Look the Chiefs Tebow too :D
I have nothing against Kyle Orton. Those familiar with me here on B/R will have seen my comments supporting Kansas city's acquisition of the veteran quarterback, along with my desire to see him start over the completely inept Tyler Palko and even over untested rookie Ricky Stanzi.
The problem is these knee-jerk reactions that have been prevalent among Chiefs fans all season. Not all these jump-at-the-gun assumptions have surrounded Cassel or even the quarterback position, but it is that controversy that is the focus here.
Yes we've seen another bad one this year, but this season's disaster does not, I repeat, does not rest on Matt Cassel's shoulders. Nor do our last two wins rest on Kyle Orton's.
A fellow B/R member tells me I can't use the Broncos when comparing Cassel and Orton because the Broncos are a much worse team than the Chiefs.
To this, I say the only year that was true out of the years I'm looking at was 2010. In 2009, the Chiefs were pathetic, and in 2011—between injuries and lack of consistency—they weren't much better. If I were to overlook Orton's time in Denver, it would be only fair to ignore Cassel's 2009 season as well.
To keep it simple, I'm looking at the four years they were both starting.
Did Matt Cassel help the Chiefs lose?
Well, he certainly has to shoulder some of the blame because he played in some of the losses.
Did Kyle Orton help the Chiefs win?
The answer would obviously be "yes," as we must also acknowledge the reverse.
Would Cassel have helped in those wins also?
No matter what some might think, we can't know the answer to that. Change any one variable, and you can change a game for better or worse. I think most of us know this.
A better question here would be, how much did they help lose and win, respectively?
Kansas City is not set up with a star-player-carrying-the-team mindset. The team is being built to perform as (shocking as it may sound) a team. The quarterback doesn't carry it, and I don't think they intend for him to do so.
The short answer is they both played an important role, for better or worse, in every game they played as a Chief.
The Kansas City Chiefs need to determine if Orton gives them a significantly better chance to win than Cassel. Right now this minute, they do not have data that supports that as fact.
In virtually every area of measurable quarterback play, Cassel and Orton are very close.
Orton undoubtedly wins in net yards—12,185 to Cassel's 11,446—but those 739 extra yards yielded six less touchdowns and, perhaps coincidentally, six less wins. I don't know about you, but I'll take points over yards any day.
Their quarterback ratings, averaged for the last four years, are less than half-a-point apart—Orton 82.75 and Cassel 82.5. Cassel has one more interception (43) to Orton's 42. Pretty close, don't you think?
The ever-illusive intangibles. The four intangibles I know about are will to win, work ethic, intelligence and star power.
I would give Cassel the edge on will to win from the games I've watched him play in versus the games I've seen Orton play in. I haven't really seen Orton successfully fight back for a win (in all fairness, I admit I've watched Cassel in considerably more games).
I also would give Cassel the edge on work ethic as well. I don't know enough about Orton to be positive, but I do know enough about Cassel to say his work ethic is at least as good as Orton's. So, call it a tie if you'd like.
Do we have their IQ scores? They both make some good decisions and some bad ones, but since Orton is reputed to be particularly intelligent, I'll give him the edge there.
Star power...well, neither of them have that much but if I had to give an edge, that would go to Cassel due to his exposure starting for the Patriots and earning a trip to the Pro Bowl, but not by much.
I would add the ability to inspire his team. That seems pretty intangible.
Orton did seem to breathe new life into the Chiefs in his three starting games this season. However, after four games with Tyler Palko, even Josh Freeman would've inspired them. Orton didn't seem to inspire the Broncos too much.
In more than one game, I have seen a single play from Matt Cassel change the play of the entire team—not just the offense, the team—so here, I give Cassel the edge again.
The argument for keeping Orton over Cassel is based on a three-game performance—three games in which Orton had better protection than Cassel enjoyed in all but possibly one of his losses that were won by five points or less.
Oddly enough, these people who want to snatch Orton up are often the same people who call Cassel's season with the Patriots a fluke and attribute 2010's success entirely to the easy schedule.
Let's step back and think about this. An 11-5 season and a 10-6 season mean virtually nothing. Conversely, a 2-1 series with both wins by a point margin of five points or less is definitive proof...of what?
To recap the edge on tangibles depends on what you value most.
Unless it's yards, regardless of points scored, I would call it a tie. The edge on intangibles goes to Cassel.
So, the Chiefs should replace Cassel with an equivalent-to-inferior quarterback most likely at a higher price to what end?
Cassel is on par with Orton in spite of having a four-year disadvantage in experience. How will they compare in a year or two?
The rumors indicate that the Chiefs will likely attempt to retain Orton and let the two battle for the starting job in training camp. I'm all for that! Let them battle it out, and let the best one take the field. If not, start Cassel, and look to the draft for the future of the Chiefs—if not for this year, then for the years to come.
There's more to lose than to gain by replacing Cassel with Orton based on the data we have right now. Cassel is a known quantity. He has also scored more points and led his teams to more wins during the years they both started.
Call me crazy, but those are the two stats I value most in a quarterback.