Strange how life works sometimes. Back on November 22, Denver was 5-5 coming off the rally at home against the Jets. KC had lost their 3rd straight game, a drubbing on MNF at the hands of the Patriots to drop to 4-6. Tyler Palko had been forced into action with QB Matt Cassel going down with a season-ending injury.
Here we are some 6 weeks later, and Kyle Orton almost had a chance to lead a team to a division title after leading an improbable win over previously unbeaten Green Bay. But with KC’s heart-breaking loss at home to the Raiders they have been eliminated from the playoff hunt. Fortunately, there is still drama. Orton can derail the Tebow train with a victory, in Denver, sending the Broncos to their 3rd straight loss and taking them out too.
If Denver misses the playoffs, and misses them because a hopeless Chiefs team became relevant again by adding Kyle Orton, then the Denver organization is going to have some tough questions to answer.
Yahoo Sports asked John Elway about his decision to release Kyle Orton last week. Elway said, “When we just laid it all out and we looked at all the different factors that were involved, it was the best thing for us to let him go. We knew obviously with the situation where some teams had quarterbacks go down – Kansas City being one of them and Chicago being one of them – that if he was gonna get claimed there was a chance we could play against him. It was like, ‘Well, we’ll take that chance …’
They are taking that chance now. They felt comfortable with what they had in Tim Tebow, and saving some money in the process made sense.
Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post spoke to John Fox if he had any regrets now that his team must face Kyle Orton. “I know we made that decision,” replied Fox, well aware his team cut Orton in late November, banking $2.6 million in payroll savings with the transaction. “As I would say about anything moving forward, time will tell.”
Indeed it will. Kansas City seems to have rallied around it’s new quarterback and it’s new coach, Romeo Crennel. KC has suffered some devastating injuries this year, as many as any team in the league. They’ve fired their coach. But they’ve never given up. Crennel says they won’t.
“I try to win every game. Every game is important to me. So what will happen will happen. I don’t believe what I say, what I think, is going to make any difference. It’s what I do, the work that I put out there. That’s the thing that will make the impact.”
The Broncos expect nothing less than KC’s best.
“I wouldn’t doubt it if Kyle Orton delivers the speech (to the Chiefs) the night before the game,” former Broncos safety Nick Ferguson said. “He wants to come back to prove to John Elway, the fans of Denver and John Fox that you guys chose the wrong quarterback.”
Of course, Denver could win, Tebow could play great, and the Broncos and their fans would feel vindicated twice-over. Most potential storylines run opposite directions, but this one feels like a roller coaster with an unexpected loop.
Even better, and most ironically, Denver can lose and still win. The Broncos, specifically Tebow, have been cited for winning ugly. They could actually lose the game, and still win the division with an Oakland loss to San Diego.
Wouldn’t that be fitting ?
This wild Tim Tebow experience about “just finding a way” could lose 3 straight, and still find a way to make the playoffs. Even if Orton beats Tebow, Tebow still wins.