No, the loss wasn't entirely Kyle Orton's fault, but that seems to be our excuse every time the Broncos take the field the last three seasons.
Orton has gone from the quarterback in Chicago where all he did was win games, to being a dark-horse MVP candidate for the Broncos early in 2009, to being a game manager, to being the guy who gave us the "best chance to win". He shortly changed that one--at least in my eyes--to being the signal caller who gave us the best chance not to lose, and now I no longer believe he is any of those things.
All offseason I've been hearing about how Orton is so much better than Tebow and Quinn, how he knows this offense as well as the coaches, and how he has the full backing of the Broncos' locker room, and if he were to be demoted there could be a huge controversy within the walls at Dove Valley.
On one level, I don't blame Orton for playing the way he has. A good majority of Broncos fans have already moved on from the guy, and there's only so much negative energy you can ignore. Orton has to know that Broncos fans want Tebow on the field, and there's now no question in my mind that that is affecting his play on the field.
On another level, I feel like after being rewarded with a $9 million contract extension last year that Orton would be playing the best he ever has. In fact, I remember him saying something along those lines a few weeks ago, that he was playing the best or feeling the best that he has in his career.
And this is the product?
By no means is Orton alone in getting the blame for the Broncos losing, but the offense is not attacking other teams downfield like they did last year where Orton was connecting with receivers downfield all season long.
It is my opinion that right now the Broncos are wasting time by not playing Tim Tebow.
And I'm not saying make a change for the sake of change. The Broncos have simply played awful football since their 6-0 start in 2009, and even when the defense shows signs of life and gives our offense countless chances to succeed, we still cannot move the ball.
Orton has shown exactly what he is and what he is capable of being to the Denver Broncos and their fans--where has that gotten us?
Denver drafted Tim Tebow in the first round, and while it wasn't Elway or Fox's first choice at quarterback, they've got one of the most talented athletes on the team sitting on the bench, and they don't even know what they have in him to this point.
What is the point in waiting until the season is lost to play Tebow? Why not try to save the season by putting Tebow into the starting lineup? What is the point of waiting?
Perhaps an even better question is, why would you waste time whining about it either way?
It's not like the fans are going to sway EFX one way or another if they haven't already done so to this point. They had many of us convinced at the beginning of the season that Orton gave us the best chance to win, and personally I gave him the benefit of the doubt after the Raiders game on Monday night.
I also believe that you can't define who Orton is based on the first three games this season. Take a look at his resume' since he's been with the Denver Broncos. It is simply not going to cut it for me anymore, but that doesn't matter. The Broncos have put themselves in a position for better or for worse to stick with Orton until the season is lost, and perhaps even further than that.
It's going to take someone with stones in Dove Valley to make the switch at quarterback, and I'm not so sure how soon that will be. The longer the Broncos wait, the less of a sample they have to evaluate Tim Tebow after the season. That could start a terrible domino effect of a potential terrible season, losing Kyle Orton, potentially trading Tim Tebow and selecting a quarterback in next year's draft and watching him fail while Tebow succeeds.
Obviously that's a really pessimistic way to look at it, and that's what a lot of people want to happen, but the Broncos know right now that Orton is not going to be back next season unless something crazy happens, but they know Tebow is under contract to be here.
In my opinion, you have to go through the rest of this season and see what you have in the guy. You have to let him develop on the field and throw him to the wolves, because then that would at least give the fans some type of satisfaction if you decide to deal him at the end of the season in favor of another young quarterback.
There are so many fans who don't believe Tebow is ready to play, and maybe that's the case, but how do any of us really know? They thought he wasn't ready to play at the end of last year either, and he came in and showed that he can not only play, but he can lead the team to victory and carry them on his back.
Look at what happened when Carolina took a chance on Cam Newton in the first three weeks of the season. I realize they lost their first two games, but Newton put up crazy numbers and proved to all his haters and doubters that he could not only play in this league, but he has a bright future ahead.
I believe the Broncos received a similar glimpse of greatness last season when Tebow started the final three games, and I think it's time to let the guy go out there and try to win us some games.