ESPN published an interesting article today in regards to the Henne vs Sanchez argument. You can see it here: http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/columns/story?columnist=joyner_kc&id=6616755
I think it goes without saying that the NY Media bias makes the gap wider than it is, in reality. Just going to show that we don't need Henne to make a MAJOR leap to lead us deep into the playoffs. I think Henne CAN be our Super Bowl QB...
Here's the full article for those without ESPN Insider...
There is a train of thought among many football historians that former New York Jets legend Joe Namath doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame.
At some level this looks like a hard case to make. Namath was the first passer to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a season and he piloted his team to maybe the most important Super Bowl win in NFL history.
That caveat being made, there is ample evidence to back the argument for Namath's exclusion. Namath led his teams to the playoffs only two times in his career, and his only playoff wins occurred during the Super Bowl run. In addition, Namath's career won/loss record was below .500 (62-63-4) and his 65.5 career passing rating mark was a middle-of-the-road total for his era.
Whether one agrees or disagrees with this premise, one thing does seem clear: If Namath had played in any city other than New York, the odds that his achievements would have led to a Hall of Fame nomination would have been severely diminished.
These two share many similarities (successful college careers, two-year starters for an AFC East team) but the perceptions of where they are at this point are markedly different.
Sanchez is seen as having a very bright future (Rex Ryan used the word "extraordinary" in his autobiography to describe Sanchez's prospects in the NFL), while Henne has battled recurring rumors that the Dolphins are considering bringing in youngsters and veterans to challenge him for the Miami starting quarterback spot.
The odd thing about this is that there are many reasons to think these two have made an equal amount of progression in their two seasons behind center.
Their cumulative metrics in this time frame certainly do their part to back this claim. Here are Henne and Sanchez's numbers:
|Depth Level||Henne (YPA)||Sanchez (YPA)|
|Short (1-10 yards)||6.2||5.4|
|Medium (11-19 yards)||10.2||10.2|
|Deep (20-29 yards)||7.7||9.3|
|Bomb (30+ yards)||11.9||12.2|
|Vertical (11+ yards)||9.9||10.4|
|Stretch vertical (20+ yards)||9.1||10.7|
|Overall total (all passes)||6.6||6.6|
(Note: These totals include penalty attempts and yardage for infractions such as pass interference, defensive holding, etc.)
Henne leads Sanchez in short passes and equals his total in the medium and overall pass YPA categories. He also isn't far behind Sanchez in vertical or stretch vertical passes.
That last statement is doubly important because of the relative state of their receiving corps. In 2010, Sanchez had the benefit of working with two wide receivers with a history of being in the top 25 in various vertical pass categories (Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes).
Henne had no such benefit. Brandon Marshall was brought in to be the Dolphins' top wideout, but catching long passes has never been his strong suit, while Davone Bess and Brian Hartline are possession receivers.
Another area that falls in Henne's favor is the bad decision metric. Bad decisions are defined as when a quarterback makes a mistake with the ball that leads either to a turnover or a near turnover (e.g., dropped interception, fumble recovered by the offense, etc.).
Henne's bad decision rate over the past two seasons is 1.9 percent, placing him in the top 13 in this metric in each of the past two years.
By contrast, Sanchez has had a 3.6 percent bad decision rate, placing him in the bottom six quarterbacks in this category in that same timeframe.
To put this last metric another way, Henne's 1.9 percent rate means he makes a mistake of this nature about once in every 50 passes; Sanchez's 3.6 percent rate means he makes an error like this about once every 28 passes.
In other words, Henne had equal overall YPA production, despite not having a quality vertical threat on his roster. He also accomplished this while making errors at about half of the rate of Sanchez.
If those figures weren't enough, Henne's Dolphins have beaten Sanchez's Jets three out of the four times they have played in the past two years.
This isn't meant to say that Henne is hands down the better quarterback -- he hasn't been in a playoff game, and Sanchez has a 4-2 postseason record, in part because of quality play on his part in many of those contests.
Having said that, the entirety of the Sanchez/Henne comparison says these two aren't anywhere near as far apart in performance as their reputations would indicate. The playoffs account for much of Sanchez's lead here, but playing in New York for maybe the most charismatic coach of our era also goes a long ways toward keeping Sanchez's perceived status level much higher than that of his South Florida division rival.