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Nobody here cares about Montezuma getting his revenge. It’s all about Osweiler’s retaliation.
So, now, you’ve become a Brock Osweiler fan again?
Hey, I’m talking to you, Broncos’ backers in OrangeCountry.
You hated The Brock Lobster in late October when he returned to Denver. You booed and hissed and called him names, and then cheered when he lost. A month later, you’re loving him like a favorite nephew who’s going to medical school.
Why? Because you want the Brockster to beat the Raiders in, of all places, Mexico City Monday night.
He does, too.
It should be remembered that the only game Osweiler lost as a starter at Mile High’s stadium last year to the Oakland Raiders. Everybody sort of forgot.
Osweiler had a shorter reign as Broncos’ starting quarterback than Edward VIII had as King of England. Edward abdicated because he chose to marry an American divorcee. Osweiler’s title was taken away when Peyton Manning got healthy enough to play – in the second half of the final regular-season game.
But Osweiler did start six games – after replacing Manning in the second half of the Nov. 15 home game against Kansas City. The Lizard Of Os was the starter as the Broncos beat the Bears, the Patriots (in overtime) and the Chargers.
Then, on Dec. 13 in Denver, the Raiders won 15-12. The Broncos lost the next weekend in the second half at Pittsburgh, but tripped up the Bengals. Then, in the finale, Manning took over in the second half; the Broncos prevailed, and Osweiler didn’t play ever again for the Broncos.
With Manning retiring, the starting job would have been Osweiler’s this year, but he grabbed his ball and went off to Houston.
Nevertheless, he can redeem himself against the Raiders and do his old team and his new team big favors by treating the Raiders like a piñata on Monday Night Football.
Given that the Kansas City Chiefs were drubbed at home Sunday by the Tampa Bay Bucs – who would have believed? – if the Raiders fail vs. the Texans, the AFC West would have a three-way tie at 7-3 with six games to go.
Isn’t that fair?
The Chiefs were favorites on Sunday because they haven’t lost at home this year, and they had won five straight games and 17 of their last 19 since last season. Yet, their weaknesses on offense, especial at quarterback (we’re talking about you, Alex Smith), reared their ugly heads Sunday.
The Broncos picked a good time for a bye. They can sit back and hope the two teams ahead of them in the division both lose.
The Raiders moved one of their home games to Mexico City – which is more good news for the Broncos – and they are only slight favorites over the Texans, who continue to lead the pitiful AFC South.
If the Raiders win, the Texans are in danger of being caught in their division. And the Raiders will have a one-game lead in their division.
The Broncos have the toughest upcoming schedule in the NFL (you can look it up) because of the records of the Raiders, the Chiefs (twice), the Patriots and even the Titans. Jacksonville, not so hot.
The Broncos are finished with San Diego, and the Chargers are finished in the division.
It’s more than a possibility that all three teams from the AFC West will reach the postseason – with two of them being the wild cards.
Here are the schedules for the three teams.
Denver – Kansas City, at Jacksonville, at Tennessee, New England, at Kansas City, Oakland.
Oakland – Carolina, Buffalo, at Kansas City, at San Diego, Indianapolis, at Denver.
Kansas City – At Broncos, at Atlanta, Tennessee, Denver, at San Diego.
If the Broncos win the next three games, they’ll have a 97 percent chance of getting into the playoffs on historical statistics from 1990-2015). (Currently, they have a 75 percent chance of making the postseason.) If they want to win the division and probably have a week one bye and the home field, they’ll need to win at least four.
The Raiders would seem to have three or four victories in hand, and the Chiefs should lose their next two.
As I’ve maintained since early in the season, all three teams could finish 10-6 or even 11-5, and the tiebreakers would come into effect.
But, first, the Broncos need Brock to come through for them one more time.
And it’s quite possible, by the way, that the Broncos and the Texans will meet again in the playoffs, and then you can resume hating Brock.