Kyle Orton Should Have Stayed On the Bench This Week

Jimmy MacAnalyst INovember 16, 2008

For all the complaining and moaning Chicago fans had for Rex Grossman, who put up decent numbers against the No. 1 defense in the league last week, I had better hear an earful of complaints for Kyle Orton this week, who put up absolutely nothing against the Green Bay Packers this past Sunday.

It was obvious in the first two passing plays of the game that the Bears and Kyle Orton had fed us a mouthful of lies in the days leading up the important contest against the Packers.

We were told Orton was making incredible progress and would be ready to go. After two near interceptions, one that Desmond Clark ripped from the hands of a Green Bay corner, and the other that popped out of Al Harris' chest into Greg Olsen's hands, the Bears should have said, "Okay maybe not," and pulled Orton out of the contest.

Though I believe it's more of Kyle Orton's selfishness and stubbornness that kept him in the game as opposed to the fact that maybe the Bears are just that stupid, Orton will and should shoulder most of the blame. He's been dubbed a captain on this team, one that is supposed to make the right decision for the offense at all times.

Orton's play was so poor that even the commentators were urging the Bears to put Grossman in halfway through the game. And yet he pressed on, and played hurt, and greatly handicapped an offense that, deep down, we all know would have gotten more done with Grossman behind the helm today.

Orton was playing hurt, and it was obvious. He was limping here and there, not stepping into his throws and put out a performance that I dare say even Rex Grossman wouldn't have displayed.

For the first time this year, Grossman actually had a higher passer rating than Orton—and he did it with not even two full series' of plays—that's how long it took Kyle Orton and the Bears to realize how they had doomed the offense, not until there were five minutes left in the fourth quarter.

That "C" patch on his jersey means Orton should have pulled the neckbeard away from his eyes and seen that his inaccurate and weak throws were making the Bears one-dimensional and greatly limiting what they could do when they had the ball.

When he limped to the huddle and looked his teammates in the face, he should have realized that they as a group were more important than Orton proving to himself he could play through the pain at any cost or whatever he was trying to prove out there today.

The move back to Orton made no sense at that point. When he has to wear a "special shoe" to play, that was more than a shoe and some tape, which is what Orton called it a postgame conference, then he shouldn't be playing at all.

But what was even worse was that at halftime, when the Bears are down by 21—the offense having done nothing and Orton still limping and wincing with pain—the third quarter opened up and sure enough, there was Kyle Orton, walking back onto the field.

I work for a professional sports network and we all screamed in frustration when we saw Orton limping back out to the huddle and Grossman sitting on the bench. Grossman who was 3-0 at Lambeau field; Grossman who had put up one of the better performances of any QB against the Tennessee Titans the week before; Grossman, who, more importantly,was HEALTHY.

Why would you send Orton back out on the field? He had done NOTHING. And I mean NOTHING.

If for no other reason than to preserve his health, Grossman should have been out there after halftime. Why risk hurting Orton more? The offense had been inept and horrible, so there was no momentum to preserve and no risk of doing worse—what good did it do to keep Orton on the field?

So now, we know that Orton is still hurt and not doing better—he's hurt bad enough to the point where it affects his play—so the coaches and Orton decide, "Let's keep him out there a little more so the pass rush can beat up on that ankle some more."

That was easily, in terms of depth management, one of the worst managed situations I've ever seen in a professional football game.

Orton's passes were floating, had no zip, and you can't have a QB throwing those types of passes against NFL caliber cornerbacks and DBs. They will adjust and pick you off all day.

And let's not forget the cardinal sin Orton committed at the end of the day—you know, the sin that ONLY Rex Grossman and NO OTHER QB in the history of the game every commits...He fumbled a clean, shotgun snap that was recovered by Green Bay and returned for a TD that put the icing on the cake for the Packers.

So there you have it Bears fans. Are you happy to see Orton again? Happy he proved you "right?" That an inept Orton is better than a healthy Rex Grossman?

Did you feel good watching your team struggle this Sunday? Watching receivers get overthrown and balls float through the air? Watching Orton throw an INT on one snap, getting lucky and having it called back, and then fumbling the very next snap to give the ball up again anyway? Did you feel vindicated in your assumption that Orton can do no wrong, no matter what?

Your savior put himself before the team today. Whether it was for fear of losing his job should Grossman get on a roll in an important divisional game or simply wanting to prove to himself he could play through the pain, Orton screwed this offense today because he was too selfish to take himself out of the game and let Grossman, who may have had an impact with some decent time, come in.

And if nothing else, Grossman would have kept Orton from taking unnecessary blows from a pass rush that was seemingly unstoppable.

But once again, now that it's Orton out there, here's what fans will say: "It's the defense! They're horrible! That's why we lost!"

But wait a second... they were bad last week, and it was Rex Grossman's fault wasn't it...? Why is it different now?

If Rex Grossman can put 173 yds, one TD, and one rush TD and be called the problem when he's facing the No. 1 defense in the league, I'd like to hear the explanation as to why Orton, who completed less than half his passes and put up no TDs, with a fumble today, isn't to blame for this game.

I'm waiting for you to tell me...

Wake up Bears fans. Wake up.


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