The media never ceases to find ways to make me smile. I read a few articles this week about Orton's performance on Sunday, which was lackluster once again, and saw new side to the media.
The same media who ridiculed Rex for every stupid throw, every stumble, and every mistake in his short time as a starter was protecting Orton and blaming the system around him. Did I miss something here?
This was a headline written last season after week 2 of the 2007 season by the Chicago Tribune when the Bears, with Rex at the helm, faced the Kansas City Cheifs:
"Sub-Par Grossman & Bears crawl past Cheifs"
The article went on to scrutinize Grossman for the 2 INT's he threw, focusing only on the bad and ignoring his TD pass and big plays, one in particular where he spun out of a for sure sack, rolled out and threw a rocket down the sideline for a first down.
Here are Grossman's stats from that game in 2007:
20 of 34 for 160 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs
Now Orton has been praised as "playing solid", "playing with grit and determination", and has been protected with quotes like this from the Bears website, "If his receivers would catch the ball when it's thrown to them, Orton would have had even a better day".
Tell me if you ever saw any of this stuff written in defense of Rex Grossman. No? That's what I thought.
Here's the best part through, here are Orton's stats from last Sunday vs. the Bucs:
22 of 34 for 268 yards, 2 TD and 2 INTs
Am I missing something? Something that's supposed to pop out at me? Granted, Orton threw for 100 yards more than Rex along with one more TD than he had in that start - but Orton also averaged starting at the opponent 41 yard line, had Forte who had 150+ all purpose and is averaging 100 yards per game as opposed to Grossman who had Benson in the backfield and we all know well that ended. Orton also has the benefit of a revamped wide receiving corps. as opposed to Grossman in 2007 whose receiving corps. finished with a leage leading 43 drops on the season.
So what's my point? My point is that I'm tired of the excuses for Orton, especially when they never came for Rex.
This piece in particular written by Larry Mayer for "Chalk Talk" on the Bears website read: "The Bears didn’t lose Sunday’s game because of Orton. They lost because their defense allowed scoring drives of 63, 79 and 90 yards late in the fourth quarter and overtime."
Really? So when Lance Briggs intercepted a Brian Griese pass 2 minutes into the game to set up the Bears offense in Bucs territory and Orton went 0 for 2 with a sack and the offense had to settle for a field goal, that wasn't the offense letting us down?
When the Bears' D made a huge stop against Tampa and gave Orton and the offense great field position and their drive stalled at the Tampa 25, putting up another field goal when they should have been putting up their second TD wasn't letting the defense down?
When Danieal Manning returned a kickoff to the 48 yard line and Orton went 0 for 2 again with batted pass and a sack on a three and out drive, that wasn't the offense letting the special teams down and not giving the defense a break?
When Charles Tillman forced his 4th fumble of the season and Urlacher recovered it, and then shortly after Orton threw a horrible deep pass that was intercepted giving the ball right back to the Bucs... that wasn't the offense that let the defense down?
When the defense held AGAIN and the offense left the field on another consecutive three and out drive with a flurry of hisses and boo's from the crowd... that wasn't the offense screwing the defense again?
On the next drive, when Orton threw one of the most moronic, idiotic, and dumbfounded interceptions I have ever seen in my life in which he dropped back, spun in a circle, and then literally threw it right into the chest of Tampa's Gaines... that wasn't Orton and the offense letting everyone down again?
Need I go on? Because I can. On the next drive, the Bears went 3 and out again. Garret Wolfe gave them another chance on a brilliant fake punt run play, and what do Orton and the offense do with the ball in Bucs territory and a load of momentum? They do nothing and kick a 28 yard field goal. In the second half, they opened up with 2 more 3 and out drives, and failed to do anything after Nathan Vasher intercepted another Brian Griese pass and put the Bears offense in business.
Tell me... how many times do special teams and defense have to create plays before we expect an offense that's supposed to have found their leader at QB do anything with it? Because according to baffoon's like Larry and some other analysts - Orton played well. The previous is playing well??!!
Orton and the offense came to life for about 10 minutes in the third quarter, and Orton should be worshipping Brandon Lloyd for that short stint. Orton threw a number off passes short or long and Lloyd flipped, twisted, dived and rolled for nearly all of them. Orton might have had two or three more TD passes on the day if he had the ability to throw a strong deep ball, which he doesn't. He had Booker wide open once again and underthrew him, he underthrew another ball to Lloyd who did an MJ leap into the air to catch when he should've have been able to catch it in stride for a TD becuase he had about 2 steps on the corner.
A 10 minute stint of good play in the third is certainly not enough to dub the offense as "solid" last Sunday. Especially when after the Bears lost the lead for the second time, Orton and the offense had another two 3 and out drives and were only on the field for 10 plays, and left the defense to do the work again. So what happened? After Orton and the offense let the Bucs back out on the field after blowing their millionth opportunity of the game, the Bucs and Griese finally got hot and went down and tied the game
And then in overtime, the Bucs were stopped dead in their tracks on the opening posession and gave the Bears the ball back at the 41 yard line. Robbie Gould can hit a field goal from 42 yards out. They had to go a total of 20 yards to put him in that range, and what did they do? Orton missed Forte wide open down the field on a horrible pass in yet another 3 and out drive. The Bucs on the next posession went down the field to win the game.
Can anybody tell me how many overtime games Rex Grossman has lost? I can. ZERO. Grossman has won every overtime game he's ever played in and has 6 4th quarter comeback drives under his belt. Orton has 1 - from back in 2005, and has twice now proven he can't help lead the team to victory late in the game.
Tell me my friends - how many chances is Orton supposed to get to make plays? I don't care if he goes 12 of 13 for a few minutes in the third quarter, I care about the fact that the rest of the game he was screwing us with 3 and outs and pick-sixes!
The defense has been lights out and just last Sunday gave up their only first half TD of the season. Forte had 150 all puprose yards, and Orton's receivers are getting open. His line is giving him time and Lloyd in particular is making his poor throws look great by bailing him out with amazing catches!
And above all, Orton is turning the ball over on top of it which is exactly what we put him in there NOT to do!! If we're ok with 2 INT's, than I would have rather had Rex Grossman in there who in his last game against the Bucs threw for 330 yards and 3 TDs, and have the chance for some big plays.
Orton is doing none of the things we expected like making smart plays, improved accuracy on passes and above all... WINNING - and is doing all the things we thought he was past - underthrown deep balls, short conservative passing, and not being able to win a game for you.
I don't want to hear the excuses for Orton! It's ridiculous to expect a defense to dominate a game every second of every quarter! The defense made some excellent plays along with the special teams and the bottom line is Orton couldn't capitalize!
Orton felt the harsh boos of the fans at Soldier Field on Sunday, and deservedly so. I'm ready for Rex to get back out there at any time. I'm tired of Orton and the parade of excuses that follow him every Sunday. Everyone knows deep down that with the pass protection, run game, and plays by receivers that Orton's had - Rex would be doing so much more with it.