24 of 34 for 344 yards and two TD's—or once, I have no complaints about Kyle Orton.
Kyle, for a moment, came out of his shell and looked like the QB I never thought I'd see out of him. He threw the deep ball well, he made good decisions and didn't make the mistakes that he'd made in his previous two games.
This week, Kyle Orton shut me up.
His 344 passing yards are the most since Grossman's game in 2006 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the score of last Sunday's game was welcomingly familiar, 34 - 7: the exact same score that the Bears had put up against the Lions in week 2 of the magical 2006 season under Grossman.
Sunday was a waiting game for me, a game that I'm glad I never ended up winning. I kept waiting for Orton's solid play to turn sour, I kept waiting for that one INT that sparked his bad play to come - but it never did. Orton kept his head up, and his play along with it.
I don't need to sit here and recap the game, because it would be repeitive to do so. It would go something like this:
First quarter—Orton and the offense: awesome. Defense: awesome...
Repeat that for four quarters and that's about how the entire game went.
And though, for this week, I have no complaints about a truly solid game from Orton, a word of caution:
Orton didn't do anything that amazing when you really sit back and look at the circumstances he had to play under. He was playing the league's worst pass defense that averages 230 yards per game though the air alone—that's more than most defenses give up period.
He was playing against the league's worst pass rushing attack, as well, and was sacked only once all night in 34 attempts. To put it lightly, he had all day to throw the ball.
I don't want to take away from the day Orton had, because it was a great one. But if he can do this week in and out, which I highly doubt, I'll change my tune very quickly. I have a bias against Orton because he came into the franchise and stunted what could have been a good rookie year for him in 2005 because he was a boozer, brining in a DUI and basically blowing the job off.
So when he did come in in 2005, he wasn't prepared and played poorly because of that. I have a hard time rallying behind a guy who only plays hard when he feels like its worth it.
But Orton appears, for the most part, to have changed. I still feel he shouldn't be a captain under the previous circumstances I listed, and the fact that he hasn't taken the Bears anywhere yet. You don't just name a captain, hoping he'll be good—you name one that has proven himself worthy of such a title—Orton has done nothing of the sort in my eyes yet—but Sunday, he took a major step forward and made even myself think twice about my views of him.
Orton will face defenses the rest of the way that would laugh at Detroit, starting Sunday against an Atlanta Falcons' defense that managed to shut Tony Romo, yes Tony Romo, down for most of the game and nearly took Dallas out. Romo has his way of coming back though and always seems to spoil a defenses efforts in a few minutes time. Kyle Orton on the other hand is not Tony Romo, not yet anyway, and will have much more to deal with then the league's worst pass defense.
If Orton can keep it rolling, I might change my tune. And that's a big if...