After today's Bears win over the Rams, I had to stop for a second to consider Kyle Orton's play. Did he play well? Did the injury affect him? I had just sat and watched every play of the Bears game but it was not immediately apparent to me if Orton played well or not.
Looking at the statistics, Orton's play was above average, but nothing that knocked me off my feet. He didn't make any major mistakes, as he didn't turn the ball over at all. He threw the ball for 139 yards and one touchdown. Nothing about Orton's play was spectacularly good or spectacularly bad, and that is exactly how Orton should strive to play for the rest of the season.
No one is going to mistake Kyle Orton for Peyton Manning, and he shouldn't try to get there. He doesn't need to throw long for a touchdown at every chance. He doesn't need to play beyond his abilities. Serviceable, mistake-free football is exactly what Orton should be aiming for every week.
The Bears won today by relying on defense and the run. That's the classic Bears formula, but when executed well, it works. That formula doesn't require a flashy, 350-yd per week QB. With Forte running as well as he did today -- 132 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns -- Orton needs to be able to complete passes and hands offs to Forte. He needs to occasionally throw the ball long to make good use of Hester's speed. He needs to make good use of the clock to give the defense a chance to catch their breath between drives.
He does not need to be great. Being good will help the Bears win and get them to the playoffs.