Kyle Orton's trouble spots

March, 7, 2011
3/07/11
5:25
PM ET
Kyle Orton is going to be a starting quarterback in the NFL this season.

It will either be in Denver -- if the Broncos decide to go with Orton over Tim Tebow -- or it will be elsewhere if Denver decides to trade Orton.

Wherever Orton is playing in 2011, he does have some areas he needs to improve upon. Orton struggled when Denver was behind by eight or fewer points in the fourth quarter and in general on third down in 2010. That is a clear sign of a player having trouble in the clutch.

Thanks to Mark Simon of ESPN Stats and Information, let’s breakdown the numbers:

In the fourth quarter when down by eight points or less, Orton completed 50 percent of his passes, which was the sixth worst percentage in the NFL. He had a passer rating of 51.3, which was the tied for the fifth worst in the league. In general, Orton’s completion percentage and passer rating was higher in the first three quarters than they were in the fourth quarter in 2010.

Orton wasn’t much better on third down in 2010. He completed 50 percent of his passes on third down, which was tied for the eighth worst in the league. His passer rating on third down was 58.0. He threw five interceptions on third down.

A quarterback is defined by his performance in key parts of the game. In 2010, Orton was far from a solid pressure player. Overall, Orton is a quality player and he has some value, whether it’s in Denver or not, but these are two key areas he must improve upon next season.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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