After sitting for Week 16, Orton started the regular season finale, Week 17, against the Minnesota Vikings. The outcome of this game, for the Chicago Bears, did not have any effect on their post-season hopes. The Bears had already clinched the NFC North championship and a first-round bye in the 2005-06 playoffs with their Week 16 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Grossman then started for the Bears in their only post-season game. They lost to the Carolina Panthers.
Overall, the Bears had a record of 10-5 in games that Orton started, including an eight-game winning streak after a 1-3 start. Despite the team's success, Orton finished with the lowest quarterback rating in the NFL (59.7) among all "qualified" quarterbacks (those with 224+ pass attempts). Despite the low rating, the Bears coaches repeatedly insisted that they were pleased with Orton's performance. The coaching staff asked Orton to minimize mistakes and to let the rushing attack and the defense win ballgames rather than employing an aggressive passing attack.
Measuring Orton's victories, his rookie season was successful. His 15 starts and 10 victories are both rookie records for Bears quarterbacks, and the 10 victories are the third most in the NFL, since 1970, behind Ben Roethlisberger's 14 victories in '04, and Joe Flacco's and Matt Ryan's 11 victories in '08.
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