>Tuesday Lunch: Let’s Give Some Props to Kyle Orton

Posted: October 5, 2010 in nfl
Tags: ,

>By Will Robinson
Kyle Orton Quarterback Kyle Orton #8 of the Denver Broncos delivers a pass against the Dallas Cowboys during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 4, 2009 in Denver, Colorado.
Instead of writing my traditional weekly recap, I will be doing something different today. One, because I missed 83% of the NFL action while travelling, but two, I want to talk about Kyle Orton.

Yes, the same Kyle Orton I cursed many-a-time after the Jay Cutler deal. I absolutely hated Josh McDaniels for dealing Cutler in the spring of 2009, as he had franchise QB written all over him. For those that don’t recall, Denver traded Jay Cutler and a fifth round pick for the Bears’ 2009 1st/3rd picks, their 2010 first round pick, and Kyle Orton. After the drafts, the trade ending up involving these players:

QB Kyle Orton
DE/OLB Robert Ayers
TE Richard Quinn
OG Seth Olsen
WR Eric Decker
CB Perrish Cox
QB Jay Cutler
WR Johnny Knox
Note: Denver did a lot of trading down/up, and passed up Mike Wallace in the 2009 Draft, Brandon Graham, and Aaron Hernandez in the 2010 Draft.
Ayers is starting to come into his own this year, Quinn hasn’t done anything, Olsen is no longer on the team, Decker is the fifth string WR, and Cox has done well for so far in his rookie year. On the Chicago side, Cutler has done very well (save last week) this year and Knox has emerged as his clear number one target.
So far this year, Orton and Cutler have had similar numbers, except for one: yards. Orton is leading the league in passing yards (1419), which is the second highest mark ever through the first four games (behind Kurt Warner in 2000), while Cutler has only thrown for 912. Albeit a small sample size, Cutler leads Orton in QB rating, with the same amount of TDs/ints, but on significantly fewer attempts.
I can’t say Denver has had a significantly worse run game statistically (32nd in the NFL), because Chicago is only marginally better (31st); however, Denver has been cycling through their second, third, and fourth string backs, with Knowshon Moreno being hurt, while Chicago has had Matt Forte and Chester Taylor the whole season. Denver rushed for 19 yards against Tennessee on Sunday. 19! That is just insane to think about. Laurence Maroney rushed for 5 yards on 11 carries! Kyle Orton led the team in rushing yards (11)! He accounted for all but 8 yards of offense for the Broncos on Sunday, on the way to a win. Cutler was bombarded Sunday, until the nine sacks caught up with him, and forced him to leave the game with a concussion. I also think Cutler also has a tendency to “check out” of games when things aren’t going his way and still has the tendency to make poor decisions throwing the football. Even though he has apparently “grown up” and “matured” this offseason, some on the field actions are still questionable. His decision-making needs to improve so he can complement his fantastic arm. Kyle Orton, on the other hand, has been scrutinized non-stop since coming to Denver by virtually everyone (yours truly included). It’s hard as a Denver fan, waiting and waiting until we get the next Elway. Some thought we had that in Cutler, and it was frustrating to lose him right before he hit his prime.
It’s still early in the season, but I think we will know how good Orton is next week at Baltimore. If he can overcome the tough Ravens’ defense, and lead Denver to a win or get very close, then I think he is a top 12 QB. If not, then I am afraid that he can never achieve “greatness” status that is associated with Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, etc. The better he plays, the longer he will keep Tim Tebow off the field. I hope he keeps up his hot streak; he’s looking VERY good.
Onto my awards for week 4.
Most Impressive Team: New England Patriots
Honorable Mention: New York Jets, Saint Louis Rams
Most Impressive Offensive Player: LaDainian Tomlinson
Honorable Mention: Terrell Owens, Kyle Orton, Arian Foster
Most Impressive Defensive Player: Shaun Phillips
Honorable Mention: Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora
Most Impressive Special Teams Player: Pat Chung
A blocked field goal and a blocked punt by Chung led to a touchdown for the Pats. Great game by a young player.
Most Unimpressive Team: Chicago Bears
Dishonorable Mention: Miami Dolphins
Most Unimpressive Player: Nate Clements
I have to say something about this. Nate Clements, JUST GO DOWN! Don’t be stupid, just play it safe and try to run out the clock. While San Francisco did look better, they have to improve where it matters: the win-loss column.
Best Game per Time Slot of Week 5 (Excluding Sunday/Monday night, obviously)
104693067_crop_340x23410:00 AM PDT
New York Giants vs. Houston Texans
The G-Men look to continue their roll after trouncing the Bears, as they head into Houston to face the explosive Texans. Despite sitting the first quarter and a half, Arian Foster demolished the Raider defense. The Giants defense seems to be locked in, after sacking Jay Cutler 5000 times, and I will be interested to see how they perform against Matt Schaub and co. Andre Johnson may not be 100%, but he is always capable of lighting up the stats. I was going to put the Denver game, but I didn’t want to come off as biased, and I do think this game will be closer.
1:00-1:15 PM PDT
Tennessee Titans vs. Dallas Cowboys
I want to see how Dallas performs after their bye against an inconsistent Titans squad. I think the Cowboys will throw very well against a secondary exposed by Kyle Orton the previous week. Chris Johnson and the offensive line needs to step it up to get a solid run game together for a victory.
Best Game of Week 5
Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Jets
We’ll see how the Vikes can play off their bye at the SMOKING hot Jets. The Sanchize has been on fire after I called him out, (I probably caused his change…) and hopes to lead the Jets to the top of the AFC East while the Patriots are on their bye.
Most Interesting Game of Week 5
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts
The NFL has been weird this year, in the sense that there is only one undefeated team remaining through four weeks. By my count, there were six when week 5 began in 2009. I do not think the Chiefs can keep it up on the road at Indy, but they are a favorite to win the feeble AFC West, where they are currently ahead by 1.5 games. I want to see how KC plays against their first in-form opponent.
Most One Sided Game of Week 5
Chicago Bears vs. Carolina Panthers
After a rough showing against NY, I like the Bears to come out with all cylinders firing away against, potentially, the worst team in the NFL. However, this is based on the assumption that Jay Cutler will be playing.
Bounce Back Performances of Week 5
See above.
Above, too. I like them to show KC how it’s done at home.
Down to Earth Performance of Week 5
While I still think he has a significant amount of gas still in the tank, I think Mark Sanchez will have to beat the Vikings. I like LT for numbers similar to his first three games of the year.
Bold Predictions of Week 5
· San Francisco is blown out at home on Sunday night.
· Max Hall leads the Cards to a win over the Saints.
· The Cowboys have a decent day rushing.
Thanks for checking in, have a good week.


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