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Curtis Painter vs. Dan Orlovsky: A Tale of the Tape of Mediocre Indianapolis Colts QBs

The Indianapolis Colts are turning to Dan Orlovsky to save their season. Curtis Painter has had his opportunity, and all we’ve learned is that Reggie Wayne should never evaluate a quarterback. Ever. He was a little spoiled with Peyton. Before the season, I tried to estimate the impact of losing Peyton Manning, and failed miserably in this particular instance, in part due to how bad the rest of the roster turned out to be without the Peyton band-aid, and in part due to how bad the QB situation is relative to other backups.

Undeterred by that setback, I will now make amends by trying to figure out just how much the Colts will be affected by going from Curtis Painter to Dan Orlovsky. To do so, I looked for all other cases where a QB with six or more starts and without a career win was replaced by a QB with six or more starts and without a career win.

I didn’t find any. I made it back to the 1992 Seahawks with Kelly Stouffer, Stan Gelbaugh and Dan McGwire, but Stouffer mucked it up by having won 3 starts earlier in his career (Gelbaugh never did have a win) and Dan McGwire somehow won a game in which he went 3 for 7 for 27 yards and Von Miller recorded three sacks. We’ll just assume there is nothing comparable – Beck and Lemon for the 2008 Dolphins, but neither had done anything before that season as Beck was a rookie.

So, that avenue closed, we’ll just have to go about this another way. We’ll size them up, blow by blow:

  • Size: Orlovsky is 6’5″, Painter is 6’4″. You might be tempted to say Orlovsky here, but that extra inch can actually be a detriment when you are running near the back of the end zone. Besides, it’s more about the arm motion, or so I hear. Advantage: Painter.
  • Accuracy: Orlovsky- 56.0%; Painter- 51.7%. Advantage: The Lucas Oil Field turf.
  • Yards Per Attempt: Orlovsky – 6.1; Painter- 6.0. Advantage: Push
  • Interception Rate: Orlovsky- 2.7%; Painter- 4.1%. Advantage: Orlovsky
  • Hair: Orlovsky- I couldn’t pick him out of a lineup; Painter- I could definitely pick him out of a lineup. Advantage: Painter, unless he plans on becoming a long time assistant coach at a major college program.
  • Facial Symmetry: Advantage: Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Heisman Moment: Orlovsky- running out of end zone untouched for safety in two point loss to Minnesota; Painter- Consecutive soul crushing end zone interceptions against Carolina. Advantage: Orlovsky

Looks like a push to me. When I size up the actual passing statistics, somehow Painter is actually worse, though Orlovsky is known for starting on an 0-16 team and has til now been sitting behind the Blonde Bomber. When we consider intangibles, such as the fact that 6 of Orlovsky’s 7 losses, while Painter has only 4 such close losses, we can definitely say that Painter is more of a winner.

This move probably costs the Colts zero wins, give or take five. If we look at how each of their teams did in their respective starts, Orlovsky’s Lions lost by an average of 28.0 to 14.1, while Painter’s Colts have lost by 30.4 to 13. If Orlovsky can somehow improve this year’s Colts by a similar margin, bettors will at least have to pause for a few seconds before turning in that ticket this week.

Pause and laugh.

[photos via Getty]

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