Dan Orlovsky: Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Awful or Horribly Unlucky?

Michael ThomasCorrespondent IIIDecember 12, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 11:  Dan Orlovsky #6 of the Indianapolis Colts sits on the turf after throwing an incomplete pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Watching the NFL this season, I discovered an interesting piece of symmetry: As the Green Bay Packers move closer to a undefeated season, the Indianapolis Colts edge ever closer to a winless season.

As Aaron Rodgers seems poised to add an undefeated regular season to his increasingly impressive list of accomplishments with the Green Bay Packers, newly promoted Colts quarterback Dan Orlovsky appears comically likely to once again lead his team to another winless season.

Should the Colts proceed to lose their remaining three games to the Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars, they will join Orlovsky's 2008 Detroit Lions as only the second team in NFL history to finish the season with a perfect 0-16 record.

As the primary quarterback for the worst two teams in NFL history, the former University of Connecticut standout would be ridiculed well beyond his career, and broadcasters would probably begin using his name as a pejorative for general incompetence.

Had the now 28-year-old simply taken snaps for the 2008 Lions and now the 2011 Colts, he would probably have had the opportunity to quietly retire from the league and mercifully escape the sports media's brutality.

However, his infamous first quarter safety in a 12-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings  was eventually dubbed the defining moment of the Lions' winless season.  While a roster loaded with equally disappointing players (excluding Calvin Johnson) was just as responsible for the Lion's demise, Orlovsky is the only player fans now associate with currently the worst team in NFL history.

So, while already a prime contender for any "worst quarterback ever" discussion, the seventh year veteran will surely settle any such debates completely if he fails to win any of his remaining three games.

While my normal reaction to such an occurrence would be to laugh wildly, I can't help but think that he is a twice unlucky scapegoat.

Sure, Orlovsky has compiled an astonishing 0-18 record in 18 career NFL regular season appearances with the Lions, Colts, and Houston Texans.  However, he has not actually performed that badly when given the opportunity to play.

In fact, he has thrown for 2,290 yards, completed 57.5% of his passes, and thrown 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions over the course of his career.

Sure, these statistics are not sensational, but they're quite decent for a career third-stringer.  Heck, he's probably better than several starters in the league including the Washington Redskins' Rex Grossman and the Seattle Seahawks Tarvaris Jackson.

Regardless, I plan to continue rooting for Colts' losses for the same reason I keep cheering for Packers' wins.

Perfection, like beauty, is truly in the eye of the beholder.