By the Numbers: Expectations for Chad Henne in 2nd Season as Starter

Looking at the last seven Super Bowl champions, there is one common denominator-all were led by a franchise quarterback. As this league continues to evolve more and more towards the passing game, the quarterback position is becoming instrumental in separating bad teams from good teams, and good teams from great teams.

And in order for the Dolphins to emerge as a great team with Super Bowl aspirations, they need Chad Henne to take that next step as a quarterback. No matter how many holes they fill across the field, everything will eventually boil down to Chad Henne.

This post has nothing to do with Stephen Ross’ recent comments, as Chad Henne approaching the status of a Dan Marino or Bob Griese isn’t even something worthy of mentioning at this point in his career. I think Henne put it best himself, in response to those comments, by saying, “I haven’t done anything yet.”

No, this is simply a look back at how current franchise quarterbacks improved from year one as the starter to year two, and getting an idea of what to expect from Henne, if he is indeed ready to take that next step.

Below, following Chad Henne’s numbers, I have listed a few franchise quarterbacks who performed similarly to Henne in their first season under center, their first season as starter statistics, and their second season as starter statistics.

Chad Henne

Year 1 GS Comp./Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
13 274/451 60.8 2,878 12 14

Click “Read More” to see how other quarterbacks improved in their second season as the starter.

Tom Brady

Year 1 GS Comp./Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
14 264/413 63.9 2,843 18 12
Year 2 GS Comp./Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
16 373/601 62.1 3,764 28 14

Peyton Manning

Year 1 GS Comp./Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
16 326/575 56.7 3,739 26 28
Year 2 GS Comp./Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
16 331/533 62.1 4,135 26 15

Drew Brees

Year 1 GS Comp./Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
16 320/526 60.8 3,284 17 16
Year 2 GS Comp./Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
11 205/356 57.6 2,108 11 15
Year 3 GS Comp./Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
15 262/400 65.5 3,159 27 7

*I looked at Brees’ first three seasons because he got hurt in his second season as the starter, and really didn’t emerge into one of the best quarterbacks in the league until year three.

Tony Romo

Year 1 GS Comp./Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
10 220/337 65.3 2,903 19 13
Year 2 GS Comp./Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
16 335/520 64.4 4,211 36 19

Eli Manning

Year 1 GS Comp./Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
7 95/197 48.2 1,043 6 9
Year 2 GS Comp./Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
16 294/557 52.8 3,762 24 17

Donovan McNabb

Year 1 GS Comp./Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
6 106/216 49.1 948 8 7
Year 2 GS Comp./Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
16 330/569 58.0 3,365 21 13

Matt Ryan

Year 1 GS Comp./Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
16 265/434 61.1 3,340 16 11
Year 2 GS Comp./Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT
14 263/451 58.3 2,916 22 14

Joe Flacco

Year 1 GS Comp./Pct. Pct. Yds. TD INT
16 257/428 60.0 2,971 14 12
Year 2 GS Comp./Pct. Pct. Yds. TD INT
16 315/499 63.1 3,613 21 12

Although, Henne’s first year as the starter wasn’t quite as impressive as most of the quarterbacks on this list, I think it’s fair to say he didn’t have the talent around him that these guys did either. Obviously, that’s where Brandon Marshall comes into play.

When you factor in how one of the best receivers in the game should improve the Dolphins’ passing attack, regardless of if Henne improves significantly or not, it’s easy to see why Henne should have a more prolific season. And if he makes some of the strides these quarterbacks have made in the process, it should be a fun year to watch the Dolphins air it out.

Maybe the most comparable quarterback on this list is Joe Flacco. Flacco had nearly identical numbers, with a slightly better touchdown to interception ratio, in year one. If Henne can put up the type of numbers Flacco had last season, in 2010, I think it would be safe to say the Dolphins will officially have their franchise quarterback.

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