- Bill Barnwell
This week's "Monday Night Football" game features a 27-year-old quarterback coming into his own as a professional, one who took over as a rookie and rode an excellent defense to a gaudy record only to come up short in the playoffs. After dealing with some off-the-field issues, he's emerged as the bona fide deal, a legitimately superb quarterback with the ability to carry his team to victory through thick and thin.
In light of his success as the Denver Broncos' starting quarterback, it's time to re-evaluate Orton. Is he a game manager who relies upon his defense? A journeyman in the right places at the right times? A secretly effective quarterback who just wins? Let's go back to the beginning and give him a fair shake.
Kyle Orton has risen to a Rocky Mountain high in Denver, although it took him a while to reach it. Given the obstacles he's overcome, however, that's not too surprising.