Monday, August 18, 2008

Breaking News: Orton's #1

Breaking News from Halas Hall the Bears have named their starter after 2 preseason contests. Kyle Orton has gotten the nod over 2006 Super Bowl QB Rex Grossman. Grossman, who started the '06 season in the same sentence as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady through the first month. After all he was the September NFC Player of the Month. Of course those outlandish numbers he amassed over the first few weeks became a rare occurrence as "Bad Rex" started making appearances.

In 2006, Grossman, who had spent years on the sideline after numerous injuries, was a pleasant surprise to Bears fans who had seen Surprise Rookie Starter Kyle Orton lead the team to a 10-5 record as a starter but with very minimal major plays or Touchdown drives. Sexy Rexy threw the ball downfield, used his receivers better, and led the team to a 7-0 start. A welcome occurrence in comparison to the dink and dunk 3 yard out Kyle Orton led offense in '05. But by the end of the '06 season fans were no longer enamored with Rex who, over the last 6 games of the 2006 season amassed QB Ratings of 0.0, 1.3, 23.6, 80.4, 104.3, and 114.4.

But 2007 saw much more of the lower end "Bad Rex" than the offensive threat of "Good Rex". Orton came in to start the last three games of the 2007 season leading the team to a 2-1 record with a last minute loss to the Minnesota Vikings in his first start since a Sunday Night game against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 15 of 2005. This also included a victory over Green Bay with a 103.2 QB Rating (Out dueling Brett Favre's 0 TD/2 INT 40.2).

After 2 preseason games KO has officially been named the QB1 for the Bears Week 1. His numbers match up, slightly, more favorably than Rex. With a 63.2 - 56.5 edge in Completion Percentage, 5.21 - 5.13 Yards Per Completion Average, and a 76.4 - 66.9 Passer Rating. So far in the 2 contests Orton has led the Bears on 5 Drives leading to 3 FGs and 2 Punts. This is starting to seem a lot like 2005. Then again in 2005 the Bears surprised many and won the division only to lose in the 2nd round of the playoffs to Carolina, so maybe that isn't the worst thing that could happen to 2007's 7-9 team.

The Bears have always thrived with a strong defense and mediocre quarterbacks. The 2005 11-5 Chicago Bears didn't have Devin Hester. Maybe all the Bears need is a Quarterback who keeps the Bears in the game rather than one who wins (or loses) it. Bottom line, I have been pushing for Orton since mid-last season and really never understood why he lost the starting job in 2005 with Grossman's return. I don't expect a Pro Bowl season from Orton but I also don't expect any sub 65 QB Ratings (Grossman has 12 Sub 65 Ratings over the last 30 starts).

Congratulations Kyle.