Once again this week, I came to Mile High Report after the game looking forward to good analysis and solid takes. However, what I find are ongoing arguments about how Kyle Orton sucks while everyone else on the team are given passes on their mistakes. If Kyle being a bad QB was a plainly evident fact, I would have no problem with it, however it was not what my eyes were telling me during the game. Never fully trusting my eyes, I went back to the tape to watch every one of Kyle’s plays against the Bangles and this is what I found. The following is a play by play breakdown of what I saw, and I was thoroughly impressed.
Drive First play from scrimmage, Kyle breaks out the play action and finds Eddie on the out for fourteen yards. These two have great timing and are already gearing up for a big game. Excellent throw and excellent route.
Third and Three, Kyle finds Eddie again sitting down in the zone just past the sticks. Smart play by both.
On first and ten Kyle rolls right on the bootleg only to find a DE in his face. He makes a great throw around the DE. Thomas discovers the ball hitting his hands right when he turned around.
Again on first and Ten, Orton hits Willis on a perfectly timed out route for fifteen yards.
Orton to Larson on the fullback bootleg ala Howard Griffith.
First and goal. Kyle’s only incompletion on the drive is a smart throw out of the back of the end zone. The drive ends in a touchdown and KO is perfect so far.
Three and out drive.
Second and seven, Orton throws the hook throw to the correct spot, but Decker thinks it’s a running play and is blocking. Oops. As we will see, Decker and Willis had good games and I love having them on our team, however they had a few youthful mistakes throughout that hurt the passing game.
Third and seven, the ball was tipped at the line. This time the incompletion falls to Oline. KO is still perfect.
Five and out drive.
Kyle is incomplete to Royal on second and eight, but only because Eddie was mugged. PI, first down.
Orton leads Eddie down the right sideline and while Royal attempts to turn on the jets, he pulls his groin. CRAP! Eddie and Kyle were about to put on a clinic in this game and we lose Eddie for the game. The incompletion falls to the injury bug.
McCoy calls a run play on third and seven. Not sure about this call, but our run game was going well so it can’t be considered a horrible call.
Kyle throws a great ball to a wide open Willis and he puts the ball on the ground. Willis is still getting used to how hard NFL DBacks hit.
Field Goal Drive.
The Fullback throw to Larson again. I love seeing Fullbacks and Tight Ends getting the ball. We missed that badly last year.
Second and Eight, Orton make the quick slant throw to Decker. Perfect ball placement. Orton is really helping these young receivers by putting the ball right on the money. He isn’t asking them to make the play by putting it up for grabs.
Again on second and eight, Kyle is looking for Decker. He is gaining the trust in the young receiver. However, he looks a little too hard and telegraphs the throw and it is knocked down by the corner. By my count this was the first poor throw of the day by Orton (one out of fourteen).
Third and Eight. The money down. Kyle calmly goes through his progressions and finds Fells sitting down at the sticks. Orton puts the ball on the numbers low where only Fells can get it. Again, great ball placement.
First and goal with time running out. This is where people need to remember that this is a team game and having these young receivers means that little mistakes on the receivers end can be perceived as bad QB play. That is wrong as this sequence displays.
On first down, Orton throws the fade route to the back left pylon just out of bounds. This is a perfect throw because it gives the receiver a chance to make the play with little chance for the pick. However, Decker stops on the route and does not make it to the spot. Not really sure why he stopped but the route is supposed to run straight through to the pylon.
On second down, again Orton places the ball just out of bounds above the front pylon for the same reasons stated above. When Willis went to make his break, he showed poor footwork and wasn’t able to make a good play on the ball. He had to try to jump for it with is feet out of position.
On third down, Beadles gets owned on the swim move and Orton is facing the Defensive tackle at 1.5 seconds. Had to eat it. So with first and goal, two incompletions and a sack, it looks like an Orton fail. However, look at the tape and you will see two young receivers and a young Olineman making youthful mistakes. Orton still has not made a poor decision or throw. Only one telegraphed pass attempt and no turnovers.
Orton hits McGahee out on the screen while baiting the DLineman. Good touch play.
Orton flashes his great play action (and with the run game going it sucks the safety down) and hits a strike to Decker in stride on the downfield shoulder. Again, perfect ball placement and a textbook beautiful play by Orton. To top it off, the announcers were talking about Tebow before the snap and never got back to the subject. Way to shut them up Kyle!
Three and out
On second and nine, Orton hits Willis on the quick slant for seven yards. Good quick throw and if Willis can stay on his feet after the throw it’s a first down.
The third down run falls short and we punt, but Orton is not just showing skill, he is showing mastery and his play is making these young receivers better.
Kyle hits Willis for 10 yards and a first down on the second progression on a play action throw. However, Clady gets called for holding and it’s a first and 20. Crap.
They try to get some yards back with the bubble screen to Decker but it is sniffed out by the defense.
On second and seventeen, Orton is winding up on the five step drop to get a big chunk of yards back. Actually I have a funny feeling he had a receiver wide open for the TD (but I could not see it on the broadcast). Clady starts the play off well and pushes the end around Kyle to create a nice pocket. However he tries to give one last shove and loses his footing allowing the DE to get a swipe at the ball. Yes it’s a turnover by Orton, but the mistake was clearly Clady’s.
The drive after a turnover, Cinci pulling within two in the fourth, this drive is clutch.
On first and ten after establishing the run game again in this drive, Kyle hits Larson again on the Fullback throw. Again, I love this play and I hope we keep using it. When defenses start to defend it we will have lanes open for the TE and Slot receiver.
With first and ten after great running, again the strong safety is playing run. Kyle sucks him in with a great play action and shows his deep ball accuracy throwing the ball deep and putting it right on Decker’s back shoulder. With the Free Safety taking out the Corner, Decker walks in. Again, Orton helping his receivers make great plays with great ball placement. This is a fourth quarter touchdown to make it a two score game. It was a clutch play in crunch time, period.
Three and out
McCoy and Fox want to run this game out. With a third and five, Orton’s pass is tipped at the line. Punt. So are tipped balls the fault of the QB? I don’t think so. On a quick throw the O Line needs to go low to bring the arms of DTackes down.
Three and out
Second and nine, Orton tries to hit Fells. This looked like good defense to me. Orton might have made the wrong read here but he put the ball where only Fells could catch it.
Third and nine. Orton Throws to the perfect spot on the out route. Again, Willis shows poor footwork coming out of his break and doesn’t get to the spot. A better route by the receiver and this is a 15 yard first down.
Three and out
Again McCoy and Fox want to run this game out. No passes were thrown. The Defense makes the stand and we have the victory formation.
Orton has played a nearly flawless game. His decision making, ball placement and command of the offense made our two healthy back up receivers look great. Based on the injuries and youth on the field Orton had the best game I have ever seen him play. I am thrilled to see the way he played and I think it was a performance the "other guy" could only dream about maybe one day possibly having.
But when I came to MHR, I see a lot of Orton bashing and diminishing this top notch performance. Whisky Tango Foxtrot! Our offense and our QB had a great game against a good team and Bronco fans need to Recognize. Will Orton back this game up with more games like it and show the consistency we need? I don’t know, but today we should all be thankful of having KO in Bronco colors!