Countdown To Kickoff: Dan Orlovsky


Jan 1, 2012; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Dan Orlovsky (6) passes the ball in the first quarter of their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

What’s this? Another quarterback? I must be having the same problem as the New York Jets or Cleveland Browns, because I can’t decide on just one and stick with him.

Instability is a big problem to have as an offensive coordinator, but as a writer, this might be a good problem, because former Colts quarterback Dan Orlovsky is today’s honoree in Countdown To Kickoff.

Drafted in the fifth round out of Connecticut in 2005, Orlovsky spent his first four seasons as a backup with the Detroit Lions. He made his first-career start in Week 6 of the Lions’ infamous 2008 season in which they became the first team in NFL history to go 0-16.

After spending the next two seasons with the Houston Texans, Orlovsky signed with the Colts as a free agent in 2011. He barely made much of a ripple as one of the team’s final cuts in training camp, but with the team unsure of Peyton Manning’s health, Orlovsky was re-signed during Week 4.

When it became clear that Manning would not be returning and with Curtis Painter struggling mightily for the winless Colts, Orlovsky was named the starter out of desperation in Week 13.

In his first game against the New England Patriots, a 31-24 loss, Orlovsky had a solid game, going 30-37 for two touchdowns and one interception with a 113.7 quarterback rating. He led the Colts to their first win two weeks later over the Tennessee Titans, which also was his first official win as a starter in the NFL.

Orlovsky was able to carry the momentum into the following week as well, leading the Colts to comeback victory over the Houston Texans, highlighted by a game-winning 12-play, 78-yard drive with less than two minutes to play.

With the franchise’s future hanging in the balance in Week 17, Orlovsky could not carry the Colts to a third straight victory to close out the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Instead of tying for the worst record at 3-13, the Colts finished in last altogether at 2-14, meaning they were in line for the top pick in the upcoming draft.

New Year’s Day 2012 was a sad one for Colts owner Jim Irsay, because he knew it likely meant that he would have to cut ties with the iconic Manning and several other players, including Orlovsky.

Countdown To Kickoff Archive

Aug 21: Peyton Manning
Aug 22: Austin Collie
Aug 23: Ryan Leaf
Aug 24: LaVon Brazill
Aug 26: T.Y. Hilton
Aug 27: Andrew Luck
Aug 28: Donnie Avery
Aug 31: Matt Hasselbeck
Sept 1: Curtis Painter
Sept 2: Dan Orlovsky
Sept 3: Kerry Collins
Sept 4: Adam Vinatieri
Sept 5: Matt Stover
Sept 7: Pat McAfee