What a twist of fate: Kyle Orton beats the Packers
By Mark Potash firstname.lastname@example.org December 20, 2011 9:30PM
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Kyle Orton (8) hands off the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Updated: January 22, 2012 8:17AM
What a cruel twist of fate that the Bears’ season all but turned to dust with Caleb Hanie at quarterback Sunday — just after the Chiefs’ Kyle Orton engineered an upset victory against the previously unbeaten Packers in Kansas City.
And not only did an ex-Bear beat the vaunted Packers, but it was an ex-Bear the Bears had claimed on waivers but lost out on because their record was too good.
Even worse, it was evidence that a quarterback need not be fluent in an offense to beat the Packers. Orton, whom the Chiefs had acquired less than four weeks
before, was making his first start for the team.
And it’s still possible the Chiefs (6-8) will end up with a better record than the Bears (7-7).
It also was a reminder of a missed opportunity for the Bears, even after Jay Cutler suffered a broken thumb against the Chargers. When he was with the Bears, Orton won six games with a passer rating below 50.0, including victories against the Packers as a rookie in 2005 (23.7) and in 2008 (48.7).
Worse yet, the Packers’ loss to the Chiefs left them still needing to clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC. There was a chance they would ease up at least a bit against the Bears if they had clinched the home-field advantage. Now, no way.
Orton, who had lost to the Packers as the Broncos’ starter earlier this season, was 23-for-31 for 299 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions Sunday.
He was one of 10 former 2006 Bears to win Sunday. The Bears have eight players from their 2006 team on their roster.
◆ Mark Anderson had two sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and two hurries for the Patriots against the Broncos. Anderson has nine sacks this season.
◆ Cedric Benson rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown for the Bengals against the Rams.
◆ Tommie Harris had a sack and Antonio Garay shared a sack in the Chargers’ rout of the Ravens.
◆ Rex Grossman threw a touchdown pass in the Redskins’ victory against the Giants.
◆ Thomas Jones (Chiefs), Chris Harris and Rashied Davis (Lions) and John Gilmore (Saints) were the others.