The Sanchez vs. Henne Debate

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A seemingly never ending “debate”, particularly on ESPN.com is the question of who has been better so far in their NFL career, Mark Sanchez or Chad Henne.

I am aware Chad Henne has thrown for more yards, has a higher completion percentage, and a higher quarterback rating. I am also aware of the following…

Mark Sanchez has more touchdown passes and five more rushing touchdowns.

Mark Sanchez’s regular season record as a starter is 29-12. Henne’s is 14-14 (counting a win over Tennessee last year when he came in after one series for an injured Chad Pennington).

In his second full year as a starter, Henne threw 3 more touchdowns than he did the previous year and 5 more interceptions. In his second full year as a starter, Sanchez threw 5 more touchdowns than he did the previous year, and 8 less interceptions.

Mark Sanchez has two winning seasons, two playoff appearances, and four playoff wins (all on the road). Chad Henne has two 7-9 seasons, zero playoff appearances and zero playoff wins.

Where I really put Sanchez above Henne, is performance in big games and big spots. For Sanchez, it isn’t hard to pick out the big games…

  • 139.4 QB Rating on the road in a wild-card victory over Cincinnati in 2009.
  • 93.3 QB Rating on the road in a AFC Championship Game loss to Indianapolis in 2009.
  • 127.3 QB Rating on the road in a AFC Divisional Game win over New England in 2010.
  • 102.2 QB Rating on the road in a AFC Championship Game loss to the Pittsburgh in 2010.

For Henne, it is a little more difficult. In 2009, Miami was 7-6 with a very good chance for the playoffs. Here is what Hennedid in their next two games, both losses…

  • 3 interceptions, 66.3 QB Rating in a loss to Tennessee.
  • 1 interception, 78.0 QB Rating in a loss to Houston.

Miami would also lose in week 17, to finish 7-9.

In 2010, the Dolphins were 4-3 and a had big mid-season game against the Ravens. Henne threw zero touchdowns and three interceptions before being benched the following week. A few weeks later, the Dolphins were 6-5, still in playoff contention and Henne was back under center. He threw three interceptions against Cleveland and the Dolphins lost again. Henne did beat the Jets the following week, despite going 5/18 for 55 yards and being sacked five times.

For the second year in a row, this left Miami at 7-6 and with a shot for the playoffs. Similar to 2009, they lost out to finish 7-9. In this stretch of games, Henne threw 2 touchdowns to 4 interceptions.

So yes, the past two years Henne’s record between weeks 15-17 is 0-6.

In 2010, Sanchez led the Jets to four 4th quarter comeback wins. In 2010, Henne led the Dolphins to zero fourth quarter comeback wins.

The bottom line is that Sanchez took a step forward in 2010, while Henne took a step back. Sanchez has proven himself to be a winner, who plays better in big spots. Henne hasn’t proven anything yet and has not consistently played better in big spots.

I don’t know if KC Joyner’s metrics account for any of that, but if you needed to win a big game…you are taking Mark Sanchez over Chad Henne every single time.

4 thoughts on “The Sanchez vs. Henne Debate

  1. Some thoughts from a Dolphins fan…

    For me there’s only one important statistic and you mentioned it: “Mark Sanchez’s regular season record as a starter is 29-12. Henne’s is 14-14.” That could be the end of the conversation right there. But this being the internet, it won’t be. So let me throw two more things out there to chew on:

    Until this year, Henne has played under offensive coordinator Dan Henning and my feeling was that Henning didn’t trust Henne enough to give him the opportunity to grow as a QB. We’ll see if that changes under new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. If, after the 2011 season, Henne doesn’t make enough progress then in 2012 he’ll be playing somewhere in New Zealand.

    The other item, far more important, is that Sanchez, regardless of statistics, is the leader of his team. He’s taken ownership of the offense and is willing to be the face of the Jets. Henne has done no such thing with the Dolphins. Look at any of his postgame press conferences on Youtube and you’ll see a guy who really doesn’t want to be there.

    In the end this all adds up to Sanchez being a superior QB — today — and may be with the Jets for a very long time.

  2. I watched all Jet’s games and all Dolphin’s games (on rewind)last year. Most fans don’t watch both. It made it easier to compare these two guys. One thing I realized, is how important being good at your play-action fakes, relates to your success at Qb. If you watch these two, with that in mind, you get a good perspective. Clearly,one of them worked alot harder at it…..

  3. Really good points about both the leadership aspect of playing quarterback and play action fakes, couldn’t agree more

  4. YOu all forget that Sanchez played for a great team…and Henne did not. End of discussion here. If you play for a good team your win and losses will be better. What koolaid are you all drinking?

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