I will finally admit it. The Denver Broncos need to sign another quarterback. Now.
I say that not for the reasons many Broncos fans have been crowing about since Week One. I don't think Kyle Orton is a bad quarterback. Orton is not holding back the Broncos offense.
He is not the problem. Every single Bronco fan should now realize this.
Orton, actually, is the solution. With him out of the lineup during the second half of today's game against the Redskins, the Broncos offense was putrid. A lot of Broncos fans got their wish when backup quarterback Chris Simms finally got his chance to lead the Broncos' attack.
It's a wish they surely want back. With Orton out with an ankle injury, Simms played poorly. Three of 13 for 13 yards and an interception. His quarterback rating: 7.5. That's barely lower than the IQ of the owner of the opposition. (I kid, I kid.....or do I?)
People who have continued to doubt Orton's value to the Broncos offense have officially run out of excuses. The scoreboard doesn't lie. At the half, Denver led 17-14. The Broncos were then shut out in the second half and were outscored by a pathetic Redskins offense 13-0, leading to a final score of 27-17 in favor of the 'Skins.
Now, this doesn't put 100 percent of the blame on Simms. The fact that the Redskins converted a fake field goal AFTER a timeout is beyond me. There is no excuse for that to happen and I am sure Josh McDaniels will let special teams coach Mike Priefer know that this week.
If Orton can't go this week, McDaniels and GM Brian Xanders need to give strong consideration to bringing in a veteran. Jeff Garcia immediately comes to mind. I think Simms still has potential but you don't throw someone under center that hasn't played a meaningful football game in years when you are in the middle of a battle for the division. With the Chargers coming in this week, you need to put your best foot forward and right now Simms is understandably rusty.
I understand Garcia would be rusty as well and would have to learn a new offense, but this is where experience serves him best. He is a smart quarterback and could pick up the Broncos offense in a heartbeat. Same goes for any veteran the Broncos would bring in. McDaniels offense has been described by the coach himself as very "quarterback friendly" and learning it should not be much trouble for a seasoned veteran.
Now, Orton could be cleared to play this week and this could all be moot. That said, Orton likely will not be 100 percent. I think the Broncos would be better off with a more seasoned backup than Simms. Simms had a chance to prove his worth today and he didn't do it. Some of that could be chalked up to rust, but he looked lost out there.
If the Broncos lived up to preseason expectations and were below .500, I would be all for letting Simms play, develop and get his legs back under him after missing so much playing time. He, in theory, would then be ready to challenge Orton for the starting spot in 2010.
Fortunately, the Broncos are in a much better position than predicted. Nine games into the season, they are tied for first with the Chargers at 6-3. While the Broncos' recent skid allowed the Chargers to close the gap from two games back to a tie, the Broncos are still in better shape than most had thought they would be.
If the Broncos want to get back on the winning track and keep this magical season from completely falling apart, they need to bring in a veteran quarterback. If Simms truly has bought into the culture McDaniels has brought to Denver, he will understand that it is best for the team that a more experienced signal caller be brought in until Orton is ready again.
Here's hoping for a speedy recovery for Orton, otherwise Denver better be ready for "plan B," and that "B" does NOT stand for Brandstater.