Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk wants to know which area of the 7-5 Buffalo Bills needs to sharpen up most if they're going to make the playoffs this season.
It's the easy answer because it's the right answer: Kyle Orton is the player that needs to be sharper if the Bills are going to make a genuine run at the postseason.
In his first three starts, Orton sported quarterback ratings of 88.1, 94.1, and 95.4, trending upward each week. In his last three games (discounting the Jets game... more on that in a second), Orton has produced quarterback ratings of 81.9, 69.7, and a season-low 57.2 in last week's win over Cleveland. To put it bluntly, he has been awful of late...
... except against those Jets. In fact, if Orton is able to parlay his modest success this season into a shot at the Bills' starting job next season, he may very well have the tire fire in New Jersey to thank for it.
|Kyle Orton vs. Jets (2 games, 2-0 record)|
|Kyle Orton vs. everyone else (6 games, 3-3 record)|
The Bills aren't going to traverse a month filled with Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady based solely on the half of their team that's genuinely good (i.e. their defense). They're going to need, at bare minimum, the solid version of Orton they had earlier in the season to compete against some of the league's best teams. If, and only if, Orton improves over the last month, then the Bills might actually have a shot at this thing.