It seems that the fans chirping at this once respected franchise have been uttering the same garbage that we have all been hearing, and I couldn't quite figure out why. Everything posted by rival fans have been reiterating what ESPN had been saying about this Denver squad last year...and then it hit me.
ESPN as well as other non-local media have simply not been talking about the Broncos save for the meaningless Tim Tebow banter. He should be starting...it's still too early for him to start...Tim Tebow this, Tim Tebow that...Kyle who?
Then it happened. McDaniels gets fined for videotaping the 49ers walk-through, and the fans want him gone. We get lit up on Monday Night Football, the fans want him gone. We get beat by the Rams and Raiders at home..you get the picture. My goal is not to say McD is not at fault for any of this, but I am going to sit here and not only defend him, but this franchise as well. Here goes...essentially nothing.
1. McCheater should be fired for the "Spygate II."
Well, no he shouldn't. This isn't a relapse of the Patriot's incident for several reasons. Number one, the Broncos coach didn't even look at the tape. Secondly, the league agrees that it wasn't as severe, as evident in the $50,000 fine he received (BB was fined $500,000) and Denver wasn't stripped of a draft pick. McDaniels had nothing to do with this, so get over it.
2. Orton is: a horrible QB/can't score/sole reason Denver is terrible/a dink and dunk passer.
Orton is leading the league in passing this year, and we are entering Week 13. THIRTEEN, not three. Not only that, Philip Rivers was on a blistering pace to break Dan Marino's single-season passing record, and Orton still stuck with him. Not only THAT, he's doing it without Brandon Marshall, the only reason Orton did as well as he did last year, say the naysayers.
Orton is also currently tied for seventh in the league with Aaron Rodgers for TD passes with 20, and I have yet to hear anyone say he is having trouble getting the ball in the endzone. Not only that, he has three fewer picks than Rodgers. Just for a frame of reference, the league leaders in TD passes are Brady, Brees, Rivers, and Eli Manning with a whopping 23. Also, how many potential TD's has Tebow taken from Orton? If you assume Orton would have scored HALF the time Tebow did, that puts him at 22.
So it turns out Orton is scoring...but people aren't aware of this because nobody on TV is telling them what to think. As for the dink-and-dunk passing, Orton is currently second in completed passes of 20+ yards at 50 (Rivers has one more), and second in completed passes of 40+ yards with 11 (again one behind Rivers with 12).
Anyone that blames Orton for being the sole reason Denver is terrible is simply turning a blind eye to this team. I can't remember the last time the league leading passer was the biggest problem a team had. I can understand it if he is putting up Jay Cutler/Brett Favre type of interception numbers, but that simply isn't happening. I don't blame Orton one bit for constantly losing games where we surrender 33-59 points on a regular basis.
I remember back with Cutler people liked to cite that he was something similar to 14-1 when the defense allows 21 points or fewer...so wheres Orton's stat concerning his defense and points allowed per game? Is there any question that with this offense and the Bears defense that he would have the exact same number as Cutler? Of course not.
3. "Ok he's second in the league in deep passes, those are all five- to 10-yard plays that his WR took for 40 yards."
Well, not really. Brandon Lloyd is the league leader in receiving with 1,122 yards, with 176 yards after catch. To put that into perspective, for every 100 yards Lloyd obtains, 15 of them come AFTER the catch has already been made. In other words, the other 85 yards are gunned from the arm of Kyle Orton. Even more impressive is Lloyd's average yards per catch, with 19.3 (Roddy White, the second leading receiver is averaging only 12.7). Why is that important? Because his yardage isn't coming from 100 10-yard passes, rather 58 20-yard passes.
Jabar Gaffney is quietly second in receiving yards on the team with 665, and 123 YAC. Not quite the 15 out of 100 YAC Lloyd is getting, but not much worse at 18 per 100. For the record his longest pass this year is 40 yards, and Eddie Royal's longest pass checks in at 41.
4. Tim Tebow should be starting once we are out of playoff contention.
No, for several reasons. The most important one is that it will destroy Orton's trade value...and I'm not talking about stats. If we lost to KC next week and drop to 3-9, and Tebow comes in and does to Denver what Vince Young did to Tennessee last year and wins out, they will pin that on Orton.
Yes he has great stats, but he wasn't winning...maybe he just isn't a true leader...or just can't lead a team to victory, etc. If teams peg Orton as a stats guy and not a guy that can win then we won't get nearly what we should for him (which better end up being a defensive player averaging eight sacks a year or better).
For those of you saying Orton won't go for more than a fifth and sixth rounder as well as a mediocre defensive guy, I promise you the league leader in passing will. Minnesota will pay for him, and even Tennessee looks like they might throw their hat into that ring.
The last reason I don't want Tebow on the field yet is because he's McDaniel's last hope. If he fails than McD is probably gone, and we will spiral into further obscurity. Give him the time that Cable has been given with the Raiders and watch him springboard back to the top, assuming he actually drafts some defense.