When Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson steps on the field in Arizona to take on the Cardinals on the Sep. 9 season opener, he will be the lowest drafted rookie QB to start for his team Week 1 since Kyle Orton for the Chicago Bears in 2005.
Orton, a fourth round selection out of Purdue, was forced into action following a preseason injury to Rex Grossman that coincided with some terrible play from normal second-stringer Chad Hutchinson. Understandably, Orton didn't exactly shine, completing 15-of-28 passes for 141 yards and one interception in the 9-7 loss to the Washington Redskins.
The good news for Seahawks fans is Orton did go 10-5 as a starter that season, even stringing an eight game winning streak together on the way to earning a first round bye as well as NFC North championship. Sadly, the fun did end early with the Bears losing their only playoff game but the 10 wins stand as the third most ever for a rookie signal caller since 1970 behind Ben Roethlisberger (14 in 2004) and Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan (both had 11 in 2008).
While the situations aren't exactly identical, Orton's early success might have Seahawks fans dreaming about a 2012 divisional title.
Take a look at the Seattle Times brief yet intriguing story by Danny O'Neil for more comparisons to fellow rookie QB starters.
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