There is no denying that both the Jets and Dolphins made upgrades to their rosters by spending big this offseason. The Jets traded for Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie; and signed the running back formerly known as LaDainian Tomlinson. The Dolphins traded for Brandon Marshall, and brought in Karlos Dansby. These are just some of the moves these two teams made to try and pass the Patriots this offseason. With all the talk about how great these two teams have become, you wouldn’t know that their starting QBs this year threw a combined 24 touchdowns and 34 interceptions in 2009.
The Jets always speak loudly and carry a big coach ever since Buddy Ryan’s boy, Rex, took over last season. Ryan brings an aggressive defensive approach, and seemed to back up his incessant boasting with a surprising run to the AFC Championship Game last season. However, Mark Sanchez didn’t quite live up to the billing as “The Sanchise” as far as my eyes could see in ’09.
Sanchez threw a whopping 20 ints last season. Bills’ fans may remember the gem he put up in The Meadowlands last season in a 16-13 loss against Buffalo, when he was 10 for 29 for 119 yards and 5 ints. It’s not like they ran for 8 yards a carry or anything against the Bills’ run defe…nevermind. While there’s a debate as to whether or not the Jets even belonged in the playoffs last season, coming back against the Colts’ backup players in Week 16, and beating Cincy’s 3rd string in Week 17, there’s no debate as to how they went on a late season run. Sanchez’s passing attempts the last six games of the season? 17, 15, DNP, 32, 19 and 16. They lost one of those games, and see if you can guess which one. If you guessed when he did not play, you were wrong. Apparently even the backup QB could win with this defense sometimes. They lost at home to Atlanta when he threw the ball 32 times.
Chad Henne wasn’t as big an eyesore in his first season as the Phins’ starter, but I still question whether or not he’s a sure thing. When I saw him in Buffalo last year, he was 17 for 31 with 175 yards, 1 td and 3 ints. Henne had his moments last season. In his Monday Night debut against the Jets, he looked like the real deal, going 20 for 26 with 241 yards and 2 tds. However, Henne ended the season with just 12 tds against 14 ints. He also operated in an offense that would have rather lined up its RB under center every fifth play. I know Ronnie Brown was injured at the end of the season, but maybe that’s why they lost their last three games with Henne throwing on practically every play.
I know both QBs were first year starters and they it’s very difficult to step into the NFL at that position for the first time. It’s not always a guarantee that a QB will be better in his second season than his first. 2008’s offensive rookie of the year, QB Matt Ryan, suffered quite a sophomore slump.
Maybe both Sanchez and Henne will more closely resemble Joe Flacco in year number two, and have big seasons behind talented teams. However, I think that there should be three teams in the AFC East worried about their QB play this season, not just one. Everyone remembers how awful Trent Edwards looked last season behind the 8th string offensive tackles, and with clueless Dick Jauron on the sidelines, trying to figure out if the team was huddling. Trent posted a QB Rating of 73.8. With good defenses and running games at their disposal, Henne posted a 75.2 rating, and Sanchez a 63.0. Are the Bills one Tom Brady injury away from having the best QB in the division?