It’s the Interceptions, Stupid

31 Jul

The year was 2008. Those were gravy days. India successfully launched a lunar module, Delta merged with Northwest, and the Miami Dolphins won the AFC freakin’ East. Miami had the 9th scoring defense in the NFL, 18th overall. Our offense ran the ball well, but we scored just the 21st most points in football. So how in the hell did we go 11-5 and send both the Jets and Patsies on early vacations? Best answer? We protected the ball.

Over 400 carries by the running back corps, with just nine fumbles. And our field general, Chad “Good, But Man is He Fragile” Pennington, tossed the pigskin 476 times with only seven of those passes winding up in enemy hands. Did he light the world on fire? No. He averaged 1.18 touchdown pass per game. Let’s flash forward to 2010. Henne and 2008 Penny threw for roughly the exact same yardage per game.  Almost the exact same touchdowns per start as well. The difference? The picks. Only 7 for Pennington in a 16-game slate. Henne? 19 in 15 appearances (14 of them “starts”).

How did Henne’s turnover trouble stack up against the rest of the league? Three quarterbacks tossed more picks, Carson Palmer, Eli Manning and Drew Brees. Those kids averaged 30 touchdowns each. Chad Henne is not earning those mistakes, and that’s something teammates, especially defenders dragged back on the field time and time again after failed drives and turnovers, tend to notice.

The most alarming stat? Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub, Philip Rivers, Matt Cassel, Jason Campbell, David Garrard, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez, Ben Roethlesberger, Vince Young, Kerry Collins, and yes Kyle Raymond Orton all managed to score the rock more than they tossed it to the bad guys. We repeat, with the exception of rookie Colt “I Have No Receivers on My Team” McCoy and Henne, every single AFC quarterback who played meaningful minutes threw more touchdowns than interceptions. That of course includes the other signal callers in our division.

So is it really Chad Henne versus Matt Moore for the starting gig? They are a combined 43TDs/50INTS for their collective careers, 20TDS/29INTS last year. This is the competition? According to several sources, the Orton talks never even got past the contract negotiation. Not for nothing, but Orton’s numbers were like 2008 Pennington’s on Creatine. Almost 500 attempts, with only 9 picks. Over 50 more yards per game. More touchdowns in just 13 starts.

We’ll never know the exact numbers that were kicked around between Ireland and agent David Dunn, but we do know we’re talking about a player at the most important position in football who has rolled up 59TDs to 33INTS in his three years as a starter. If Orton wanted a hefty contract, we don’t blame him. He’s only 28, and there aren’t many gunslingers who have racked up that type of ratio. He also most certainly noticed the $63million dollar deal signed by a completely unproven Kevin Kolb down the road in Arizona.

Would we have spent a lot of cash and probably a 2nd or 3rd rounder? Yup. Would we have also locked down about a 20TD/10INT guy to go along with our All-Pro wideout, our slot-monster Bess, perhaps the top receiving back in football in Reggie Bush, a fresh-legged bruiser in Danny Thomas, a shifty Hartline, a burner Gates, and an underrated Fasano? Yup.

Perhaps we’ve forgotten the lesson of 2008, when we watched a less than flashy QB simply protect the ball on the way to a division title, even with Greg Caramillo and Ted Ginn as his top targets. These failed talks will sure start to sting on Sundays this fall, if we’re forced to watch these weapons squandered by quarterback errors. But barring another acquisition, or new developments on the Orton front, Chad Henne or Matt Moore will be leading this team into battle.

Assuming neither leopard can change their spots, the only chance for the 2011 Miami Dolphins may be for our defense to become absolutely dominant. We’re talking 2000 Ravens good. But even in that case there was a dirty little secret…

Trent Dilfer threw more touchdowns than picks.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose

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23 Responses to “It’s the Interceptions, Stupid”

  1. markeyh July 31, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    It was the schedule, stupid

  2. markeyh July 31, 2011 at 7:27 am #

    “Would we have spent a lot of cash and probably a 2nd or 3rd rounder? Yup. Would we have also locked down about a 20TD/10INT guy to go along with our All-Pro wideout, our slot-monster Bess, perhaps the top receiving back in football in Reggie Bush, a fresh-legged bruiser in Danny Thomas, a shifty Hartline, a burner Gates, and an underrated Fasano? Yup.”

    That is a stupid idea to overpay for an average QB.

    Henne also has that talent to use as well. So who knows maybe that will inprove his play too. Along with better play calling and more freedom to change the call at the line if he sees something he likes.

    This has to be like the 1 millionth post about Henne sucks. So STFU and relax and deal with it and either get on board, don’t watch football or go root for some other team projected to go to the SB. Miami will still be here some day hopefully soon so you can jump on the band wagon!

    • Dan Ewen July 31, 2011 at 7:37 am #

      Or perhaps the problem is defining a 20TD/10INT quarterback as “average”?

  3. markeyh July 31, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    4-10 last year was Kyle Orton……he will be an URFA next year. Why not wait him out and “IF” Henne does lie another egg this year Miami will draft a QB high in the draft next year.

    They still can get Kyle Orton or a better Veteran QB next year. So this last year brings an unknown especially on offense that we all just need to embrace and get behind them…..

    Enough of the whining!

  4. markeyh July 31, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    My first post was in response to the first paragraph about the 2008 season. It was a failed attempt of humor (obviously) to the title of you post…

  5. markeyh July 31, 2011 at 7:50 am #

    You can look at “Stats” all you want and Stats can be misleading……(some say he was always playing from so far behind that his numbers came against backup players I can not confirm that)

    But a few things are sure….

    *Chicago traded Kyle Orton and 2 draft picks to get Jay Cutler
    * Denver who needs a QB more than Miami had Kyle on the Trading block
    *Kyle Win/loss record is not good.

    That to me says average…

    • Dan Ewen July 31, 2011 at 8:06 am #

      In blowouts last year Orton averaged 193ypg, 3TDs, 4INTs. He wasn’t facing prevent defenses while racking up those numbers. There were some who would blame the worst defense in football for Denver’s losses, rather than the guy who threw for 281ypg, 20TDs, only 9 picks, and turned Brandon Lloyd into Andre Johnson overnight.

  6. Deven Shepherd July 31, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    8 Int’s was direct result of wr”s te or Rb’s and Henne led the league in 1 dropped int but you dont show that stat do you? we had a OC that his biggest defense last yr was that this off has been ran since the 50″s.. And in a cpl of games Opp def of players was yelling out the routes of our wr’s.. Hard to beat a Def when they know the plays..We have never built Off around Henne Like Atl< bal, and NYJ have for their young Qb's.. ( dont say Marshall when you got rid of speed allowing Def's to role coverage.. We lost 4 games on 5 missed FG's a bad call ( sorry pitt fans ) and wr's stopping a route or Falling.. we could have been 11-5 with Henne..I say give him a chance now that we have turned the Attention to Offense

    • markeyh July 31, 2011 at 8:03 am #

      You get it!

    • Dan Ewen July 31, 2011 at 8:11 am #

      Deven,

      You really just erased 8INTs from Henne’s stat line? Nice. Are you his Godfather or something?

      I’ll be rooting my ass off for him, but he’s been wildly inconsistent. We walked away from a starter who has never thrown more picks than scores, for one who’s never done the opposite.

      Hell of a gamble.

      • Deven Shepherd July 31, 2011 at 11:38 am #

        Tape don’t Lie.. When do other people start taking their lumps cause a pass hit him in the hands and he deflects it..Or a receiver stops his cut Or falls down..Tape does not lie.. Sad thing is we are so spoiled in Miami that we won’t give anyone a chance… Look at sanchise in new york Far better Off then what we have and the guy Hits 53 % of his passes..and led the league with 20 dropped int’s that would have gave him 33 on the yr…But they Love him..Hennes #’s Blow his away and now that we are putting off around him u want him out…Get this straight Jets have won on Power running and Def..We couldnt even give Chad that last yr..Yes 8 int’s were not his fault…Watch the tape

  7. Ripp July 31, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    I think it is unfair to compare Pennington’s numbers to Henne’s. In 2008 Miami’s offense was just as stagnate, if not more then it was last years offense in the 1st three games. I mean after all isn’t that the reason they desperately turned to the wildcat? With the success of the wildcat Miami had one of the top running games and that is when Pennington became an effective QB. Last year MIami was near the bottom in rushing yards and that and the ST struggles put a huge burden on Henne to make plays. Not to take responsibility away from Henne because he did make bone headed plays but lets keep it fair. If you still disagree with me look at 2009. Miami had a running game ranked in the middle of the pack and Henne performed much better and showed a lot of promise. This offense was designed to run the ball and if the improve on that then Henne or what ever QB they have back there will perform better.

    • markeyh July 31, 2011 at 10:08 am #

      Another guy who gets it!

    • Dan Ewen July 31, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

      Ripp,

      Henne performed much better in 2009?

      2009 205ypg 60.8% 12TD 14INT 75.2 rtg
      2010 220ypg 61.4% 15TD 19TD 75.4 rtg

      Those numbers are EXTREMELY SIMILAR. Completion percentage only .6 different. A rating change of only .2. With a running game, without it. With Brandon Marshall, without.

      I will allow the possibility that Henne could improve, but after two seasons we also have to consider the possibility that this is about what we can expect from him.

      • Ripp August 1, 2011 at 3:11 am #

        He did perform better. You are looking at stats. There are more to football then stats. In 2009 He made a few impressive game winning drives, he did not get the kind of work that a starting QB gets before the season started and even though he had 3 fewer TDs in 2009 he did not start the entire season so you could say he did a better job of finishing off drives as well. Romo, Orton, Cassel and Schuab has put up impressive stats but how many game winning drives have they put together. I don’t hear people calling them captain comeback. There are many QBs in past and recent SBs that don’t have mind blowing stats but they are great at making a play happen when their team needs it the most. I would say Rothlisberger is the perfect example of that. IMHO it is extremely important a QB has that kind of composure. In 2009 I felt Henne showed some of that intangibles and in 2010 I don’t recall a game where he showed that.

        I am not for or against Henne. I am on the fence with him. I also don’t want to be like many other fans who feel Henne is the lone reason why this team failed last year because he wasn’t. Hell he was not even the primary reason. I think he deserves one more year provided he has competition. I am not sure if Moore is legit competition because I know very little about the guy but I heard good and bad things about him so I guess we will see.

  8. markeyh July 31, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    We get it Dan Ewen you don’t like Henne……(Get over it) For now he is our QB.

    • Dan Ewen July 31, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

      Would you please write a “Henne’s the QB, Get Over It” guest column for the site? Seriously. I want diverse opinions up in this beeyotch.

  9. bangee July 31, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    Like i have been saying to my self because no one is listen all along give henne the offense that mark sanchez has and we playing for the superbowl both those jets afc years.
    1) henne is adown the field quarter back, what they do trade away ten gin when you get b marshal .. why ?
    2) 2008 we actually had a good oline… someone say tape dont lie .. its not the qb problem when i the shot gun he as a defender in his face 2 seconds aftr the ball’s snap
    3)The actually focus on offense get the weapons henne needs to make that next step.
    4)mario manningham b edwards , steve breaston …chad henne made these guys ballers

    you dont get the same QB you get better sant mind the nosie in the market If chad henne is our QB this year we are 12-4 he throws for 28 td and 10 intS AND WE PLAYING FOR A SUPER mark my wORKS Whats how great team builds …. defense sure up the lines …people dont know getting reggie bush was for henne and that was big not becasue he is a great running back .. he is the best decoy in the gamw watch new orlenes sb year …get on boards ppl i think these guys know what they are doing and dont expet for the dolphins to show you there play book in the open part of training camp
    just my opinion but what do i know im just a fan

    • Dan Ewen July 31, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

      See you at the Super Bowl, Bangee!

  10. Jakerbeef July 31, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    I think Mr Ewen is just being a realist. It’s also perfectly acceptable for him to have his opinion on the Henne question, and to point at some statistics to back himself up.

    We’d all love to see Henne do well, but the facts are that the statistics are against him more than they are against Orton, I think this is some of Mr Ewen’s argument, correct me if I’m wrong.

    The whole issue basically comes down to how much importance you give Dan Henning in last season’s impact on Henne’s progression. I personally think it’s a little less than is being suggested, and hoped. Henne in a lot of way’s was the architect of his own poor play.

    I’d love to see him do well, but I have only seen a few games that give me much faith in him, and only a couple where he kept it going for 4 quarters.

    Btw, if it was the schedule, we’re in just as much trouble this season too…

    • Dan Ewen July 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

      Finally someone who “gets it”!

  11. markeyh July 31, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    Good One!

    🙂

    Yes I would love to write a positive piece on Henne as a guest.

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