KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 27: Quarterback Tyler Palko #4 of the Kansas City Chiefs hands off to Thomas Jones #20 during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 27, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley has been saying all week that "Tyler's our starter" throughout the week, referring to the Tyler Palko vs. Kyle Orton debate, but not everyone thought the Chiefs coach was telling the truth. In fact, most folks thought he was bluffing.
With over 1,800 votes in our poll conducted on Wednesday, 75 percent of voters predicted Kyle Orton would start against Chicago. Not should start but will start. People thought Haley was holding out for a competitive advantage, making the Bears prepare for both, and that ultimately Orton would start.
Right now, all indications are that Palko will indeed start and I don't see that changing in the next few hours.
As to why the Palko vs. Orton debate is still alive just a few hours before the game, Haley has never actually said "Tyler is starting on Sunday" -- maybe that's just semantics on my part -- and, along with that, he did not take an opportunity to fully commit to Palko starting when asked by a Chicago radio station last week. That's why some of us are still sitting here on Sunday morning wondering who the starting quarterback will be, despite Haley claiming Palko is the starter all week.
We've never really gotten a straight answer from Haley this week on exactly why he believes Palko gives the Chiefs a better chance to win, which could suggest there is no legitimate answer. Sam Mellinger of the KC Star takes a deeper look at the decision to start Palko and comes up with at least one plausible explanation for Palko's appearance. I don't totally agree with it but at least I understand it (unlike some of Haley's attempts to defend the Palko decision this week).
If Palko does start, the next question is how short is his leash.