Lions and Texans and Cowboys, Oh My!



In today’s edition of “Ten Things I Think I Think,” His Majesty made the following polarized statements about the two quarterbacks from last year’s Detroit Lions, Dan Orlovsky and Jon Kitna, who changed teams during the off-season:

a. The Houston Texans signed Dan Orlovsky for $9.15 million over three years. Stunning. They really think of Orlovsky as a solid backup quarterback? On what planet?

g. The Cowboys got better at backup with the deal for Jon Kitna.

Neither of these players is anything to write home about, but The King would like you to believe that one of them is remarkably better than the other, which is simply not true.

Last year, Orlovsky made eight starts and averaged 201 passing yards per game; Kitna made four starts and averaged 208 passing yards per game (I doubled his yardage output in the fourth game to account for the half he missed due to injury). Orlovsky threw eight touchdowns and eight interceptions, an average of one touchdown pass and one pick per contest; Kitna threw five touchdown passes and five interceptions, an average of 1.25 touchdowns and 1.25 picks. As far as completion percentage is concerned, Orlovsky converted 56.1 percent of his passes and Kitna completed 56.7 percent. Orlovsky was sacked 14 times (1.75 times per game), while Kitna was sacked 15 times (3.75 times per game). Neither player won a game.

I suppose one could make the argument that Kitna is a serviceable backup quarterback, but judging by their nearly identical stats from last season, it would be nearly impossible to conclude that he is a substantially better player than Orlovsky. And while Kitna will certainly be an upgrade over the woeful Brad Johnson in Dallas, his age (36) and recent injury history compounded with his propensity for sustaining sacks make him a less reliable option than the younger, healthier but equally mediocre Orlovsky…on any planet. Of course, as The King and The Don (Banks) continue to point out, it is a waste of time to make rational arguments based on statistical evidence and a larger sample size when one could simply use a single play to make the case against the “dim-witted” Orlovsky. He lost his bearings and stepped out of bounds for a safety one time, which clearly proves that he is not only a substantially worse player than the man he replaced in the line-up (Kitna) but one of the worst players ever to play the game. I give up, Your Majesty, you win…

Update: In MMQB Tuesday Edition, an emailer (I swear it wasn’t me using a pseudonym!) called King out on his irrational treatment of Orlovsky. The King’s response: Dan Orlovsky is a nice third quarterback who, given a chance, might be able to play in the NFL at a competent level someday. He has given me no reason to think he deserves to get $3 million a year and be one of the highest-paid backup quarterbacks in football. Okay, Your Majesty, your complaints about Orlovsky’s high salary as a backup make perfect sense…until you take into consideration the salary that Jon Kitna was paid last year to be an older, less healthy and more sack-prone version of Orlovsky: $5 million. Looks like I won Rounds one and two of this Royal jousting match…


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