During the 2010 NFL playoffs, when Mark Sanchez was a rookie guiding the Jets to the AFC title game, an ESPN stat guy compared the former USC star to … JaMarcus Russell. Some stats were cherry-picked, other pivotal information omitted, and everyone got a good laugh.
Then came the following preseason, when Sanchez was ineffective and some blogger went after him. Yes, for a bad preseason. Sanchez dusted his shoulders off and guided the Jets once again to the AFC Championship game in his second year as an NFL QB.
That wasn’t good enough either, though. In March, the stat-guys poured over videotape and provided evidence! Sanchez was lucky. That was it. The defenses kept dropping sure interceptions!
Which brings us to today, and the latest round of, “Mark Sanchez is a shitty quarterback, you could plug any joker in there and the Jets would be in the AFC title game.”
KC Joyner – we’ve had our issues with him before – decided to write about Sanchez by comparing him to … wait for it … Chad Henne of the Miami Dolphins.
(Yes, the same Henne who has instilled such confidence in the Dolphins that they are reportedly considering bringing in free agent MATT FUCKING MOORE this summer. Matt Moore was on the Panthers last year. He was undrafted. The Panthers let Jake Delhomme go, thinking Moore was their guy … then they drafted Jimmy Clausen in 2010 and Cam Newton in 2011. Clearly, Matt Moore was not their guy. And you wonder why I have the Dolphins picking first in the 2012 NFL draft.)
It’s Friday, and I’m excited for the weekend, so I took the bait and actually read Joyner’s breakdown of Sanchez vs. Henne (you’ll need ESPN Insider):
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.
… the entirety of the Sanchez/Henne comparison says these two aren’t anywhere near as far apart in performance as their reputations would indicate.
Love the selectivity of Joyner. Did he watch those four Jets-Dolphins games? I did.
Henne threw the game-winning pass against the Jets – over the outstretched arms of Revis; it was a money pass – in a 31-27 victory. It was a good game. I remember watching the game at a bar. Sanchez wasn’t terrible (his 5th game as a pro and it was on MNF): 7.2 YPA, 1 TD. I’ll give this one to Henne, beating the rookie in Miami.
The second meeting was another harrowing loss, one I remember fondly. It was the game in which Ted Ginn ran two kick back for touchdowns. It will probably be the career highlight for Ted Ginn. Sanchez (256 yards, 7.6 YPA, 2 TDs, o turnovers) out-played Henne, though. Special teams was the difference.
Henne had a very good game at home in a tough loss to the Jets, 31-23. He threw for 363 yards, had 8.3 YPA and two TDs. He did throw an end zone interception in the final minute. Sanchez, in case you care: 256 yards, 9.1 YPA, 3 TDs, 0 INTs. I can’t give this head-to-head win to Henne – not after that game-losing interception.
The second meeting was one of the ugliest games of the NFL season. Henne: 5-for-18, 55 yards. He lost two fumbles, but threw a TD pass. Sanchez was equally bad: 17-44 for 216 yards with a pick. He fumbled four times (but only lost one). Both guys were an embarrassment.
So if you’re going to mention their head-to-head meetings, Sanchez out-played Henne twice, Henne out-played Sanchez once, and the other meeting was a draw.
I can’t even believe I spent 30 minutes comparing these two QBs, because if you asked GMs around the league, I’d guess that 90% of them would take Sanchez over Henne. Oh, and here’s the category where Sanchez rules: Six playoff games, all on the road: 9 TDs, 3 INTs. I’m not sure if I calculated the YPA right, but it appears to be 7.3. Those are all dramatically better than his regular season numbers, and they were against considerably better opponents. On the road. Who knows if Henne will ever get to the playoffs.
(And shit, if you really want to get technical, Joyner shits on Brandon Marshall. The kid’s a knucklehead and consistently makes terrible decisions on-and-off the field, but talent-wise, is Santonio Holmes really a better receiver? One could argue that Marshall’s had three great seasons, and Holmes just one. But that’s another discussion entirely. And do you want to compare running backs? Ricky and Ronnie or Thomas Jones? Ricky and Ronnie or Shonne Greene. I know R&R have had injury problems, but let’s not act like the Jets’ offensive supporting cast is carrying Sanchez, but Miami’s is incapable of carrying Henne.)
See, I did that without even saying Sanchez is 4-2 as a starter in the playoffs!