Until last week, Peyton Manning hadn’t been a backup quarterback in more than two decades.
And he won’t be one during the playoffs this year either.
Denver Coach Gary Kubiak announced Thursday that Manning will be the Broncos’ starter during the playoffs, rather than Brock Osweiler, who started seven games at the position while Manning dealt with a a torn plantar fascia.
Manning has played in 24 playoff games during his 18-year career, appearing in three Super Bowls and winning one. Osweiler has no playoff experience.
Osweiler played well for much of the second half of the season in Manning’s absence but turned the ball over three times in the first half Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.
Manning came in for the second half and took charge of the game for the Broncos. He took snaps from under center 40% of the time -- something he wasn’t able to do much while playing with a hurt foot -- and made reads the inexperienced Osweiler isn’t able to make.
Manning completed five of nine passes for only 69 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, but led the Broncos to a 27-20 victory, clinching home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Denver has a bye this week before hosting the winner of the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati game.