Reporting Tim Kephart
MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – As more and more quarterbacks continue to sign with other teams, the Dolphins remain one of the teams possibly in pursuit of Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton.
Orton is available via trade with the Broncos, and according to the Denver Post, the Fins may be the only team left bidding for Orton. The Broncos are said to want a second-round pick for Orton. The Dolphins are hoping to get him for a fourth-round pick.
The question the Dolphins have to answer is: Is Kyle Orton that much better than Chad Henne at quarterback?
From a baseline statistical perspective, Orton throws fewer interceptions than Henne and more touchdowns. But that only scratches the surface of the comparison between the two players.
In AFC East play last year, which has arguably the two best teams in the AFC, Henne put up the following numbers: 119-195 passes, 1,252 yards, 6 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Henne was 2-4 against the AFC East last season with wins coming over the Bills and Jets.
In AFC West play last year, Orton put up the following numbers: 81-163 passes, 1,037 yards, 8 touchdowns, 2 interceptions. Orton was 1-3 against the AFC West, missing the Broncos final game against an AFC West foe last season.
Comparing Henne and Orton versus the one common opponent they had last season, the New York Jets; Henne completed 31-62 passes, for 418 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception in two games against the Jets, while Orton completed 14-34 passes, for 209 yards, 1 touchdown and no interceptions in one game versus New York.
In conference play, Henne completed 61 percent of his passes; Orton completed 49 percent of his passes. Orton had a better touchdown to interception ratio, but he also played one fewer game than Henne did.
Remember, Orton played in a wide-open offense last season that has made quarterbacks like Matt Cassel look like an All-Pro. Brian Daboll, the new Dolphins coordinator, will bring a very similar system to that Orton played in last year to Miami this year.
So Henne will be exposed to a much more wide-open game than he’s ever played in here in Miami. Plus, when Brandon Marshall last played in a similar offense, he caught more than 100 passes for 1,120 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Orton and Henne have similar numbers, and based on purely statistical analysis, they’re essentially the same player. That makes the Dolphins reported pursuit of Orton that much more of a head-scratcher.
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