You had to know it'd happen about now -- and that Woody Paige would be the instigator.
When the Broncos were 6-0, Kyle Orton was the toast of the town -- or at least no one was referring to him as toast, as fans had been doing before the season started. But now, after two consecutive losses, Paige has taken up the predictable bench-the-QB chant, arguing for Chris Simms to get the start against the Washington Redskins this weekend.
Which is stupid for a lot of reasons. But here's three:
1. Any quarterback would have had a tough time against the last two defenses the Broncos faced. The Ravens have been up and down this year, but the D has found its groove; they managed to hold the Bengals to just 17 points last week despite little support from the offense. And the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers are, well, the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers. True, Orton didn't fare well against these squads. But that's no rationale for prematurely hitting the panic button.
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2. The Redskins aren't exactly world-beaters. In fact, they're hardly anyone beaters, having managed to win just two games thus far, against shaky Tampa Bay and flat-out pathetic St. Louis -- and they actually hold the distinction of being the only team to lose to the Detroit Lions in something just south of forever. In other words, this is a classic get-well game -- and Orton certain deserves the chance to improve everyone's offensive health.
3. The team was just beginning to gel. What kind of message would it send if coach Josh McDaniels shakes everything up even though the Broncos still hold first place in the AFC West? I'll tell you: That he thinks everything that's gone right for the team thus far was a fluke. Not exactly a formula for maintaining team chemistry.
Sorry, Chris. Orton needs to be under center on Sunday -- and if he gets the job done against the Redskins, which he certainly should do, Paige's quick plug-pulling advice will look even more moronic than it already does.