Temper your enthusiasm, Bears fans. But do be enthusiastic. I’m still trying to figure out if this is really happening. The Bears are leading the league, scoring 28 points per game. Kyle Orton is in the top 10 of the league’s passers, having thrown for 10 touchdowns and a passer rating of 91. Without having time to do historical analysis, for the record, Bears quarterbacks over the last 60 YEARS or so normally finish with ratings around 70. Overwhelmingly.
So Orton seems indeed to be the goods, but I don’t know that I agree with David Haugh, who wants the Bears to lock up Orton to a huge-money deal right now. Personally, I’d like to see a few more strong games out of the guy before giving him $50-$60 million. Haven’t the Bears learned hard lessons about this in the past? A lot of people wanted the Bears to give that kind of money to Grossman early in ’06, too. But what do I know, I’m a “not-so-brave blogger.”
So, in conclusion, I never thought I’d be so impressed with Orton, and it’s fantastic. Don’t get me wrong, I was NOT an Orton-hater in 2005. I thought he had potential and did everything he could to lead the team to the playoffs his rookie year. I even have a USA Today sports section cover featuring Orton hanging in the bar. (And I put it there over a year ago, just thought is was cool that Orton was leading the Bears back to national prominance in 2005). I just figured that we’d probably see mediocre Griese-like play from Orton, with a few good moments but more bad. You know, typical Bears quarterback play.
The San Francisco 49ers yesterday fired Head Coach Mike Nolan and named Bear legend Mike Singletary his replacement. Good luck to Samurai-the 49ers organization seems mighty screwed up. It would be a shame for his debut as a head coach to be fouled up by issues outside of his control, but that’s probably what will happen.
After a strong debut, of course, you knew this was coming, Zack Bowman may be out for the season.
Haugh calls safety Kevin Payne a “ballhawk who packs a wallop.” Granted, I know Payne has played better than expectations for a second-year fifth-round pick. But did someone miss Payne’s flailing arm-tackle attempt on Adrian Peterson’s 50+ yard touchdown run Sunday? If Payne makes the tackle he was in the position to make, Peterson doesn’t go the distance. Just sayin’.