KANSAS CITY, Mo. —The Chiefs saw the best and worst of quarterback Kyle Orton on Saturday.
They saw him throw two interceptions, both in Oakland territory. They saw him called for intentional grounding twice in crucial situations. They saw some of the reasons two other teams have given up on him in the past four years.
And they saw the quarterback with enough moxie and arm strength to rally a team in the final minutes of the fourth quarter and give it a chance to win at the end of regulation during the Chiefs' 16-13 overtime loss to the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium.
Orton, in his second start with the Chiefs, completed 21 of 36 passes for 300 yards and a game-tying, 3-yard touchdown flip to Dwayne Bowe with 62 seconds left in regulation. But the two interceptions were killers, if not totally Orton's fault.
The Chiefs, tied 3-3, faced a third-and-six at the Oakland 13 with 3 minutes left in the second quarter when Orton's pass intended for a covered Dwayne Bowe in the end zone was intercepted by Raiders safety Matt Giordano, who was all by himself in the middle of end zone and returned it 62 yards.
On the previous play, Bowe had dropped a pass in the end zone while covered by cornerback Stanford Routt, so the Chiefs went back to a similar play, only to see Giordano undercut the route. So had Bowe caught the previous pass....
"I thought he was the good Kyle Orton," said wide receiver Steve Breaston, defending the sequence that led to the first interception. "There are a number of things that go wrong. There are other plays that lead to other plays. He played well ... we had the opportunity to make plays, and we didn't make plays."
Orton's second interception came with the Chiefs trailing 10-6 early in the fourth quarter. A third-and-three pass down the middle intended for Bowe was picked off by Routt, who came across Bowe as the ball arrived.
"It was kind of frustrating," Orton said. "We made too many mistakes to beat a good football team in December. The red zone turnover I had, that's the one I wish I had back.
"The other interception, Routt made a great play. He's a good player, and sometimes that happens in the NFL. They make great plays, and I give him credit for that."
Orton was perplexed by his two intentional grounding penalties. The second one came in the final minute of the first half that moved the ball from the Chiefs' 23 to their 34. That was followed by a comedy of errors, including a delay of game coming out of a time out and a false start by tackle Barry Richardson that led to a 49-yard field goal attempt that was blocked.
"They were two big penalties," Orton said of the groundings. "The one that knocked us out of field goal range or made it a longer field goal, I thought I had a receiver there. They made the calls, and we have to live by it.
"We would take one step forward and a couple of steps back. It seems like the whole game, we'd pick up a first down and then get a holding call, bad (pass), drop or procedure penalty. It just wasn't as crisp as last week. It is disappointing to play like that in a big game.
And suddenly, after the Chiefs' offense was a collection of fits and starts for more than three quarters, everything clicked. After Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski seemingly put the game away with a 31-yard field goal for a 13-6 lead with 3:01 to play, Orton lit it up.
Orton completed four of five passes for 80 yards — including a screen to Dexter McCluster that went 49 yards to the Oakland 3 — as the Chiefs tied it 13-13 with his first touchdown pass as a Chief, the 3-yard toss to Bowe.
The Chiefs forced a three-and-out, giving Orton one more chance to pull out a miracle, and he hit Bowe for 25 yards and Terrence Copper for 11 yards, only to see Ryan Succop's second-49-yard field goal attempt get blocked and the game go on to overtime.
"I thought all of the guys fought hard," Orton said. "I haven't been here that long, but these guys fight. It's an honor to play with them. The competitive spirit everybody has in that locker room is a great thing. It is what enabled us to come back and tie the game and have a chance to win."