Orton+Tebow = NFL Soap Opera … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

If you have spent any time around the television this week it was impossible to miss what the self-proclaimed sports leader ESPN decided was the top story in the NFL this week.

Kyle Orton vs. Tim Tebow this Sunday at Sports Authority Field in Denver – the banished quarterback returns to face the chosen one who chased him out of town with a spot in the playoffs on the line for the home team.

Oh, by the way the Chiefs and Broncos are showing up as well.

The aura of Tebow has so intoxicated the national sporting moguls that CBS is sending its No. 1 broadcast crew – Jim Nantz and Phil Simms – to Denver to broadcast the Chiefs-Broncos. There are other games with as much importance on Sunday, particularly Baltimore visiting Cincinnati – one team in the playoffs, while the other still working to get the last spot in the tournament field.

But while that game might have Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and rookie QB Andy Dalton, it does not have Tebow, and Tebow is all that matters. The rest of the Broncos and the Chiefs are mere faces in the crowd. The only exception might be Orton; Denver’s starting quarterback before losing his job and being replaced by Tebow.

It’s understandable why the return of Orton would be a big story in Denver. But the rest of the country couldn’t have cared less, until ESPN told them it was the biggest story around. The whole premise has gotten under the skin of folks like Denver head coach John Fox.

“It’s frankly not that,” Fox said when questioned about Tebow vs. Orton. “It’s the Kansas City Chiefs against the Denver Broncos, Sports Authority Stadium, 2 p.m. on Sunday.”

Orton has spent most of the week dodging the whole topic of playing against Tebow and the Broncos. He spoke briefly to the media on Monday, but he’s dodged the Kansas City media horde since then, staying out of the locker room on Wednesday and Thursday during open media segments.

On Monday he said of the game: “I value every chance I get to get on the field. You only get 16 chances a year to show what you’ve got.”

In Denver, Tebow has tried hard to make the game sound like just another AFC West affair

“I’m happy for him that he has another opportunity,” Tebow said of Orton. “And I’m glad that he’s playing and doing well. I wish him nothing but the best — but maybe not too good on Sunday.”

Romeo Crennel was worried enough about the emotions in this game for Orton that he spoke with the quarterback earlier in the week and then with the whole team about what landscape needed to look like for the Chiefs to win the game.

“Every player that I know wants to play good against their old team,” Crennel said. “And so he would like to play good and I’m sure he would like to win the game. And that’s what I told him this morning, I said your job is to help your team win. It’s not Kyle versus the Broncos; it’s the Chiefs versus the Broncos so I think guys have to be reminded of that sometimes.”

Those being reminded about the Tebow-Orton battle are the Broncos leadership, the top man John Elway and Fox. They made the decision to replace Orton with Tebow as the starter after a loss to San Diego on October 9. At the time the Broncos were 1-4.

Tebow was promoted, the Broncos caught fire and it wasn’t long before it became apparent that Orton was not going to get his job back. He asked to be released – he couldn’t be traded because the NFL’s trading deadline had passed – and after weeks of considering their options, Orton was released on November 22. He was claimed on waivers by the Chiefs the next day.

Elway said that possibility was discussed in the run up to releasing him.

“When we just laid it all out and we looked at all the different factors that were involved, it was the best thing for us to let him go,” Elway said told Yahoo Sports. “We knew obviously with the situation where some teams had quarterbacks go down – Kansas City being one of them and Chicago being one of them – that if he was gonna get claimed there was a chance we could play against him. It was like, ‘Well, we’ll take that chance …’

“It is what it is. We knew that there was a possibility that it may happen.”

Said Fox: “We made a decision to go with Tim Tebow. That decision has proved worthy. We took that risk; we have no control over who takes him and where he goes. It’s good for Kyle and I wish him nothing but the best except for this Sunday.

“At the end of the day we feel real comfortable with Tim. We made that decision; here we are.”

Here are the numbers for Tebow and Orton for the season (Orton’s numbers are Denver and K.C. combined):
























Tim Tebow












Kyle Orton












The quarterback’s job is to win games, and in that statistical category, Tebow has it all over Orton; he found a way to win games with the same team that Orton couldn’t get past 1-4.

The Broncos quarterback situation has been volatile all season, and as they get ready to play a game Sunday where the outcome will either continue their season or send them home, they get to see if their decision was correct back in October.

And say it was not, say that Orton leads the Chiefs to a victory and the Broncos stay home. What if the Chiefs decide to keep Orton, to sign him before he becomes a free agent in the off-season.

Heaven knows this Sunday’s game could be the first of yearly football soap operas in the AFC West.


4 Responses to “Orton+Tebow = NFL Soap Opera … Friday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • December 30, 2011  - Chuck says:

    Well the thing about Orton (yes, I do like him) is that he is 29 years old and is no longer just a young beginner finding his way. When I see 9 touchdowns and 9 interceptions I see just a “average at best QB, not elite by any means”. I still feel we need that “elite QB” if we ever hope to win the BIG ONE in Feb. Think about it this way, you’ve assembled the best team on both sides of the ball but you have just an “average QB” (Orton or Cassel) and now your in the BIG ONE in Feb. Your QB is hi usual self and he holds the ball too long and is sacked 3 times. Then in desperation he trys to force thngs and ends up with 2 interceptions and one is run back to the house. You get beat 21-10. Hasn’t that kinda been the story here in Chiefsland??????

  • December 30, 2011  - aPauled says:

    Orton needs to invest in some earplugs and the Chiefs should be prepared to go silent…because the Donkey fans are going to rain down boos on Orton from the time he steps on the field thru every snap that he takes. Time for sweet revenge for how poorly these Donkey fans treated Orton during his time in Denver.

  • December 30, 2011  - RW says:

    The game is interesting and I’ll be watching. The subplots are as, if not more interesting:

    Chiefs lose. Does this lessen Romeo’s chances for the head coaching job? Is there another HC hire in the offing from NE?

    Chiefs win. Do the rumors of McDaniel coming in to be the new OC take wing while Romeo keeps the HC job warm?

    Orton with a big day and win. Do we have a full fledged QB controversy?

    If there’s a cheap face-saving way to pacify the fans, I expect Hunt Jr. to do it so one must apply that factor to any of the above scenarios. As I said, interesting subplots for the 2011 season ender.

  • December 30, 2011  - el cid says:

    This game may be a easy one for the Chiefs to play. All the spin on all media is ooh, aah, Tebow, what a guy. Talk about playing the no respect card, a lot like GB game. They are undefeated and we are getting no respect, let’s go out and show everyone. Same thing in Denver, substitute undefeated for Tebow.

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