Posted November 30, 2011 on
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Kansas City Chiefs
The Chicago Bears indicated they still have faith in their No. 2 quarterback despite a difficult performance last week. Their next opponent doesn't appear to feel the same way.
While Chicago sticks with Caleb Hanie, the Kansas City Chiefs might start former Bear Kyle Orton over a struggling Tyler Palko on Sunday at Soldier Field.
The Bears remain in position for a wild-card berth, but a 25-20 loss in Oakland last Sunday halted a five-game winning streak and left them as one of three NFC teams with a 7-4 record. To build a lead over the other contenders, Chicago could use some better games from Hanie.
In his first start for the injured Jay Cutler and first action since last season's NFC title game, Hanie threw three interceptions in the first half but rebounded to go 10 of 18 in the fourth quarter for 175 of his 254 yards. He had two touchdown passes and ran for 50 yards, but also ended Chicago's final drive after being called for intentional grounding because he took a few steps back before spiking the ball.
It appears Hanie will remain the starter considering Cutler said Wednesday he might not return this year, plus rookie Nathan Enderle has no NFL pass attempts and fellow Bears backup Josh McCown has none since September 2009.
"He'll play better this coming week than he did the last," coach Lovie Smith said of Hanie. "That's normally how you would expect a guy to start off when he hasn't had a lot of time, but once he got going, especially in the second half, he made a lot of plays. You could see him getting more and more comfortable in the pocket and leading our offense."
A matchup with the struggling Chiefs (4-7) might help Hanie get even more comfortable. Kansas City's defense is 23rd in the league with 24.1 points allowed per game and has only one interception during the team's current four-game losing streak.
The Chiefs offense has been limited to 25 points during that skid, including one touchdown.
Kansas City held Pittsburgh to one TD last Sunday night but lost 13-9. Palko, in for the injured Matt Cassel, had three interceptions for the second straight game and fumbled a snap.
Chiefs coach Todd Haley indicated Orton, claimed off waivers last week after being cut by Denver, might have a chance to take over. He is expected to share first-team reps in practice this week with Palko, who has yet to throw a TD pass.
"We as much as anything else (want to) give Kyle an opportunity to get acclimated into the offense and the only way to do that is to get legitimate reps," Haley said. "In the end, the guy that we feel gives us the best chance to win will always play."
Orton spent his first four seasons with the Bears and helped lead them to the playoffs as a rookie in 2005. He was shipped to Denver in the trade for Cutler in April 2009 and was the starter in his two-plus seasons there before being supplanted by Tim Tebow in Week 6 this year.
"I don't expect anything but to work hard and learn the offense and try to fill any role that I can," Orton said. "It's just a matter of trying to get to know my teammates and get to know the system as well as I can and help any way that I can."
Should he face his former team for the first time, Orton will try to help the Chiefs avoid their first five-game skid since 2009 and keep their faint playoff hopes alive.
Kansas City has lost four of five all-time trips to Soldier Field and in its most recent visit in 2007, Devin Hester had a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown as the Bears won 20-10.
Hester has returned a punt or kickoff for a TD in three of his last four home games.
Another player making an impact for the Bears is Marion Barber, who had a team-best 63 yards on 10 attempts against Oakland. Barber could continue taking some more carries away from Matt Forte, who has averaged 60.0 yards over the last three games after averaging 137.2 in his previous five.
"(Barber is) a weapon that we need to use," Smith said.
The Bears might get another one to use with cornerback D.J. Moore hoping to return from an injured ankle.
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As the Bears prepare to host the Chiefs Sunday at Soldier Field, they're expecting quarterback Caleb Hanie to pick up right where he left off in the second half of last week's loss to the Raiders.
Will Kyle Orton be returning to Chicago as a starting quarterback? I think so. Will Caleb Hanie be able to improve upon his performance of a week ago? He has to. Will the Bears right the ship at home? Absolutely. WHY DO I LIKE THE CHICAGO BEARS THIS WEEK? I always like the Chicago Bears... Read more »
Pretty happy, as this video indicates. Living with Tim Tebow had to be difficult experience.
Somehow, neither the team’s acquisition of Kyle Orton nor a terrible performance against the Steelers last Sunday will cause Tyler Palko to lose his spot atop the depth chart for the Chiefs.
He’s safe under center, at least temporarily, according to his coach.
During a conference call Wednesday, Kansas City coach Todd Haley announced that Palko will start at quarterback against...
While Chicago sticks with Caleb Hanie, the Chiefs might start
former Bear Kyle Orton over a struggling Tyler Palko on Sunday at Soldier
Less than a week ago, Kyle Orton was close to re-joining the Chicago Bears.
Now he may start against them.
Kansas City Chiefs coach Todd Haley announced Monday that Orton will be given a chance this week to win the starting QB job this week, in time for Sunday's game versus the Bears.
The Chiefs' quarterback position is in flux after Tyler Palko threw four turnovers...
Okay, it's a fake Kyle Orton. But it's a pretty good likeness, and I'm sure the real Kyle Orton shares many of the same sentiments.
Get it out, Kyle. Get it all out.
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Poked, prodded and asked about his starting quarterback just about every way possible, Kansas City Chiefs coach Todd Haley had the same answer every time: Tyler Palko is the guy.
That doesn't mean Kyle Orton won't get the majority of the snaps Sunday at Chicago.
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One day after Tyler Palko committed four turnovers in a four-point loss to Pittsburgh, he remained the Chiefs' starting quarterback, at least in a public setting. But Palko's grip on the position, already tenuous, slipped further from his grasp when coach Todd Haley said the recently acquired Kyle Orton would also get some first-team snaps Wednesday when the Chiefs begin...