Equation for Orton to Bounce Back

Coming off a five interception performance will test Kyle Orton's intestinal fortitude. The rookie quarterback has been able to shake off mistakes thus far. He will have a chance to do the same against a Cleveland defense that has yielded some lofty numbers.

In the preseason, Orton threw a pick that was returned for a touchdown. Instead of putting his head down, he orchestrated two scoring drives to lead a come from behind victory.

In the season opener, the rookie faced a high-pressure defense that sacked him three times, forced a fumble and an interception. A week later he had a turnover free performance and a 103.3 passer rating against Detroit.

Disguised coverages by the Bengals coupled with poor decisions resulted in turnover after turnover.

Through three games Orton has one touchdown to six interceptions. The Bears need to protect the ball in order to take advantage of a winnable NFC North.

Timing is important. The bye week allowed Orton to look back at what happened against Cincinnati and then move forward. Now he will face a defense among the worst in the NFL.

Opponents have completed 76.2 percent of their passes against the Browns - 77 of 101 - and opposing quarterbacks have a 100.7 quarterback rating.

Granted Cleveland has faced Carson Palmer, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning, but it does give hope for Orton. His first pass after being named the starter was against the Browns and went for a 47-yard completion to Muhsin Muhammad.

In a division where 1-2 puts you in a tie for first place, there doesn't appear to be a must win on the schedule anytime soon. However, the Bears could put some distance between themselves and the competition as November comes to an end.

After the trip to Cleveland, the Bears return home to host Minnesota and Baltimore in successive weeks. Both teams are struggling to score as much as Chicago.

The Bears then go to Detroit and New Orleans. Each game is winnable on paper, but breaking even on the road would put the Bears in a position to take control of the division.

San Francisco and Carolina come to Chicago Nov. 13 and 20 respectively. The 49ers put Alex Smith in mop up duty in Sunday's 31-14 loss to Arizona. He may well be starting by the time they come to town. Carolina is off to a disappointing 1-2 start, but host the winless Packers tonight.

While falling to 1-3 is not insurmountable by any stretch, the faster the Bears get the memories of the thrashing at the hands of Cincinnati the better. A second straight loss would be a blow to a young team and quarterback in need of a confidence boost.

As Orton said during the bye week, he's not going to have an epiphany over night and become a Pro Bowl quarterback. Facing a passer friendly defense could go a long way toward making him feel like a legitimate signal caller heading into a crucial part of the schedule that the Bears need to pull above .500 rather than tread water.


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