The AFC East is not exactly a pass happy division. Though in the past the teams that make up this division had greats like Dan Marino and Joe Namath, times have changed. The Jets are a defensive, smash-mouth running team, the Dolphins have a two-headed rushing monster (and poor receivers until now), and the Bills are…well…the Bills. The Patriots are the only pass heavy team in the division, (Although this may change with the upgrades to New York and Miami’s passing attacks), and it becomes apparent in part when you take a look at the four Quarterbacks. These rankings are difficult to determine, considering the lack of experience from 3 out of the four, but here it is.
1. Tom Brady: How can anyone argue with this? Three championship rings, the all-time record for single season touchdown passes (50), a 93.3 career rating, and 11 seasons without ever completing less than 60% of his passes. This is all after being a 6th-round draft gem. I am the first one to admit that I despise the Patriots and most everything that they stand for, but I’d have to be brain dead to try and dispute Tom Brady’s supremacy as the top passer in the division, and indeed one of the top passers in the NFL.
2. Chad Henne: Lets start off by saying that if Steve Ross had his way, Chad Henne would not only be number one on this list, but number one in the entire NFL. Why? Ross seems to believe that Chad Henne is the best Dolphins QB of all time…which would make him better than Dan Marino. All jokes aside, Chad Henne obviously has a severe lack of experience, but has shown some flashes of potential, especially with his big time arm, which is obviously a serious upgrade for the team from Pennington. Henne’s first full season saw reasonable numbers; with 60.8% completions, 205.6 YPG, a 75.2 rating, 23 passes of 20+ yards (which is critical for a run heavy offense like Miami) and just under 3000 yards passing. It is difficult to rank a quarterback with only one full season in this way, especially in a run-dominated offense, but since his competitor for the spot is likewise inexperienced, performed less well, and plays in a similar system, the nod goes to Henne for the number two passer in the East.
3. Mark Sanchez: The second year franchise quarterback for the Jets had a less than stellar rookie campaign, though that is not unheard of. His play this past season is not an indication of the player he will bloom into, and I believe Sanchez has some serious potential, but he simply does not deserve higher than the number three ranking yet. He showed that he can stay healthy, which is important, and in the playoffs he started to improve his game tremendously, so maybe this season he will make me eat these words. I hope he does.
4. Trent Edwards/Ryan F: If this were after 2008, Trent Edwards would probably have been number two on this list. His stats are technically better than both Henne and Sanchez, but ever since his concussion in 2008 against Arizona, his play has been average at best, and downright awful at worst. Edwards earns this bottom spot because rather than showing potential to improve like Henne and Sanchez, he has done nothing but regress. This isn’t to mention his inability to stay healthy for a full season. Before anybody gets up in arms about the Bills’ offensive line, Edwards was actually sacked less times in the games he played in 08’ and 09’ than Henne or Sanchez were in 09’, so his injuries cannot be blamed on that. Ever since his concussion in 2008, Edwards lost that star presence he seemed to have, instead becoming timid and rattled anytime he faced a defense that didn’t have a Lion or an Arrow on their helmets. People were genuinely surprised when the Bills chose not to draft a quarterback this year, so why should anyone be surprised that Edwards is the bottom of the AFC East Barrel?