Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Yeah there's lots of reasons the Bears won but Orton really seemed to make plays when it was do or die."

The title of this post is from a comment by frequent commenter (and valuable provider of dissent) Eric. And similar things have been said on the radio and in newspapers this morning, so my intent in not just to pick on Eric, but really?

Take a look at the last drives by both Orton and Rodgers, and you tell me where Orton "made plays" where Rodgers didn't.

On Rodgers' final drive the Packers got a good kick return from Will Blackmon aided by a mind-numbingly stupid penalty from Adrian Peterson. Rodgers then went 2/3 for 11 yards to get into solid field goal range, at which point the Packers chose to run three straight times. I have no problem with that strategy. Mason Crosby then had a 38 yard kick blocked.

On Orton's final drive he threw one nice pass to Greg Olsen which gained an extra 15 yards on a bullshit unnecessary roughness penalty. At this point, Matt Forte ran for 4 yards, -3 yards, caught a 14 yard pass (on a play where I would have been perfectly capable of throwing him the ball), ran for -1 yards, and 1 yard, at which point Robbie Gould kicked a 38 yard field goal (exactly the same distance as Mason Crosby's miss).

So yes, Orton was awesome at giving the ball to Matt Forte.

We should also point out that when it was not "do or die" Orton hit Charles Woodson and Nick Collins right between the numbers. Rodgers threw a pick too, sure, but it was a fluky tipped pass on a correct "hot route" read to Driver.

While it is literally true that Aaron Rodgers "failed to win another one," as Tony Kornheiser put it, lumping this one in with those losses where Rodgers threw last-drive interceptions is really unfair. Rodgers did everything he could, and everything that was asked of him in this game, and special teams let him down (over and over and over).

This was a fluky loss in general, as are most losses due to special teams play. From having two field goals blocked, to poor kick coverage, to Bush getting hit in the ass with a punt, this was about bad special teams and bad luck (and some high-leverage blown calls). If the Packers had not come into this game with such a bad record we would dismiss this as "just one of those games," which is what we should do anyway.

The fact is that Kyle Orton was terrible. He completed just over 50 percent of his passes, he threw two bad interceptions, and he only averaged 5.3 yards per pass. His rating was 48.7. Aaron Rodgers averaged 6.7 yards per pass, completed over 60% of his passes, had only one fluky pick, and in general, played pretty well. He also wasn't sacked despite constant pressure (he and Favre have both been sacked 30 times this year, for those who care about such things). Orton was sacked 3 times. He threw 2 TDs to Orton's 1. His rating was 87.6.

ESK's pithy response to this comment was perfect, so let's close with that:

E.S.K. said...
Orton blocked that field goal attempt?


Chris said...

Thank you Paul for making the Sun come up this morning at least in my house lol

Ok lets start looking forward to draft day

tracker said...

Paul made it snow on my house.

Eric said...

And i quote:

Take a look at the last drives by both Orton and Rodgers, and you tell me where Orton "made plays" where Rodgers didn't.

Erm... who exactly said Rodgers didn't make plays? anybody? hello? Y'all keep me posted

I said Rodgers didn't win. Please correct me if i'm wrong

PaulNoonan said...

Dude. Eric. Did you read the title for the post, and where it came from?