Kyle Orton is in the midst of a career season. Many predicted Orton would improve behind a better line and in a more modern system, but few thought he would improve so much. So maybe he hasn't.
Grossman was the most likely success of the three. He was drafted in the first round, had a 61% completion percentage in college (a 54.6% completion percentage in 2006) and that one tool that can make any quarterback great for a snap: an awesome deep pass.
Anderson was the surest to fail. He was a tools prospect that played poorly in college. He had a better completion percentage in 2007 than any of his four years at Oregon State. His rise coincided with major additions to the offensive line and run game. Anderson could not beat out Charlie Frye in the preseason, but was so entrusted to retain his ability that Cleveland guaranteed him $14.5 million over three seasons and $24 million overall.
Orton isn't too far from his norms. His completion percentage today is higher than he ever finished at Purdue and will likely drop. The system Josh McDaniels has implemented inflates completion percentage. In that light, Orton's spike is not unsustainable. His interception rate is. Orton has one interception in 231 attempts. Before Grossman and Anderson failed, they sagged in the second half. Grossman was eaten alive by sacks and fumbles. Anderson's yards disappeared when teams dropped into deep cover. He lacked the accuracy to succeed underneath. Orton will get his by way of interceptions.
Tonight marks the midway point for Orton. He faces the Pittsburgh Steelers. Seahawks fans have been horrified to see Neckbeard turn a corner and seemingly become a franchise quarterback for the Broncos. Maybe he has, but I doubt it. You don't root for the Sarlacc Pit and I won't root for the Steelers tonight. Maybe it's in bad spirit, but I do root for truth to pop the bubble of sudden, undeserving stars. It's in that spirit that I do not root against the Broncos or for the Steelers, but only for the inevitable. May truth find Orton tonight. May it find him three or four times.