Stats & Info: Chad Henne

What challenges await new AFC coaches?

July, 25, 2013
Eight NFL teams welcome new head coaches to the sideline this season. We take a closer look at some of the challenges those coaches will face. Here’s a look at the AFC (the NFC can be found here.

Buffalo Bills: Doug Marrone
2012 record: 6-10

Big addition: Kevin Kolb and E.J. Manuel were brought in to compete at quarterback, and either should add a vertical element to the Bills offense. Since Ryan Fitzpatrick joined the Bills in 2009, his 25.4 completion percentage on throws deeper than 20 yards downfield is worst in the league.

One headache: Are two rookies (Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin) enough to improve the Bills receiving corps? Despite using more three-plus wide receiver sets than any other team last season, Bills wide receivers recorded the sixth-fewest receiving yards (2,152).

Key stat: The Bills allowed 3.5 yards per rush before first contact on rushes between the tackles last season, worst in the NFL. The Bills haven’t finished a season better than 26th in that category since the start of 2009.

Cleveland Browns: Rob Chudzinski
2012 record: 5-11

Big addition: From Week 10 to the Super Bowl, no player had more sacks than Paul Kruger (12). He and first-round pick Barkevious Mingo will help the Browns transition to a 3-4 defense.

One headache: Is Brandon Weeden the right quarterback to run a Norv Turner offense? Weeden overthrew or underthrew receivers on 45 percent of his throws at least 15 yards downfield last year, third highest in the league.

Key stat: The Browns' defense allowed a 28.7 Total QBR last year, third best in the league. However, the offense ranked 30th in third-down conversion percentage (30.7 percent).

Jacksonville Jaguars: Gus Bradley
2012 record: 2-14

Big addition: Luke Joeckel will immediately bolster a Jaguars offensive line that allowed 50 sacks last season, third most in the league.

One headache: Now that they can protect quarterbacks better, they need to find one. Jaguars quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne combined for a 34.8 Total QBR, one of only five teams worse than 40.0.

Key stat: The Jaguars used four or fewer pass rushers on 80 percent of opponent dropbacks last season, fifth-highest in the NFL. Although the Jags depended on standard pressure, they averaged a sack once every 32.9 dropbacks, worst in the NFL.

Kansas City Chiefs: Andy Reid
2012 record: 2-14

Big addition: Alex Smith posted career highs in completion percentage (70.2 percent) and yards per attempt (8.0) last year. Smith’s completion percentage was best among 36 quarterbacks with at least 200 attempts.

One headache: Jonathan Baldwin caught 42 percent of his targets last season, the worst catch percentage among 162 players with at least 40 targets. Free-agent signee Donnie Avery wasn’t much better, with the fifth-lowest catch percentage among 44 players with at least 100 targets.

Key stat: The Chiefs' defense allowed 893 rush yards after contact last year, the most of any team in the league. Only the Colts allowed more 20-yard rushes (21) than the Chiefs' defense (19).

San Diego Chargers: Mike McCoy
2012 record: 7-9

Big addition: Free-agent tackle Max Starks and first-round pick D.J. Fluker will help create holes in the running game. The Chargers averaged 1.9 yards before contact per rush last year, one of two offenses to average fewer than 2.0.

One headache: Robert Meachem will carry a cap hit of $6.9 million this year, 11th-highest among wide receivers. Six Chargers were targeted more than Meachem (32) last year, and he tied for 181st in targets among all players.

Key stat: Philip Rivers has to control the ball better. Rivers fumbled 15 times last year, most in a season since Jon Kitna had 17 in 2007.
Chad Henne
Chad Pennington
The Miami Dolphins announced Chad Pennington will start Sunday against the Tennessee Titans in place of Chad Henne, who is struggling in his second season as the starting quarterback.

Henne is one of five quarterbacks to throw three interceptions in a game twice this season, and has thrown a pick in six straight contests.

In fact, since the beginning of Week 3, only Drew Brees, with 12, has thrown more interceptions than the 10 Henne has thrown.

And Henne has struggled throwing to the end zone this season, which helps explain why Miami has scored only 11 offensive touchdowns this season. Only the Carolina Panthers, with eight, have scored fewer.

Pennington is 11-8 in 19 career starts with the Dolphins, throwing for more than 200 yards per game and more than twice as many touchdowns as interceptions. All of those wins came in 2008, when Pennington and the Dolphins went 11-5 and won the AFC East, their only playoff appearance in the last eight seasons.

However, Pennington has lost his last four NFL starts, including the Dolphins’ 2008 Divisional Playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Josh Freeman has been average at best when facing five pass rushers or more this season, completing 54 percent of his passes with an 82.7 passer rating. However, in the fourth quarter of one-score games when facing at least five pass rushers, his completion percentage jumps to 68.8 percent. He’s thrown two touchdowns, no interceptions with a passer rating of 134.9.

Josh Freeman

Mike Williams is becoming one of the league’s top deep threats, trailing only the Denver Broncos' Brandon Lloyd in targets at least 15 yards downfield. While impressive, his chemistry with Freeman can still use some polishing. Freeman has overthrown Williams 10 times this season deep throws, second most in the league.

On defense, the Buccaneers have 11 interceptions when they send four pass rushers or fewer, two shy of their 2009 total. Third-year cornerback Aqib Talib has led the charge for Tampa Bay, intercepting a league-best five passes when the Bucs send four pass rushers or fewer.

• The Atlanta Falcons disappointed in 2009, in part because of their struggles to throw the ball downfield. In 2008 and 2010, Matt Ryan completed 50 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions on throws at least 15 yards downfield.

Roddy White has been a biggest benefactor of Atlanta's deep passing game. Last season, White was targeted 44 times on throws at least 15 yards and only came down with 16 of them. This season, White already has 15 catches on 21 targets of throws at least 15 yards downfield.

• Brandon Marshall may be the Miami Dolphins big-name receiver, but it’s Davone Bess who has been Chad Henne’s go-to guy in crucial situations. Henne has completed 85 percent of his passes to Bess on third down compared to just 57 percent to Marshall.

• The Seattle Seahawks have the best red zone pass defense in the NFL, holding opposing quarterbacks to a 56.3 passer rating (league average is 92.7). However, the Seahawks will have their hands full with Hakeem Nicks on Sunday, who has caught all but one ball thrown his way in the red zone this season. He’s been targeted nine times, has eight receptions, six touchdowns and no drops.

• Eli Manning has been very efficient this season throwing the ball into the end zone, completing 10-of-16 such passes. His 10 end zone completions are the most in the NFL.

• The Oakland Raiders have 406 rushing yards towards the sidelines through eight games this season, closing in on their total from all of 2009 (442 yards). Not only have the Raiders improved from last season, but they have gained more rushing yards than any team in football on sideline rushes this season.

The Raiders success running the football has opened up the play-action pass as a significant weapon for offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. On play-action this season, the Raiders are averaging 9.4 yards per attempt with five touchdowns and two interceptions.

Under Center of Attention: Matt Ryan

September, 23, 2010
As we get ready for another wild week in the NFL, which QBs are under center … of attention?

Matt Ryan had a passer rating of 117.3 in the Atlanta Falcons rout of the Arizona Cardinals in Week Two. Since coming into the league in 2008, Ryan has 10 games with a passer rating of 100.0 or better, and he's 10-0 in those games. Over that same time, Ryan is one of 14 QBs who have enjoyed at least 10 games with a rating that high, but not many of them have a perfect record.

The QBs with the most such games are Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers with 19 each. They are a combined 43-14 in those games.

• It turns out that Michael Vick WILL start Sunday for the Philadelphia Eagles against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

VickFrom the Elias Sports Bureau: Among quarterbacks with at least 50 starts since 2001 (Vick's rookie year), only David Carr has been sacked more frequently than Vick. He's been sacked once every 10.2 pass attempts, while Carr has been sacked once every 9.5 pass attempts. Vick has been sacked eight times so far this season, which ties him with Matt Moore of the Carolina Panthers for the most in the NFL.

• Vick replaces Kevin Kolb as the Eagles starter while Moore gets benched in favor of rookie Jimmy Clausen. Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable announced on Wednesday that Bruce Gradkowski will start over Jason Campbell this week against the Arizona Cardinals, and Jake Delhomme still hasn't practiced. If Seneca Wallace starts again for the Cleveland Browns, it would be the first time since 1998 that seven teams started one QB in the season opener and a different QB in the third game of the season.

• Joe Flacco tied a team record on Sunday when he threw four interceptions in the Baltimore Ravens loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. It was the third time in his career that he threw at least three interceptions in a game. He's been able to bounce back immediately after each of those horrific performances:

October 19, 2008: Flacco passes for 232 yards with a TD and no interceptions in the Ravens 27-13 road win over the Miami Dolphins.
December 13, 2009: Flacco throws for 230 yards with a TD and no interceptions in a 48-3 home blowout of the Detroit Lions.

• Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will start for the Buffalo Bills, went to school at Harvard. He's one of two players from Harvard who have thrown a pass in the NFL. The other? The immortal Pat McInally, who threw four passes in his 10 seasons as the Cincinnati Bengals punter.

• The Dolphins are 2-0 and haven't needed to rely on Chad Henne to help them win games. In the third and fourth quarters thus far, Henne has thrown for just 98 yards, the fewest of any QB with at least 20 attempts. Maybe it's a continuation of last year, when Henne ranked 21st out of 34 qualifying QBs in 2nd half passer rating at 69.5.

• Shaun Hill gets the start when the Lions visit the Minnesota Vikings, but don't expect much from Hill on the long ball. He's just 1-for-9 on passes thrown more than 20 yards downfield this season. Don't laugh Matt Cassel, you're 0-for-6 in that situation.