The Showdown 08/24/2009Posted by sportretort in cutler, denver broncos, NFL, Sports, Uncategorized.
Tags: chicago bears, denver broncos, Jay Cutler, kyle orton, NFL
That was much better.
Interestingly, that phrase could be heard in both Chicago and Denver about their new quarterbacks this weekend. As you recall,
the Bears and Broncos swapped quarterbacks during the off season. The strong armed Jay Cutler was greeted with open arms in the Windy City, while the Mile High denizens were less than thrilled to be getting Kyle Orton. Comparisons were and are inevitable. Pre season games are meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but, so far, they are all we have. Neither had good outings in week one. Cutler threw one interception for the Bears, and should have had 2 picked off. Meanwhile, Orton tossed three picks in his debut with the Broncos. Predictably, all hell was breaking loose in Bronco Nation, while Bears Fans took it in stride. In Denver, fans wondered what new head coach Josh McDaniels was doing. How could he trade the disgrunteled ‘franchise quarterback?’ In Chicago, fans understood the poor outing as typical adjustment of a new quarterback becoming acquainted with his new teammates and system.
Week 2 was much better for both qb’s. Their lines: Orton 18-26, 182 yards, 1 td, 1 int; Cutler 8-13, 121 yards and 1 touchdown. Orton looks comfortable in the
new offensive system in Denver. His interception came on a left handed toss (Hey, Broncos fans, where is Jake Plummer, anyway?) on 4th down from the one yard line. It was a bad decision, came after his 3rd down pass was dropped in the end zone, and was a bone headed attempt to make something happen. Cutler got less work in the Bears game. The Chicago system is less wide open than the system he played in in Denver, so Cutler’s numbers will be down this season as compared to last. I go through all this because this has become a big week in Broncoland since the trade. In this, the third pre season game for the Broncos, their first home game, they welcome Cutler and the Bears. There is a buzz in Denver for this game. More than for any pre season game I can remember. But, honestly, is this anything more than a pre season game?
My guess is that Orton was well liked in Chicago. He was a team leader. On the other hand, the way Cutler left the Broncos probably left a bad taste in some of his former teammates mouth. I think there will be a little more zeal in the Broncos rush this week. As far as McDaniels and Orton are concerned, speculation is that they need to prove something to the fans this week. My guess is that they care little about the Bears, rather they are focused on the execution of the offense. With two weeks left until the season kicks off for real, there is much work left to do with both the Broncos offense and defense.
This game holds much interest, however, for the fans. While Cutler still has fans in Denver, and many Broncos fans will voice their displeasure with McDaniels by cheering Cutler, there are also many fans who feel Cutler acted childishly and betrayed them. They will boo him lustaly. Perhaps the most important fan referendum on the McDaniels era so far will come when Cutler is introduced for the first time to the Invesco Field at Mile High crowd. That moment may be the most interesting event of the evening. At least until the first time Cutler is hit by the Broncos.