While it’s still far too early to make any definitive statements in the 2010 season, it appears that the Bills will have plenty of company as an AFC East team needing to find a way to get something out of its starting quarterback. While Trent Edwards had an awful game against a revamped Dolphins’ defense, Chad Henne was almost as bad, and Mark Sanchez was worse Monday Night against the Ravens.
Just to clear up any confusion, I realize that Trent Edwards has the least upside of any of the aforementioned QBs. He’s had the most experience of the three, and if he hasn’t figured things out by now, he likely never will. But Miami could barely beat the punchless Bills, whereas the Jets’ defense played its typically aggressive and dominant football against a Ravens team with weapons, but Sanchez undid all of that by being totally ineffective.
Henne did get a victory, and that’s all you can ask out of your starting QB, but if I was a Miami fan I’d be worried about my chances of unseating the Patriots with Henne as the signal caller. Henne faced virtually no pass rush from the Buffalo defense for the entire first half. While the Bills did send some extra pass rushers late in the game, Henne was unable to put the game away with his ineffectiveness. Buffalo has a good secondary, but its linebackers couldn’t cover a pool, and its front seven has no real pass rushing threat. Henne was 21/34 with 182 yards. Now he didn’t lose the game by turning the ball over, but his 5.4 yards per attempt will not get it done, particularly against tougher defenses.
Sanchez is playing with arguably the best defense in the league behind him, and all that is asked of him is to be a game manager. While it may be a conservative playbook, Sanchez is playing behind a solid offensive line and has some talented weapons at his disposal. To see any QB finish a game with 74 yards does not bode well, and when you consider that he only averaged 3.5 yards per carry, it’s a marvel that the Jets were even in the game. Now the Ravens defense is a good defense, and with their offensive weapons this season they may be a Super Bowl contender, but if you can’t beat them at home when your defense plays that well, it means something is wrong with your offense…in this case, the QB.
Unfortunately for the Bills, Jets and Dolphins, Tom Brady is the fourth QB in the division. He threw for 258 yards and 3 tds to lead the Patriots to a 38-24 win over a supposed contender in the Bengals. If anyone thinks they can unseat the Patriots in the AFC East this season, a drastic turnaround will be necessary for all three of the other teams’ starting QBs.