Dolphins to start Pennington over Henne on Sunday

MIAMI - SEPTEMBER 21: Quarterback Chad Pennington #10 of the Miami Dolphins throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts at Land Shark Stadium on September 21, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The Colts defeated the Dolphins 27-23. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Looking for more consistency at the quarterback position, the Dolphins have decided to bench Chad Henne in favor of Chad Pennington for their game this Sunday against the Titans.

Henne essentially won Miami’s starting quarterback job last year by completing just over 60% of his passes and compiling a 75.2 QB Rating. Those numbers aren’t great of course, but they were impressive for a quarterback in just his second season (his first as a full-time starter).

But in eight starts this season, Henne has thrown eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions for the 4-4 Dolphins. His decision-making has been questionable at best and he’s thrown an inception in six straight games. He’s also failed to find Brandon Marshall in the red zone, as the receiver has just one touchdown on the year.

Pennington led the Dolphins to the playoffs in 2008 (his first year in Miami), but he hasn’t attempted a pass since Week 3 of last year. He suffered a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery, although he didn’t look sharp in any game before that. It was also the third time he’s had to have his shoulder operated on and this is a guy who never had a strong arm to begin with. Miami’s vertical passing game definitely takes a hit with this change.

That said, Pennington is a crafty veteran that knows how to find open receivers and not force passes into coverage. He often takes what the defense gives him and at the very least, he won’t put the Dolphins in a bad position by turning the ball over. He may not win the game for Miami, but he won’t lose it either.

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