Let's play a simple game of "What if?" for a minute. What if the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football? What if it's Tyler Palko who clearly leads the charge, and not the defense or even another offensive player? Could the Kansas City Chiefs afford to not start Palko the next week against the Chicago Bears?
The assumption has been that Kyle Orton would come in and be the starter, and that's the best guess. After all, Orton is due a cool couple million-plus for a few weeks of work. That's not an amount you pay without any plans to watch that money at work. But if the Chiefs are playing for the division title and can beat one of the biggest powers of the AFC with Palko at quarterback, that creates an interesting quandary.
And let's be honest that despite Orton's better numbers, mechanics and experience, the Broncos already benched Orton twice with two regimes choosing another quarterback to start over him. Palko has been with the Chiefs for two seasons and knows the playbook, schemes, tendencies and teammates to a degree that Orton never will unless he signs for the long-term.
In short, this isn't a simple case of "Orton good, Palko bad" or a decision made by a Magic 8 Ball. This isn't just about raw skills or who is paid more. Instead, it's a complex decision about which quarterback is the better fit for this particular offense against the next six teams the Chiefs have to go against. If Palko shows that he's the man against one, then the Chiefs have a bigger decision to make than what some people might realize concerning the others.