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« To The Hole Nobody Said It Would Be Easy »

Bears Fri Oct 31 2008

Three And Doubt: Orton Proving Them Wrong

At the risk of having to admit I was wrong, with regards to Bears quarterback Kyle Orton, well, I was wrong.

There. I've said it. Never though I would, but there you have it.

It takes a big man to admit that he is wrong, and at 6-3, 226, I figured it was about time. See, there's this thing I wrote here a while back, that was typed out with such conviction that I figured there was no way it wouldn't come to pass (no pun intended). I mean Kyle Orton? Starting NFL quarterback? Fifth in the NFC in passer rating (91.4), better than Eli Manning, Jake Delhomme and Marc Bulger? Averaging 238 yards per game? Fifth in the conference in touchdowns with 10 and only four interceptions? That's Kyle Orton? Seriously?

Yeah, seriously, which makes my "prediction" not worth the paper it's not printed on. (Note to Gapers Block editors/webmasters: Consider deleting all postings a week after they've gone up to save, you know, space or something).

However, I think I can safely say that I was not alone in underestimating The Talented Mr. Orton. And if you say that you knew all along that Orton would lead the Bears to a 4-3 record (well, really 5-3, but we shant speak of Atlanta) then you're either lying or heir to the Kreskin estate.

How could you not underestimate him after being told over and over by the Bears braintrust that he was primarily a "game manager" (which I thought meant that diminutive kid from the A/V club who wrapped ankles and guarded the replacement chin straps). Sure, he lead the Bears to a 10-5 record in his rookie season, but it became a case of "what have you done for me lately." And they held a coin flip, for God's sake, to determine who would start in the preseason, Orton or Rex Grossman, so any insistence by Lovie Smith and others that they knew it all along, well, I take with a grain of salt.

But whatever anyone thought, Orton has plugged a big hole, bringing the closest thing to stability in the QB spot since (altogether now) Sid Luckman, doing it behind an offensive line that sometimes looks as if it's on a coffee break. I mean, throwing up 48 points against Minnesota, 34 at Detroit, 29 vs. the Indianapolis Colts? Behold, the power of the Neckbeard.

Now, of course, he is becoming a "victim" of his own success and anything less than three touchdowns against the uber-lousy Detroit Lions this Sunday will look like a less-than-productive day for Orton. Imagine.

That's the good thing about being wrong. Sometimes everything comes out right.

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