Posted Mon Nov 15th by Monty
Over the past few weeks, there have been some scattered murmurings occurring in NFL circles regarding the Denver Broncos‘ quarterback situation — talk not unlike the hushed whispers one might hear in a king’s palace shortly before his subjects execute a coup.
The talk starts innocently enough: “Our current regime is faltering. Maybe it wouldn’t be faltering under another’s reign.” From there, given enough of a frenzy, the rumors and mis-education spread like wildfire. “Our ruler is costing us.” Even as any half-logical critical thinker would conclude the issues go deeper than one person, the hysteria propels the disenchantment. “We don’t stand a chance with him.”
Thank goodness the majority of Broncos fans, and, more importantly, Broncos brass, are half-logical critical thinkers. Kyle Orton has done nothing to deserve such talk, and on Sunday, he showed he is capable of quarterbacking a dominant football team when the other pieces fall into place.
Orton led the Broncos to three touchdown drives in the first quarter of Sunday’s 49-29 victory over Kansas City, finishing with a career-high four touchdown passes. He tallied 296 yards on the day, completing 22 of 34 passes for a 131.5 rating. His career high could have been much higher — Orton maneuvered the offense so well, Tim Tebow was twice allowed to score in goal line work.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
To date, Orton is boasting a 96.4 QB rating and is ranked 2nd in the NFL in passing yards. In any other season, he’d be first, but in 2010 he finds himself trailing San Diego‘s Philip Rivers, who appears set to smash the all-time NFL passing mark.
Orton’s success is no hot streak folly — at his current pace nine games into the season, Orton will finish 2010 with 4,988 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions, the first two surpassing all-time Denver Broncos single season franchise records.
And NFL loudmouths, Broncos pundits, and nearly half of America were seriously talking about benching him?
You want to end the franchise’s most impressive passing performance midway through the season because the run-deficient, defense-absent Broncos have been losing games, Jason Cole? You want to start a rookie project quarterback instead of a proven passer because the former “just wins,” Tim Tanaka?
That “just wins” logic was the same argument that brought many fans to accept Orton early in 2009 following the Jay Cutler trade. “Jay Cutler puts up stats, Kyle Orton just wins,” they said.
Kyle Orton was a winner in Chicago who didn’t put up big numbers. He’s playing better than ever in Denver, yet he’s 11-13 as a starter here.
Clearly, winning on the football field requires a lot more than success at one position. And losing certainly stems from more than struggles at one position (not that Kyle’s performances could even be considered “struggling”).
Following the logic of the murmurers, the Broncos should have benched 2009 sack king Elvis Dumervil after his sack pace slowed midway through last season.
No, the Broncos should consider extending Kyle Orton’s contract — yes, again — before they consider benching him. If McDaniels is able to turn the rest of the ship around, most fans will see the Broncos have the Quarterback of the Future already locked up in their Quarterback of the Present.
And in that case, I say let Tim Tebow watch from the sidelines til kingdom come.