At the beginning of the year, most Chicago Bears fans didn’t even know who the QB would be on day one.
It came down to a battle between Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton, and after only two preseason games, it was clear that they chose Orton.
Many fans wondered. With an aging defense and really no wide receivers that could find the Pro-Bowl if they were dropped into Hawaii with a map, so its fair to say expectations weren’t high—Cedric Benson was, but the expectations around Orton were not.
What they did know about Orton was that he won 10 games as a starter in 2005 with the lowest QB rating(59.7) in the NFL. To be honest, the Bears' defense won more of those games than Orton did and most fans knew it. They did know he was smart, had a Grizzly Adams Beard and can be seen drinking his face off via any Google image search.
But as the Bears sit at 4-3, atop the NFC North, its surprising.
The defense, while it hasn’t been great, has been good but they haven’t been winning the games—Kyle Orton has.
You wouldn’t know it since he has gotten literally no credit from the mainstream media, but Orton has been good, and at times great, this year for the Bears. Orton’s passer rating is good enough for eighth in the NFC at 91.4, ahead of the likes of Eli Manning and Jake Delhomme.
A knock on Orton has always been he is a serviceable QB but didn’t do anything great, well he is fourth in the NFC in passing yards and led the Bears on a game winning drive to beat Minnesota Vikings.
Orton isn’t just managing the game—he is making plays that win the game. It’s a big step forward and he deserves more credit than he is getting.
But I wouldn’t be a Bears fan if I didn’t note some caution here at the end.
If you have ever dated a beautiful woman that was absolutely crazy, you may understand. That woman is Rex Grossman, he was amazing at times and god-awful at others, it was the most bi-polar and crazy relationship Bears fans have ever had with any quarterback, so of course the next girl to come along wasn’t quite as pretty but she was reliable and safe—that's Kyle Orton.
Now it's easy to become overly enamored because any form of stability would seem great after Rex, but I caution to do what some have and say Orton is a QB for the future here in Chicago, he needs a few more moments, he needs to make a few more plays, but Kyle Orton is slowly and steadily becoming a very good QB. I’ve heard him compared to another Purdue QB, Drew Brees, I wouldn’t go so far, but nothing is impossible.