PHILADELPHIA—It was understood that if Brock Osweiler played well, he would keep his job as the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback.
It’s also known that in the NFL, playing well is in the eye of the beholder.
“I thought Brock did a fine job,’’ said Broncos’ head coach Vance Joseph. “Obviously, we had two more interceptions today. That’s not all right but I have to go back and watch the tape to really get a feel for how Brock played.’’
Asked specifically if Osweiler would remain his starting quarterback, Joseph was non-committal.
“We’ll see,’’ Joseph said. “I have to go back and watch the tape and see how the game was played at that position before I make a decision.’’
What’s sad is it might not matter who Joseph picks to become his starting quarterback. The Broncos got hammered here Sunday by the Philadelphia Eagles, 51-23, and play next week against Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, who are 6-2 after winning four in a row.
The 3-5 Broncos have lost four in a row by a combined score of 124-52. An average score of 31-13.
“We’re not very good right now,’’ said Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr.
Joseph has three options for his starting quarterback. One, stick with Osweiler. Two, go back to Trevor Siemian. Three, give the ball, ready or not, to first-round draft pick Paxton Lynch.
CBS reported Sunday morning the Broncos could go with Lynch as soon as next week against the Patriots. The problem is Lynch hasn’t thrown many passes of substance as he’s just returning from a two-month shoulder injury. He has practiced for two weeks but has had virtually no reps as the No. 3 quarterback.
And the last time anyone saw Lynch play, he was struggling to process the speed of the passing game during the preseason. He likely hasn’t had a chance to improve while rehabbing in the trainer’s room.
Lynch is expected to play once the Broncos become all but eliminated from the playoffs. But probably not before then.
As for Osweiler, the good was he did move the ball early against the Eagles. His first drive of the season ended with a long Brandon McManus field goal and a 3-0 lead.
He completed 19 of 38 for 208 yards which is OK. With the game well out of reach, he connected with Cody Latimer for 32 yards to end the third quarter and then finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown to Demaryius Thomas.
But most significantly, the Broncos were embarrassed Sunday in a game that wasn’t as close as the lopsided final score indicated. The Broncos were down 44-9 entering the fourth quarter when Eagles coach Doug Pederson went to his bench.
Osweiler threw two interceptions. On the first, Eagles cornerback Patrick Robinson beat Thomas to the catching area on a slant pattern. It gave the Eagles the ball at the Broncos’ 15-yard line and three plays later, it was 17-3 home team.
The second was a wild, blind heave downfield. Thomas was well covered and Osweiler was getting hit as he threw but the Eagles were up, 38-9 and he chucked it anyway.
“It just seemed like kind of that time to throw one up,’’ Osweiler said. “See, if we can get a big play downfield, maybe a pass interference call. But the bottom line, we have to stop turning the football over. Until we do that it’s going to be hard to win football games. And we’ve got to clean it up. It’s just that simple.’’
Did Osweiler do enough to get another chance? He hopes so.
“Absolutely,’’ he said. “I think every player in the National Football League plays this game to be the starter. To contribute to his team and help their football team win games. I would love to be the starter. And I can promise you this game is not going to discourage me. I’ll work harder than ever to clean up these problems.’’