The Sanchez vs. Henne Debate

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.