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Published on 11/20/2009 at Fri Nov 20 13:02.
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Chris Simms

While it’s hard to take Josh McDaniels‘ claims that, if he feels up to it, QB Kyle Orton will start on Sunday against San Diego despite missing a week of practice seriously, the coach continues to insist this is the case.

The New York Times’ Fifth Down Blog wonders aloud what type of message this sends Chris Simms.

The Josh McDaniels dossier is still being written, so it’s hard to tell how the Broncos will react after scoring only 34 points in the past three weeks and losing their edge on defense. McDaniels must show he can lead his team through its first rash of injuries. Kyle Orton has not been ruled out for Sunday despite his bad ankle, showing that the coach has little faith in the shell-shocked backup Chris Simms.

It’s an interesting point. We think Simms will certainly play better this week than he did under fire last week, but does McDaniels feel the same? Is McDaniels showing a lack of faith in his backup by dragging Orton’s name along, or is he reaffirming Orton as the starter, who was coming under fire before his first half heroics at Washington? Or, is McDaniels simple playing injury report Patriots games? What do you think?

  • Socal Den Fan

    I don't care who is the QB win the f@#king game.

  • Socal Den Fan

    I don't care who is the QB win the f@#king game.

  • mikebirty

    Its the Patriots injury report game. McD wants San Diego to have to prepare for both. Ever since the injury I think it was obvious that irrespective of the actual injury – even if Orton's foot had fallen off – McD would make it out that he was fit to play this week.

    My money's on Orton not starting. But my outside bet is to see both of them on the field as some sort of turbo charged wild horses.

    Peyton and Knowshon are the only two healthy running backs this week – maybe he'll get a handful of carries…….

  • Andpark

    Even a hurt Orton is our best chance, its his non planting left ankle so I am hoping for the best. I do not have a lot of faith in Simms at all. If Orton is not going to play make it Brandstater handing it off a lot for Moreno and hope this can be Moreno's Break Out game.

    D needs to be huge, Doom needs to get in Rivers face and hopefully get some D scores. I am with Socal, win the f@#king game. Reminds me of Half Baked “I don't care how you do it, just do it, go.”

  • herc_rock

    That's a throw-away line and based on absolutely nothing other than “Orton hasn't been ruled out” yet.

  • Josh Temple

    Mountain out of a molehill, good job NYT.

  • T-Money

    Yeah but you have to be able to drive off your back foot. That's where all the power comes from.

  • T-Money

    I feel better about Simms after getting to go throw practice, but he still makes me incredibly nervous. At the same time though this could be really good for us. If McD doesn't trust Simms enough to throw that means that we'll stick to running the ball…And if we do that consistently and wear down SD's 23 ranked running D, then we might now need Simms to rely on his arm.

    The keys to this game for me are:


    2. Keep Phyllis and LT on the sidelines.
    ~ If we can sustain drives and put points on the board and give our defense enough time to make IN-GAME adjustments, we'll have a really good shot.

    3. Play Defense.
    ~ The last few weeks we've been beating at the line and not wrapping up tackles. Blitz early and often. Keep them guessing for the first few drives and build a nice lead.

    4. Take the pressure off of Chris Simms.
    ~ There's a 95% chance that he'll start so make him do as little as possible. Don't make him feel like he has to win the game by himself (he tried this last week and it cost us the game).

    5. Score points. Enough said!

    Do that and you've improved your chances of a W from 25% to about a 90%.

  • Chiefhatersincebirth

    No matter who starts at quarterback, the running game needs to carry to this team. McD doesn't carry Peyton “the truck” Hillis into games because he doesn't want four backs, well Lamont Jordan shouldn't even be on an NFL roster. Let Peyton smash the D while Moreno cuts through them. Lets see some creative plays like an Eddie Royal reverse pass (he was recruited to VA Tech as a quarterback) and slow down the blitzing of the Chargers with some TE screens to Graham. The D has been on the field way too much these last three games. The run game and special teams is the key to this weeks W.

  • broncoinva9986

    Simms is easy to prepare for lol…they say it sunday

  • broncoinva9986

    yea its his left ankle that is hurt not the right one so he will be able to have some power

  • broncoinva9986

    tpyical New York Times

  • NMBronc

    Orton, power? LOL

  • NMBronc

    This is Peyton's chance to get out of the dog house.

    And we will find out this week if a. Simms really is that bad, or b. McD did not have simms ready to go last week.

  • Joe

    We already know Simms isn't as bad as he played last week. He is the same qb tampa had a few years ago, an average one. He just needs to shake off the rust. He didn't get a single 1st team snap last year with the Titans either, even while Vince Young was out and he was bumped to second on the depth chart for a few weeks. He will be better this week. May not be great, but he will be better.

    Also, backup qb's get few to no reps on all NFL teams so it's kind of silly to say McD didn't have him prepared. He watches the same film and takes second team snaps just like all 31 other teams do it.

  • NMBronc

    Your assuming that Simms will be better than last week. I would tend to agree, so then it is not so silly to question the coaching staff's preparation of a player who is suiting up. McD is a very detail oriented coach and I was shocked to see Simms play that poorly.

  • broncoinva9986

    I saw him throw a 60 some yarder last week so I mean if that's not power I don't know what is…

  • broncoinva9986

    Hillis is the key tommorrow…imagine methodicall 10 minute drives with hillis and knowshon…nice.