Claiming Kyle Orton off waivers is a good move, but Orton was a transaction Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli had to make.

Claiming Kyle Orton off waivers is a good move, but Orton was a transaction Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli had to make.

Pioli made a statement before Matt Cassel’s injury on free agency and spending money. Pioli stated the surplus was for emergencies and signing players.

“We are in the mode of doing whatever we need to do to try and win games and stay in this race,” Chiefs coach Todd Haley said after being beaten by Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, “because we still are in it. We’re by no means out of it if we start playing consistently good football down the stretch. Right now, we haven’t done that the last three weeks.”

The Chiefs aren’t picked to win it all, but Haley’s still eyeing the AFC West title. With the Chiefs having nearly $40 million in cap space and Orton’s remaining contract – an estimated $2.5 million – he’s an easy hire.

Orton was cheap; he’s 29 and a free agent at the end of the season. For six games there’s no commitment. With receivers Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston and rookie Jon Baldwin, Orton has weapons to work with.

The Chiefs had little chance with Tyler Palko, but with Haley still pushing for the division, why not Orton?

“A Carl Peterson move,” said one Chiefs fan. “It’s just Clark Hunt wanting to sell a few more tickets. This season is well over, when Jamaal Charles went down, so did the Chiefs’ bread and butter. Why not take a look at Stanzi?”

Fans want Ricky Stanzi, the rookie from Iowa, but Stanzi isn’t a guarantee. More than anything fans want a quarterback. If not Stanzi, then someone they can call their own. Unfortunately the majority still aren’t sold on Cassel.

To fans, Orton is a Band-Aid on a larger problem. Still, Orton isn’t a bad deal.

What if Orton gets a few more fans in the seats? That doesn’t make Pioli a bad guy. Isn’t the 12th man just as important? A fuller Arrowhead does wonders when playing teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers. Beating either one would make Orton worth it.

It shows the Chiefs haven’t quit. It’s meant to keep fans, and hopefully players like Baldwin will develop more in the process. Even Stanzi could learn something from having Orton around.

Pioli came to Kansas City with the reputation of being a skilled evaluator. Pioli’s taken the hits in Kansas City, but claiming Orton was a no-brainer.

SIZING UP THE STEELERS: Will Chief grit show itself against the Steelers?
Getting blasted by four touchdowns in four games has fans cowering. It hurts, but fans aren’t expecting anything from the Chiefs.

Respect is missing and doubt looms over Haley and Pioli. The Chiefs have hit their 2011 rock bottom. By hosting the Steelers Sunday night, the Chiefs’ first Sunday night home game since playing the Buffalo Bills in 2003, Kansas City has a shot at redemption.

The Chiefs capped a dramatic comeback at Arrowhead with a 22-yard field goal from rookie kicker Ryan Succop to register a 27-24 overtime win against the Steelers in 2009. The game-winning score was set up by a 61-yard pass from Cassel to Chris Chambers. Kansas City’s defense forced three takeaways, including two interceptions from Andy Studebaker, who made his first NFL start for the injured Mike Vrabel.

The Steelers (7-3) are fighting for the AFC North title, but the Chiefs face the same test. The Patriots and Steelers are both part of the toughest part of the Chiefs’ schedule. Like the Pats, the Steelers resemble the team the Chiefs want to be.

The only difference from last week and the Steelers Sunday night is it’s back to Arrowhead. Sometimes Arrowhead causes things to happen – like beating teams the Chiefs aren’t supposed to.

The Steelers are a juggernaut, and the Chiefs aren’t expected to win – not even close. Last week the Chiefs had a 15 percent chance of beating the Patriots, but somehow or some way Kansas City just might beat the Steelers.

I don’t have numbers backing Kansas City up – there aren’t any – I’m just hoping they can.

It depends on which Chiefs team plays against Pittsburgh. The team that shut out the Oakland Raiders or the one that’s been shredded four times this season. The Steelers aren’t running as well this year, so the Chiefs could force Ben Roethlisberger into mistakes.

There’s a lot to answer for, especially to fans who are questioning this team. A good start would be playing with guts Sunday night.

Good day, Chief fans!