For his sake and the Bears', I hope they're right.
Statistically, against top pass rushing teams - Orton isn't pretty, and that's being generous. When facing a team in the top 10 in terms of pass rushing, Orton's QB rating comes out to a unassuring 22.3.
He's also had his lowest completion percentages and has thrown more than half of his INTs against teams that know how to pressure him.
His stats don't look to get any prettier tonight when the Bears bring in the red hot Eagles. Granted the Bears defense may have an easier time since Westbrook is questionable and unlikely to play, and McNabb is "suppposedly" not at full strength, though I seriously doubt he'll look anything but spectacular tonight. But the offense needs to protect Orton at all costs and Orton has to, and I stress the hell of out HAS TO, hit the deep passes when they're given to him.
The Eagles have been able to stop the run time after time, and rookie running back Matt Forte has played incredible so far, but the hard hitting Eagles are going to look to take him out of the game quick and make Orton put the ball in the air, throwing into easily the most dangerous secondary in the league right now.
With a top rated secondary and one of the league's best pass rushing attacks right now, Orton will have to find ways to succeed beyond his comfort zone of 5 - 10 yards and attack the Eagles deep when he can and actually help his team to a victory.
With all that said about what Orton SHOULD do - let's get into what he's actually going to do.
Orton has the worst, yes the worst passer rating in the league when passing beyond 15 yards. Even Atlanta QB Matt "I've never set foot on an NFL field and am still getting paid an ass-load for it" Ryan can throw the deep ball better than Orton, and has TD passes of 62 and 77 yards.
Basically translated, Orton will restrict himself to the ultra-conservative rules of his own game, and will take safe and short passes while relying on a strong run game to get him down the field. Philadelphia will take this away quickly with an 8 man front and will diminish their deep secondary knowing Orton can't attack them deep and blitz him all night long.
Expect Orton to throw a few INTs tonight and get himself acquainted with the green grass of Soldier Field should the Eagles perform like last week when they put Ben Roethlisberger on his back 9 times and took him out of the game. The Bears' line isn't even close to HALF of what the Steelers' line is, and Orton isn't even close to HALF of the QB Roethlisberger is, so expect the results for the Bears to be even worse should the Eagles make a repeat of their last outing.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Orton out of the game by halftime, whether it be due to injury or poor play.
We'll see how the game goes, I just decided to post my thoughts before the game this time instead of afterward and hear people complain about it.
I'm putting this out here now, before anyone even sets foot on the field. I hope I'm wrong, and feel free to make me eat my words if I am.
But Orton needs to step up... again - and the defense can't be expected to hold McNabb down all night who's one of the league's top passers right now. The defense giftwrapped more than 3/4 of the game last week and handed it to the offense who responded with a few field goals and a million 3 and outs - tonight needs to be different.
I hope it is, but I know it won't be.