Buffalo Bills: Enter the Kyle Orton Era!

Say Hello to your new QB - Kyle Orton. - Photo via www.syracuse.com

Say Hello to your new QB – Kyle Orton. – Photo via http://www.syracuse.com

Monday’s news of EJ being benched in favor of Kyle Orton really wasn’t a surprise. EJ hasn’t looked like he was progressing at all this year. In the preseason the offense could never score on other opponents’ first team defenses. However, against second teamers, EJ looked amazing. Kyle Orton was signed August 29th. Reports were that the Bills were trying to sign Orton since the off season, but Orton sensed desperation. Orton held out until the last minute to maximize the amount the Bills would pay him — not to mention pulling a Brett Farve and missing training camp and preseason and jumping right into the regular season. Orton received 5.5 million over two years. That isn’t backup money; that is starter money. He was signed days after the Bills cut every other QB they had: Thad Lewis, Dennis Dixon and Jeff Tuel (who was signed back on to the practice squad).

Kyle Orton played for the Cowboys the last two years. He started their final game of the season last year, throwing for 358 yards 2 TDs and 2 INTs, which resulted in a 24-22 loss. It was his first real action in two years though. The game proved he can still play at a high level and may have a better command of the offense over the struggling EJ Manuel.

These two were not the best of friends! - Photo via sports.ca.msn.com

These two were not the best of friends! – Photo via sports.ca.msn.com

This is not new territory for Bills fans. This team hasn’t gotten the QB position right since Jim Kelly. We’ve been dealing with controversy since the decision to start Johnson over Doug Flutie in 1999 leading to one of the most controversial plays in NFL history: The Music City Miracle. So after 15 years of rotating QBs, what does Orton bring to the table that other QBs may not have. To answer that question, lets see where Orton came from.

Kyle Orton was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 2nd Round of the 2005 Draft. He had good size at 6’4″ 225 and played sparingly until he got his shot in 2008. As a starter he threw for almost 3,000 yards 18 TDs and 12 INTS. The Bears then made a trade with the Broncos for Jay Cutler. Orton got even better in 2009 and 2010. He threw for 3,500 yards, 20 TDs, and 10 INTs. His Broncos finished 8-8 and then 4-12. In comparison, Jay Cutler in 2009 threw 3,660 yards with 27 TDs and 26 INTs. In 2010, he threw for 3,200 23 TDs and 16 INTs, but the bears went 11-5 and made the playoffs. In 2011, the Broncos drafted Tim Tebow. After a 1-4 start, they brought in Tebow and released Orton in November. He went to the Chiefs and played in their last four games. Then, the following year, he went to Dallas and only played four games in two years. He started only one game, the final game of last season with a playoff berth on the line.

Orton has the tools to be a good game managing QB. He’s smart and can make the throws though the passes aren’t always pretty. He can read defenses, and he’s not afraid to chuck the ball. Where does he compare to other QBs? Orton is in between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Andy Dalton. Orton doesn’t have the passion that Fitz has, but his arm is better. Orton like Dalton is an under-appreciated QBs. Both can put up big numbers, but they are always on the hot seat, looking to be replaced. Orton is only 31 years old (He will be 32 in November). The Bills gave him a two-year contract worth $11 million. It’s hard to say until you see him in action if he’s still the guy that played pretty well in 2008-2010. Did the four years not starting affect his skills? Is his arm strength still there? If Orton can play like he did in 2010, the Bills can definitely save the season. Orton needs to manage the game and make the throws EJ couldn’t. Most importantly, the offensive line needs to block for Orton. He’s a true pocket passer with limited mobility.

Yeah this is our guy! He should fit in quite nicely. - Photo via @KingNeckbeard

Yeah this is our guy! He should fit in quite nicely. – Photo via @KingNeckbeard

Personally, I like Orton. I wanted the Bills to pick him up in 2011 when the Broncos released him or that following off season. The Bills decided to live and die with Fitz. Fortunately for Orton, EJ didn’t set the bar very high. As long as Orton can put up 200-plus yards and a TD or two, it’ll be a breath of fresh air. The only question surrounding Orton is how motivated is he to play and win? He left the Cowboys on bad terms. He made it a point to not sign with anyone until after training camps. He may have sensed the Bills’ desperation in the off season and waited it out, eventually receiving more money than was offered earlier in the year. What happens if Orton is hurt Sunday and EJ plays better? QB changes are always interesting and I can’t wait till Sunday!

Well, Bills fans, what do you think? Is this a good move? Is it right for EJ? How is Orton going to fair against Detroit? As always, leave me a comment here, and make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @wgoinbuffalo and me @jasonsins. Round-and-round we go on the Buffalo Bills QB Wheel-O-Matic!

By Jason Sins

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2 Comments on “Buffalo Bills: Enter the Kyle Orton Era!”

  1. john ziehm October 4, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    Kyle should be ok as long as the line holds up. he has the arm and the smarts to keep us in it, and if Fred is getting any room to run it should be at least a real game with detroit-who is a much improved team this year themselves. All in all i think buffalo has the best chance they have had since drew bledsoe to actually win the AFC east, and althoug orton may not be the best QB in the NFL he may be the best in the AFC east at the end of the season. GO BILLS !!

  2. Todd L (@Lunget) October 6, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

    John Zieham I think you nailed it, minus the line holding up.

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