After watching Kyle Orton win only three times in his last 13 starts, one thing has emerged as crystal clear as a cool rocky mountain stream: Orton is not a clutch QB.
Denver currently possesses the No. 1 passing offense in the league.
This is the result of Orton's efficiency in-between the 20's while possessing one of the league's best wide receiving corps and schemes.
- Broncos have the league's No. 1 ranked passing offense.
- 4 WRs in the top 30 Yards per game average
- 3 WRs in top 26 Receptions
- 4 WRs in top 29 TDs
Denver's issues are not in the WRs or scheme, it is in seeing the execution of this scheme in clutch situations by its QB. Be it third down conversions or red zone efficiency, Orton has been atrocious.
During the Colts game, the defense kept the Broncos in it, and Orton found a way to keep us out of it every time the team made it into the red zone.
Broncos were in Indy territory eight times, and came away with only one TD despite five red zone trips.
You can actually write off the TD Orton had because the INT resulted in an Indy TD.
That drive that should have been a TD drive for the Broncos; instead it turned out to be a TD drive for the Colts. That 14-point differential is astoundingly horrendous when you consider Indy won by 14.
This is what you expect from a rookie, not a guy mismanaging the game while your rookie and future franchise QB is being held back on the bench.
Now not only are the Broncos set that much further back as a result, but so to is the rookie who could have been making the most out of these games with much needed game time experience.
The thing is, it's not McDaniels that has this team looking predictable and pathetic, especially in the red zone and in clutch situations; it's "lock-on-Orton's" mindset in clutch situations that keeps us from seeing the dynamic dimensions of McDaniels' scheme.
How many times did we hear the game announcers say that the defense was defending the yards on third down, knowing Orton would check it down?
How many times did Orton actually throw it past the sticks for a completion on third down? One out of 15? Two out of 15?
Orton put on a clinic for sucking in the clutch. I think it may have to do with his chested, two fisted death grip that he has a rough time unlocking while he is locked in a petrified state in clutch situations.
The reason Orton is even out there is to be able to manage the game, but when it comes to clutch red zone and third down situations, Orton has been putting on a clinic for mismanaging the game in the Broncos two losses.
The two games the Broncos lost have been the result of Orton not possessing the mettle to withstand the heat in clutch situations. The third down conversion rate in those games is a testament of this tragic reality.
Here is eight drives showing how Orton killed the Broncos again:
3-5-DEN 25 (10:58) (Shotgun) K.Orton pass incomplete short right to E.Royal (J.Powers).
3-5-IND 35 (13:48) (Shotgun) K.Orton pass short left intended for E.Royal by J.Lacey at IND 30. J.Lacey to
DEN 26 for 44 yards (D.Thomas).
3-1-IND 1 (4:36) K.Orton pass incomplete short right to D.Thomas.
1-10-IND 16 (:28) (Shotgun) K.Orton pass short left to J.Gaffney ran ob at IND 7 for 9 yards.
2-1-IND 7 (:24) (Shotgun) K.Orton pass incomplete short left to J.Gaffney (J.Lacey).
3-1-IND 7 (:20) (Shotgun) K.Orton pass incomplete short left to J.[b][color=blue]Gaffney[/color][/b].
3-10-DEN 28 (9:47) (Shotgun) K.Orton pass incomplete short right to B.Lloyd (A.Bethea).
3-10-IND 17(3:13) (Shotgun) K.Orton pass short middle to E.Royal to IND 16 for 1 yard (G.Brackett).
2-7-IND 16 (9:28) K.Orton pass incomplete short left to D.Thomas.
3-7-IND 16 (9:23) (Shotgun) K.Orton pass short right to J.Gaffney to IND 12 for 4 yards (K.Hayden).
4-3-IND 12 (8:46) (Shotgun) K.Orton pass incomplete short right to B.Lloyd.
1-10-IND 17 (2:01) (Shotgun) K.Orton pass incomplete deep left to M.Willis.
2-10-IND 17 (1:58) (Shotgun) K.Orton pass incomplete deep right to E.Royal (J.Powers).
3-15-IND 22 (1:53) (Shotgun) K.Orton pass short left to C.Buckhalter to IND 20 for 2 yards (J.Lacey, D.Townsend).
Timeout #1 by DEN at 01:43.
4-13-IND 20 (1:43) (Shotgun) K.Orton pass incomplete deep right to D.Thomas (K.Hayden)