Playing with the first-team offense in the third quarter, Orton drove the Bears 81 yards for a touchdown against Buffalo's second-team team defense in Chicago's 16-12 victory against the Bills.
"We're pleased with how Kyle Orton stepped in and gave the offense a boost," Bears coach Lovie Smith said, adding that he would watch tape before making any final evaluations.
Despite 17 penalties, the Bears (3-1) won when Adrian Peterson ran 3 yards for a touchdown with 1:32 left against Bills' second and third-teamers. That capped a 50-yard drive with Jeff Blake, the fourth Chicago quarterback, running the offense.
But it was Orton's strong play and Hutchinson's poor outing in his second start since replacing injured Rex Grossman -- two interceptions, three sacks and 3-for-14 passing -- that was most noticeable.
"We need to a little work with the quarterback position and we'll do that," Smith said. "We will evaluate it throughout. All starting positions have to play well.
"It wasn't a good effort and it wasn't all Chad's fault. We had other breakdowns. He didn't throw the ball as well as he needs to. He missed some reads. It just wasn't a good night."
Buffalo (2-1) led most of the game after Nate Clements returned a first-quarter interception 31 yards for a touchdown against the struggling Hutchinson.
"I think he was locked in. I read the receiver and got to the ball," Clements said. "I saw his eyes and played the route and made a play."
Hutchinson suffered two interceptions and fumbled while being sacked three times a week ago against the Colts in his first start since replacing Grossman. Grossman is out at least three months -- and maybe the entire season -- with a broken ankle.
Hutchinson's play went downhill this night and he was booed in Chicago's first home preseason game. He was not available for comment after the game.
Orton was cheered loudly when he came out to start the third quarter. He completed seven passes in the 81-yard scoring drive capped by a 2-yard TD toss to Desmond Clark that cut Buffalo's lead to 12-10.
He was 7-for-11 for 74 yards, but wasn't ready to pronounce himself the starter.
"You'll have to ask Coach Smith," said Orton, a fourth-round pick out of Purdue. "I think I played pretty well. I had one good drive out of two."
Bills quarterback J.P. Losman wasn't satisfied, either. He played the first half and the first series of the third quarter, completing 9 of 18 passes for 82 yards before he was replaced by former Bear Shane Matthews.
"It wasn't a good performance. I felt like everything was there," Losman said. "They called the right plays, the blocking was there. ... I was hesitating a little to pull the trigger."
Rian Lindell missed an extra point after Clements' touchdown but kicked a pair of field goals for the Bills.
After Hutchinson threw three incompletions in his first three attempts under heavy pressure, he tried to complete a sideline pass to Bernard Berrian. But Clements cut right in front and intercepted the ball, racing easily to the end zone from 31 yards out late in the opening quarter.
When Hutchinson returned to the huddle for the next series, he was booed loudly. Minutes later, Thomas Jones broke off a 40-yard run to the Buffalo 18.
But after Hutchinson completed a 9-yarder, he threw incomplete to the end zone on third down and the Bears settled for Doug Brien's 28-yard field goal.
Hutchinson's pass for Jones late in the half was deflected, then picked off by Takeo Spikes. He lateraled the ball to Clements, who was knocked out on the 3.
But Losman fumbled on second down and was tackled for a 20-yard loss by Hunter Hillenmeyer. The Bills ended up with a 38-yard field goal from Lindell.
He added a 44-yarder at the end of Buffalo's first series of the second half, right after a scrambling Losman missed a wide-open George Wilson in the end zone.
With rookie first-round draft pick
The Associated Press News Service
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