Memo to Kyle Orton: You Can Still Lose the Game without Throwing Interceptions

Joe WillettSenior Writer ISeptember 15, 2008

Kyle Orton is 1-1 as a Bear this season.  He took down the Indianapolis Colts and just barely lost to the Panthers thanks to the defense giving up a late game touchdown.

This is an excuse that I can easily see being used in wake of the Bears' loss Sunday afternoon. However, the blame needs to be placed completely on the quarterback, Kyle Orton—the man called on not to lose games.

Sometimes, the finger gets pointed at the quarterback unfairly because he is the center of attention. This time, however, it is completely deserved.

Kyle Orton is hailed as a quarterback that doesn't lose games.  He won't turn the ball over and give the other team great field position and, so far this season, he has been successful in that regard.

Sure, zero interceptions is a nice stat, and with their defense and special teams the Bears will win their fair share of games as long as he doesn't screw up.

However, with Kyle Orton at the helm they are wasting a prime opportunity.  Maybe his receiving corps rivals that of Philadelphia and Seattle in scarceness of talent, but Orton shouldn't be missing them as badly as he did on Sunday.

Eventually, somebody needs to step up.  Matt Forte has been great, averaging over 100 yards per game and more than four yards per carry. But Orton needs to get some yards when Forte doesn't touch the ball.

When you throw the ball 53 times you expect that once, just once, the ball will reach the end zone. That isn't happening for Orton. But he isn't throwing interceptions, so it's not his fault.

With Orton, you don't get to use the standout rookie, the superb special teams, or the outstanding defense to win championships. With Orton, you are destined to record an 8-8 season, a 16th pick, and no real progress.

News flash: If you don't score points for your team, you are contributing to losing the game just as much, if not more, than if you were to throw three touchdowns and two interceptions.

I would happily give you 16 interceptions if you threw 17 touchdowns, because you are still getting the ball in our end zone more than you are giving it to the other team.

However, just not scoring isn't enough to lose the game for the Bears.  Maybe Orton just isn't getting any good opportunities because the ball isn't getting close enough to the end zone. However, this is directly his fault as well.

As mentioned before, Matt Forte had a good four yards per carry Sunday, and ran for just under 125 yards the week before. When he touches the ball, he gets yards.

When Orton touches the ball, it is bound for an underneath route that is stopped after a minimal gain.

It doesn't help that when he does try to open up the passing game, he loses every bit of his accuracy.

If you don't throw for over 150 yards, you are doing absolutely nothing to help your team, and you actually begin hurting them. If you eat normally and sit on your a** all day, you still gain weight. You need to get out there and make the big gains.

Kyle Orton eats normally—taking the safe passes—but if you don't go for the big pass, you are going nowhere and are ready to punt it on a 4th-and-1.

So, Mr. Orton, I hope you see this and wake up to the fact that you need to start making big plays.

If you don't, you are still hurting your team despite not throwing interceptions, because the other team is going to get the ball back sooner or later.


Joe Willett also writes for, a basketball fan's site.