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Week 1 vs. CIN
Passing: 17 - 28, 243 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: 1 / 3 / 0
Orton was wearing a glove on his throwing hand because of his injured finger, but showed no ill effects when he threw the football. He was able to throw with surprising velocity, and the glove did not change the way the ball came out of his hand. Orton moved around well behind the line of scrimmage, and even though he was sacked three times he was not holding on to the ball too long. Being safe with the football was the name of the game for Orton, as he rarely threw into coverage and didn't throw much past 15 yards in the game. Orton placed the ball in the right spot on most of his throws, and he was leading his receivers well. However, he did get both Eddie Royal and Brandon Marshall crushed by not anticipating the angle the defense was taking on his receivers. He'll have to improve in that area or else it could lead to an injury to one of his main weapons. When the game was on the line, Orton started to throw deep sideline routes and almost had one of his passes picked off. In fact, the pass to Brandon Marshall that was deflected by Leon Hall could have easily been intercepted. Instead, it was deflected and plucked out of the air by Brandon Stokley and the rest is week 1 history.
Week 2 vs. CLE
Passing: 19 - 37, 263 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: 2 / 0 / 0
This is perhaps Orton's last week of wearing a glove on his throwing hand because of his injured finger. The glove didn't bother him last week, and it didn't bother him this week either. His passes still came off of his hand with good velocity, and he did a good job of placing the ball in the perfect spot for his receivers to make a play after the catch. The only time Orton's passes didn't look good, was when he was forced to throw on the run. He was able to get into a rhythm early, and overall looked very comfortable in the pocket. The Broncos came out firing and went play action on the first play, where Orton was able to find Jabar Gaffney deep for 25 yards. Orton even stood strong and was hit hard as he tried to deliver a pass to Brandon Marshall in the first quarter. The pass fell incomplete because Marshall didn't recognize the blitz and cut off his route. Orton threw short, while Marshall continued to run deep. Coach Josh McDaniels had a gameplan to pick on cornerback Brandon McDonald, and the Broncos were consistently throwing in his direction. Orton didn't get his receivers killed this week on crossing routes, and overall did a good job of leading them in the right direction. He even got out in front of Eddie Royal as Royal tried to reverse his field after the reception. Orton blocked his man like a quarterback, but we give him an "A" for effort. Orton was still safe with the football, but he had plenty of time to throw, didn't get sacked all day, and challenged the defense deep when he could.
Week 3 vs. OAK
Passing: 13 - 23, 157 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: 1 / -1 / 0
The Broncos ran the ball very well, so Orton didn't have to pass very much this week in an easy win. The name of the game for the Broncos is efficient/effective passing, with most passes not going past 15 yards. For the third week in a row he was wearing a glove on his throwing hand because of his injured finger, but it has not bothered his throwing motion whatsoever. He had plenty of time to throw on Sunday, and was frequently lining up in the shotgun. Orton even ran a bootleg play where he rolled to his right and found Tony Scheffler for a first down. Because he was not pressured much, Orton was very patient when going through his progressions and didn't make any ill-advised throws. On his lone touchdown pass of the day, Orton waited patiently while Marshall came open in the end zone. He stood strong and delivered the pass on the money even though he was hit hard immediately after the ball left his hand.
Week 4 vs. DAL
Passing: 20 - 29, 243 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: 3 / 0 / 0
The Broncos offense was shooting itself in the foot early in this game with offensive penalties, and poorly thrown passes. Right tackle Ryan Harris was concerned about facing DeMarcus Ware and kept getting false start penalties as he was trying to get an early step to protect Orton. The Cowboys did sack Orton three times on the day, but for the most part he had plenty of time to throw. It seemed like for the first time in four games, the glove Orton was wearing to protect his injured finger was actually bothering him. Several passes sailed on Orton, and even when he did hit his target the ball was not placed in the right spot. After trying to connect with Jabar Gaffney on a couple of passes, finally at the end of the first quarter Orton was able to hit him on an eight-yard out. It was that pass that seemed to get the momentum and rhythm going for the Broncos passing game. The rest of the day Orton threw the ball well, and he continued to sprinkle in a few shots downfield when the play was there. The touchdown pass to Knowshon Moreno could have been intercepted, but it went right through OLB Anthony Spencer's hands. The touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall was short, but when coverage is tight a quarterback is taught to throw the stop so his receiver can come back and get the ball. Orton and the offense overcame their rough start and finished the game strong.
Week 5 vs. NE
Passing: 35 - 48, 330 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
This was the first week Orton played without a glove on his throwing hand, and he commented before the game how he had a better feel of the football and that he trusted himself more without the glove. That confidence showed up on Sunday as Orton threw the ball 48 times against the Patriots. The Broncos debuted their "Wild Horses" offensive formation, which is their version of the Wildcat. Instead of bringing in a Wildcat QB, the Broncos instead would often line up Orton out wide and then motion him back under center. Starting a play in this formation simplifies the defensive look, and the Broncos had plenty of success both running and passing out of the Wild Horses formation. Once again, Orton was safe and effective when distributing the football and his one interception on the day came on a hail mary pass at the end of the second quarter. In addition to changing up their formations, the Broncos also substituted a lot of players in and out of the game which seemed to confuse the New England defense. The primary mismatch the Broncos looked to exploit was cornerback Leigh Bodden on Eddie Royal. Orton did a good job of looking off defenders, only to hit Royal on a timing route.
Week 6 vs. SD
Passing: 20 - 29, 229 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: 5 / 11 / 0
Orton was calm, cool, and collected in this heated matchup of division rivals on Monday night. The Chargers tried to get after Orton to force him into mistakes, but often he would throw the ball away, throw it in the dirt, or just take the sack. Orton also did a good job of finding his hot read when the blitz was on. Most of the time it was tight end Tony Scheffler, who spent most of the night split out as a wide receiver. Orton took his shots downfield when the throw was there, with limited success. This was his second game without the glove on his throwing hand, and once again his release seemed natural and fluid. The veteran quarterback also did a good job of setting up defenders, which resulted in big plays later in the game. The Broncos did a good job of protecting Orton, and with plenty of time in the pocket he was able to make it all the way through his progressions and find the open receiver.
Week 8 vs. BAL
Passing: 23 - 37, 152 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: 1 / 11 / 0
The tone for the day was set on the first offensive play for the Denver Broncos. Kyle Orton dropped back and barely had enough time to set his feet when linebacker Jarrett Johnson crushed him from the blind side. That one play pretty much summed up the Broncos day, because with the exception of one drive the Broncos offense was out of rhythm all game long. The Broncos did not use any "Wild Horses" offense to slow down the Ravens, instead relying on screen passes that were immediately sniffed out. Like most every week there were a few Orton passes that should have been intercepted, but all in all he was safe with the football. When the Ravens didn't get to him, they were knocking him down just after the pass or batting down passes from the air. To his credit, Orton took some big shots during the day but stood strong and didn't let the rush make him a timid passer.
Week 9 vs. PIT
Passing: 23 - 38, 221 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT
Orton started out this contest well, but when the game was out of hand he became careless with the football. With right tackle Ryan Harris out with a toe injury the Broncos were quite concerned about the right side of the offensive line. Tyler Polumbus replaced Harris in the lineup and they added Ryan Hochstein as a tackle eligible, and put him on the right side behind Polumbus to help protect Kyle Orton. The strategy worked initially, and the added protection helped Kyle Orton get into a rhythm with the football. However, in the second half things began to fall apart for the Broncos. The pass rush started to get to Orton, and the play action passes that worked in the first half didn't have the same effect on the defense in the final two quarters. Orton's receivers didn't do him any favors either. They dropped passes that Orton had to throw a little sooner than he'd like. His motion became sloppy as the rush continued to get pressure on him, and Orton's passes began to sail. As a result his passes were high and off target, which led to them being picked off by an opportunistic Steelers defense.
Week 10 vs. WAS
Passing: 11 - 18, 193 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: 1 / 3 / 0
Kyle Orton started out hot. His second pass of the game was a 40-yard touchdown to Brandon Marshall. Two passes later he re-connected with Marshall for a 75-yard score. After losing to the Ravens and the Steelers you could tell that this hot start meant a lot to the Broncos, the offense, and especially to Orton. He had plenty of time to throw, and Knowshon Moreno was running strong which helped keep the defense honest. Orton did a good job with pump fakes, and used his eyes to move the defenders where he wanted to open up passing lanes. Orton's worst play of the day was when he overthew Eddie Royal on a pass about 40-yards downfield that would have been a 79-yard touchdown catch. With time expiring in the second quarter Orton scrambled up the middle as the Broncos were 9-yards away from scoring again. He was tackled by Brian Orakpo, and in the process of the play had his ankle injured. He missed the rest of the game because of the injury, and left the locker room on crutches after the game.
Week 11 vs. SD
Passing: 15 - 29, 171 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Orton did not start the game, giving way to Chris Simms for the team's first two possessions. However, after Simms started off poorly and San Diego opened up an early lead, Orton came on in relief. It was a curious call, because if Orton was healthy enough to play then one has to wonder why he did not start. In any case, it was to no avail, as he was clearly less than 100% in the game. On his first drive, it appeared as if Orton was going to lead them back into it by moving the ball about sixty yards in three plays. But after getting the team inside the five yard line, Knowshon Moreno fumbled the ball away at the goal line for the turnover. Orton was intercepted late in the first half on an incredible play by Antonio Cromartie, and there were several more near-misses in the second half. He nearly threw two different pick-six interceptions, and another right over the middle that was dropped by LB Stephen Cooper. Towards the end of the game, after being hit and hurried repeatedly, Orton finally looked like a player who wasn't supposed to have started. While his status for next week is officially unclear, it would appear that he will get the start considering he was able to complete this entire game.
Week 12 vs. NYG
Passing: 18 - 28, 245 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 1 / -1 / 0
Kyle Orton was able to start on Thanksgiving night and he showed no signs of issues with his ankle. He was able to move around just fine, but for the most part he was not under much pressure from the Giants when he did drop back to pass. Orton relied more on the ground game which was working all night as Denver ran the ball 39 times in comparison to 28 pass attempts. Orton threw mostly short passes to Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler, but he did throw deep twice to Brandon Marshall who made two spectacular one-handed grabs. Orton is more of a game manager than a big game passer, but he is effective in controlling the offense for the Broncos.
Week 13 vs. KC
Passing: 15 - 25, 180 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Orton seemed a little off on some of his throws Sunday against the Chiefs. The Broncos were able to move the ball effectively both on the ground and through the air, but Orton's passes weren't as crisp as they usually are. His first interception of the game came on a deflected pass in the end zone, but the pass was ill advised to begin with. He tried to squeeze it in to Tony Scheffler at the back of the end zone, but Chiefs defenders were swarming around. His shorter passes seemed to either hit the dirt or sail high, and a few of his deep targets were swatted away at the last minute. Orton did a good job with play action passes, and was able to stay confident against the Chiefs pass rush.
Week 14 vs. IND
Passing: 29 - 41, 277 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 2 / 11 / 0
The Colts were after Orton early in the game, and it looked like the Broncos may get blown out once again in Indy. However, Orton started force feeding the football to Brandon Marshall more than ever with great results. Orton targeted Brandon Marshall an eye-popping 28 times on Sunday, and did not target any other receiver more than 4 times. It quickly became obvious that the Broncos best chance to beat the Colts was through the air --- and specifically by throwing to Brandon Marshall. The Broncos kept going back to the well, and that's what led to such a big day for the duo. Orton's lone interception on the day came on a pass that he underthrew which was intended for Brandon Marshall. The big wideout was double covered, and Orton threw the ball short instead of throwing it to the back of the endzone. Had he done that it would have meant another target, and another touchdown for the team on Sunday. Instead, the pass was picked off and the momentum swung back to Indianapolis.
Week 15 vs. OAK
Passing: 19 - 34, 278 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: 4 / 11 / 0
The Broncos had Orton rolling out to his right early and often on Sunday. Orton's not the best quarterback when throwing on the run, but seemed more comfortable on bootlegs then he did earlier in the year. The Raiders pass rush got to Orton later in the game, and several key passes fell incomplete as Orton was flustered. Because the Broncos have been struggling in short yardage situations they decided to run a few quarterback sneaks with Orton which were not successful. Orton had one touchdown pass on the day where he kept the play alive by stepping up in the pocket before he found Brandon Marshall in the end zone. However, after a 63-yard gain by Brandon Stokley that got the Broncos down to the 2-yard line Orton could not connect on a touch pass to tight end Tony Scheffler in the end zone. The play calling was questionable by the Broncos, but the execution just wasn't there for the passing game. Orton failed to put in a consistent performance for the second week in a row.
Week 16 vs. PHI
Passing: 27 - 41, 189 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 1 / 7 / 0
Kyle Orton led a comeback against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16, marching his team back from a 27-10 deficit in the third quarter to a tied contest with just over six minutes to play. Missing Eddie Royal and Brandon Stokley as targets, Orton connected with Brandon Marshall and Jabar Gaffney on several short tosses that was nearly enough for the upset win on the road. Orton struggled to make any big plays through the air, however, with just one pass over 20 yards and just five others over 10 yards, but did hit Gaffney twice and Knowshon Moreno once in the red zone for his three touchdown throws. Orton nearly committed a huge mistake on the opening driver where he tried to throw the ball away due to pressure. Orton threw the ball sideways and the Eagles ran the loose ball into the end zone. Only a coach's challenged was able to get the officials to take those points off the board once they ruled it an incomplete forward pass. Orton's 7.0 yards per completion was very pedestrian as the Eagles allowed just short and quick-hitting passes to Denver.
Week 17 vs. KC
Passing: 32 - 56, 431 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: 2 / 16 / 0
Orton once again struggled to make good decisions with the football on Sunday. He threw 3 interceptions against the Chiefs, 2 of which were returned for touchdowns by linebacker Derrick Johnson. Orton was not pressured very much by the Chiefs defense, and when the game started it seemed like he only had eyes for Jabar Gaffney. The veteran wideout had 10 receptions at halftime, but the Chiefs changed their coverage schemes so Orton looked to find other receiving weapons. He showed good chemistry with Brandon Lloyd for the second week in a row but failed to recognize when the Chiefs linebackers were sitting down in zone coverage. Orton did not look overwhelmed for most of this game, and even dove head first to pick up a first down at one point during the contest. The veteran quarterback knew what was on the line, and he wasn't pressing --- he just didn't have a good day.