Cutler vs. Orton Archives
Things can change fast in the NFL. Ask Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith. Ask Bears fans. And ask the fans of those Denver Broncos.
Yesterday the Broncos managed just a 3rd quarter field goal, McDaniels made a huge mistake in attempting an onside kick and Orton played poorly even though the Broncos still ran the ball well.
In the last 4 weeks, Orton has managed just 2 TD passes against 4 interceptions. And now at 6-4, it will be difficult for the Broncos to make the postseason. They have 3 road games left and still have to play the Giants, Colts and Eagles. It won't be easy and they'll likely have to win 4 of their remaining 6 games. And now the Broncos are battling themselves too.
Orton and the Broncos were the best story of the young NFL season. But right now they are just another mediocre team likely not going to the playoffs. Much like the one we have here in Chicago.
And a hush fell over the Chicagoland area. The Broncos and Kyle Orton beat Tom Brady and the Patriots. And this time the role of Captain Comeback was played -- spot on -- by Kyle Orton, former Bear.
To be sure, Orton has been the beneficiary of some great luck and great plays by his receivers. The defense in Denver has been phenomenal. But it's time to give the man his props. Kyle Orton played an incredible game today. The Broncos are 5-0. And Orton is a big reason they are.
It's often said that if at the end of the season you're 9-7, then you're a 9-7 team. The meaning being that it all evens out over 16 games. You get some lucky breaks in the beginning? It rarely stays that way. So are the Broncos truly a 5-0 team then? Yes. For now.
- 2 TDs, 0 INTs
- 506 Yds, 55% Completions
- 90.9 Passer Rating
We'll know a lot more about Orton's season after this 4 game stretch: at an improved Oakland this week, then Dallas and New England at home and off to San Diego to play the Chargers. Will they be calling for Chris Simms after these 4 games?
- 3 TDs, 4 INTs
- 513 Yds, 59% Completions
- 71.5 Passer Rating
Cutler has a much easier 4-game stretch coming up compared to Orton. He gets a banged up Seattle defense this week, then it's the Lions, Falcons and Bengals.
It may just be a preseason game, but I don't remember ever being excited for a preseason game on a Monday morning. And I can't be the only Bears fan that feels this way.
In the grand scheme that is the grand matchup between Cutler and the Bears vs. Orton and the Broncos -- or better yet, Cutler vs. McDaniels -- the 2009 preseason to date means little.
"Obviously, there's going to be a little bit of drama wrapped around it," Cutler told Chicago reporters following his impressive home debut Saturday at Soldier Field. "But we've just got to focus."
It's Sunday night on national TV with some captivating story lines on display. Cutler responded to the media's first question about it with: "It'll be a lot of fun, are y'all going?"
Orton is off to an interesting start in Denver, being booed in training camp for getting picked off and then again for his performance against the 49ers in week 1.
Woody Paige wrote this about Orton:
"I've said my piece and now have made my peace. I wrote for weeks that the Broncos shouldn't trade Cutler. You can't rewind the tape machine back to months ago and alter McDaniels' words to "Jay, I'm truly sorry. I was so wrong. Please forgive me, pretty please. I love you, man. You can throw the ball whenever and wherever you want and do whatever however you want."
It has been noted here that Orton has the third-strongest arm among the Broncos' quarterbacks; he is probably about the 20th best quarterback in the NFL, and that he is the Third Coming -- the first was Steve DeBerg and the second Brian Griese -- of "a smart, efficient, studious quarterback who throws a catchable ball." Ask the 49ers. They know he throws a catchable ball."The column is also about how Denver will have to learn to live with Orton, and that they should wait and see how it plays out. Should we just go ahead and tell them?
The game is meaningless, but it will be a nationally televised game on a Sunday night. Week 3 is generally considered the most important game of the preseason. That's when the starting units get more playing time.
How loud will the boos be when Cutler takes the field for his first series of the game? Probably not as loud as your screams when Cutler hits Hester for a 60-yard TD.