As my usual Sunday morning routine of watching NFL Countdown on Fox started as usual this Sunday, the normally absurd Terry Bradshaw was even more ridiculous on this particular Sunday.
He highlighted the top ten quarterbacks in the NFL under the age of 30. Surely, I thought, Orton would snag one of the bottom 3 slots. As the list progressed, I realized Bradshaw probably wouldn't have put Orton on a list of his top 32 quarterbacks in the league under the age of 30.
It wasn't so much that Orton was overlooked, it was who he was overlooked for. He had Texans Quarterback Matt Schaub at number 10, fine by me. Schaub is in the process of pulling the recently poor Texans out of the cellar and improving on a yearly basis.
At number 9 he had Eli Manning. Super Bowl, Super Bowl MVP. No brainer.
Number 8 he listed Josh Freeman. WHAT?! Sure, the Bucs are out surprising people this year...but they aren't beating anyone significant. With a record of 0-3 against teams better than .500, what is so impressive? What the heck else has he done?
Listed at number 7 was Mark Sanchez. Again I say...HUH?! Sanchez has thrown for 2,472 yards and has a passer rating of 81.9, which doesn't exactly shout elite. For years, Orton has carried the label that really belongs to Sanchez, "Game Manager." He hands the ball to his great run offense, has a great defense, and simply tries to minimize the mistakes. Switch him with Orton and he'd be on the biggest draft busts lists.
Bradshaw Put Flacco at number 6, which I have no problem with. He's leading an elite team with a passer rating of 92.1. Not amazing, but he's solid.
Next at number 5 is Sam Bradford. And why not have Bradford here? He has a career .500 record with a QB rating of 79.0. Don't get me wrong, he has the potential to be phenomenal, but don't jump the gun.
Bradshaw was talking about taking a team and winning right now....he isn't going to lead you the the Superbowl right now. Also, why is he rated higher than Flacco and Manning? I'd take him over Sanchez, but Manning has a Super Bowl title under his belt.
At number 4 is Matt Ryan. No argument here. He has lost one game in three years at home?! Sick.
The final top 3 are all where they need to be, with Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, and Philip Rivers. I wouldn't mind switching Big Ben and Rivers, as Rivers hasn't really done anything in the playoffs, whereas Big Ben has two rings.
So where is Orton? Perhaps even more importantly...where is Matthew Stafford?
I'm not saying Orton should be in the top 5...but I can honestly say I'd take Orton over Sanchez/Freeman any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.