NFL lines were beaten by Denver in just 4 out of 16 games last year based in large part to their defense, which was one of the worst in NFL gambling as it ranked 29th. As bad as last season was for Denver against the NFL lines this year might prove to be even worse as they got rid of the one major NFL gambling asset that they had in quarterback Jay Cutler, who was traded to the Chicago Bears in exchange for their sometime quarterback Kyle Orton.
This was NOT an upgrade against the NFL lines and Denver has done little to improve the defense. All told it looks like a bad equation against the NFL lines for 2009. Backing up Orton is Chris Simms, who has had a disappointing career against the NFL lines.
Simms has a mediocre quarterback rating of 71.2 as he enters his 7th season of action against the NFL lines. In 2005 he was the starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but could not keep the job as coach Jon Gruden lost confidence in him. He landed in Tennessee where he was a backup against the NFL lines last year.
Orton has a career quarterback rating of 71.1 against the NFL lines. While his best season was last year it was still not great as he finished with a 79.6 rating and 18 touchdowns with 12 interceptions on a team with a strong defense that should have made the playoffs in a weak division.
To make matters worse Orton was terrible down the stretch during the playoff drive as he had quarterback ratings in the final five weeks of 39.1, 85.3, 49.2, 48.7, and 97.1 as Chicago blew the playoffs. During that critical stretch he had a poor 7/8 touchdown/interception ratio.
New Denver head coach, went out of his way to alienate Cutler as he went public saying he wanted Matt Cassel to come with him from New England, (he instead went to Kansas City). McDaniels blunder may cost Denver and gamblers for years to come!
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