Kyle Orton had another moderate day despite showing flashes that could make him a tempting commodity in the coming weeks.
Although Sunday's contest turned out to have no bearing on the playoff picture, the hoopla coming into Sunday's Chiefs game, pitting Orton against Tebow, took on primetime life. Both quarterbacks were mediocre at best, although Orton had a slightly more productive day.
Despite beginning the season as the Broncos starting signal caller, the clamoring around the Mile High city reached a fever pitch quickly as Orton was replaced by Tebow.
Orton completed 15 of 29 passes against his former team, throwing no touchdowns but also no interceptions. Tebow faired considerably worse, completing just six of 22 passes for a paltry 60 yards and an interception.
It was evident which team had the best quarterback Sunday, and possibly heading forward, but the Chiefs should be less than confident heading into the 2012 season.
Matt Cassel, the Chiefs' incumbent starter, is anything but a lock to return in 2012. Cassel struggled often this season and has never endeared himself to Chiefs fans.
After three starts, it's obvious Orton is an upgrade over Cassel, if only a slight one. The problem is that the rest of the NFL is desperately low on even mediocre quarterback play. With teams like the Jets looking to join the search for improvement under center, the Chiefs may have a tough time retaining Orton's services.
Kansas City's best option is to retain both Orton and Cassel, forcing a training camp battle next year in St. Joseph. The Chiefs have the cash to support both contracts but convincing Orton to fight it out with Cassel may be a tough sell if another team is offering the job outright.
Orton will almost certainly garner a starting position in 2012 but will it be in Kansas City?
Short of offering Orton a contract he can't refuse, it is hard to envision the seven-year veteran in a Chiefs uniform in 2012 unless Cassel is either traded or outright released. Based off of general manager Scott Pioli's steadfast confidence in Cassel, convincing Pioli to admit defeat may be too much of an ego hit.
Orton is not the long term answer for the Chiefs but after two and a half years of watching Cassel and three weeks of watching Orton, it's obvious who the better quarterback is. With limited options in both free agency and the draft, the Chiefs best option in 2012 is moving forward with one of the two.
Kansas City's offense has several potent weapons and a defense that will keep them competitive in every game next season. The Chiefs can mask mediocre quarterback play for one season with their solid defense and a good rushing attack.
So although neither Orton or Cassel will be the most popular option, they may be the Chiefs' best.
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Who should be KC's QB next season?
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