NFL: Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton Will Face Off in Epic Week 17 Clash

Eli NachmanyCorrespondent IIINovember 23, 2011

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 18:  Quarterbacks  Tim Tebow #15 and  Kyle Orton #8 of the Denver Broncos warm up prior to facing the Cincinnati Bengals at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Wednesday, the Kansas City Chiefs took a huge step away from a lost 2011 when the team claimed quarterback Kyle Orton off waivers from division rival Denver Broncos.

The Broncos have found success with another quarterback, Tim Tebow, at the helm and such made Orton expendable.

Tebow's unlikely successes have been well-documented this season, with many fans and analysts feeling that Tebow's unorthodox style of play wouldn't afford him NFL success.

So far, they've been wrong.

On the other hand, Orton has been serviceable whenever given a chance, but he hasn't been able to take the steps to become a great starting quarterback.

Orton puts up yardage, scores on occasion and manages the game well—he's a solid, dead-average quarterback.

The Chiefs needed an average player to step in and be 'the guy' for the rest of the year with starter Matt Cassel injured and backup Tyler Palko ineffective.

Claiming Orton off waivers, Chiefs coach Todd Haley found a perfect stop-gap for his team's situation.

Standing 4-6, Kansas City would be out of the playoff race in most divisions. In the tight AFC West, however, the Chiefs have a chance to make some noise down the stretch and challenge for a spot.

In all fairness, the Chiefs have a very tough schedule coming up. The team is set to face the Steelers, Bears, Jets, Packers and Raiders before the Broncos.


Even if they split those games, they'll finish the season 7-9.

I'm not saying the Chiefs will win the division or even a wild card spot, but no matter their record going into Week 17, the New Year's Day game between Orton and Tebow promises to be a great one.

Tebow is the reason that Orton's NFL career has begun to unravel, and Week 17 is the perfect opportunity for Orton to prove that a well-run, traditional NFL offense beats a well-run, collegiate option offense every time in this league.

Week 17 will define the rest of Orton's career. It will be his last performance before he enters free agency, and it might be his only chance to exact revenge on Tebow for what the Florida graduate did to Orton.

I'm not going to guarantee that either team will be in playoff position by then. The Broncos might be, if they keep up the way they've played over the last five games, but it's no foregone conclusion.

This Week 17 game could have no playoff implications and still be one of the season's best.

Circle Jan. 1 in your calendar's—it's going to be a good one.