep enough talent around Osweiler to replicate the dominant team-performance from this season?

At first glance, I’ll admit, that seems like a tough task. This offseason, the Broncos will have roughly 10 starters, or starting-caliber players, hit free agency, including Von Miller, Evan Mathis, Malik Jackson, Danny Trevathan and Osweiler himself. It’s going to cost the Broncos a pretty penny to bring all those guys back to Denver, and this Super Bowl run isn’t exactly bringing down their price tag, either.

But as we love to say, “In John Elway we trust.”

And we should. He’s proven it again and again. And while you can nitpick his resume (as you could anyone’s), there’s nobody in this league who deserves to be trusted more.

Here’s two reasons why: He’s John Elway (the emotional) and he knows what he’s doing (the logical).

Listen, we can say that all of these free agents have come to Denver because of Peyton Manning, but that wouldn’t be fair; they came to Denver because of No. 7. They came to Denver, like Manning did, because they could smell victory. They knew that this franchise would stop at nothing to become the best, and that all starts with John Elway.

And look what he’s accomplished!

After watching Tim Tebow lead one of the ugliest offenses in NFL history, Elway set out to find a quarterback; he brought in Manning that offseason.

After Manning fell short against the Ravens in the playoffs, Elway set out to surround him with all the tools he could ever need; he responded by creating the best offense in NFL history.

After getting stomped by the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, Elway set out to build a defense like Seattle’s; he may have done better.

After the Broncos fell apart against the Colts last season, Elway set out to build a team that would go out “kicking and screaming”; now, they don’t know how to lose.

Everything Elway has set out to accomplish, he has, and he’s done it by being smarter than everyone else.

Get angry about Cody Latimer and Michael Schofield all you want, Elway has been money in the late rounds of the draft, and it has paid huge dividends. Not only has he brought in Pro-Bowl talents like C.J. Anderson, Chris Harris and Danny Trevathan, but he’s been able to get them on absurdly cheap contracts, giving the franchise plenty of flexibility each offseason.

In case you weren’t aware, it’s not normal for one team to continuously “win” free agency with big name signings each year, especially when that team is already contending for a championship. Normally, it’s the cellar dwellers with enough cap space to entice the big-name free agents, yet Elway has been able to keep Denver in contention every March.

And it’ll be the same this year.

If the Broncos were to part way with several veterans — mainly Peyton Manning, DeMarcus Ware and Ryan Clady — there’s a scenario where Denver could hit free agency with upwards of $55 million in cap space, good for fifth most in the NFL. While that may not be enough to bring everybody back, it gives Elway plenty of room to restock and reload.

And if there’s one thing Elway has proven himself to be capable of in the past, it’s building on the fly.

All this is to say that the Denver Broncos are in very good hands. Not only will the Broncos enter the 2016 season with a quarterback of the future and a defense that puts fear in the eyes of their opponent, but you can expect John Elway to fix the holes, too.

In the next five years, I can promise you that this will be the worst iteration of the Denver Broncos offense. Remember, Gary Kubiak has yet to really get his hands dirty on that side of the ball. He was dealt a bad hand this season, and he still managed to get this team to the Super Bowl. I doubt he ever expected to have to endure the Manning-Osweiler drama he was faced with, yet he handled it perfectly. And that’s without even mentioning the fact that he did it all with one of the worst offensive lines in football.

With a full offseason, training camp and 16 games to work with Osweiler — behind a revamped o-line, no less — the only way the Broncos offense can go is up.

Combine that with the defense, the coaching staff and the leadership up top, and this Denver Broncos franchise isn’t going anywhere.

Win or lose, the Denver Broncos are just getting started.