Dolphins Watch

December 5, 2010 11:57 PM

Henne throws it away against Browns

HENNE2.bmpThis Dolphins season has been one of the most unpredictable I can remember, and Sunday's 13-10 loss to Cleveland was indicative of that.

In last week's 33-17 win over the Raiders, Chad Henne looked like a quarterback of the future, throwing for 307 yards and two TDs against one of the league's top pass defenses.

But against Cleveland, Henne was awful, hitting on 16-of-32 passes for 174 yards, one TD and three INTs.

With the game tied at 10 in the final minutes, Henne threw a low pass that former Dolphin David Bowens tipped into the air, and Mike Adams made the interception and ran the ball back to the Dolphins 2-yardline.

The Browns then ran down the clock, and Phil Dawson kicked the winning field goal to send Miami to 6-6 and on the outside of playoff contention.

The biggest question in the aftermath is, what happened to Henne?

On the opening drive of the game, Henne and the offense looked good, marching 62 yards in 10 plays to the Cleveland 23. But, in a sign of things to come, Dan Carpenter's 41-yard field goal attempt was blocked, and the Dolphins came away with no points.

From then on, Henne and the offense struggled.

The Dolphins could not establish a running game, gaining 114 yards on the ground. And Henne was inaccurate, sailing a pass intended for Davone Bess that Abram Elam intercepted, setting up the Browns' tying field goal late in the second quarter.

But Henne's first pick was even worse, as he underthrew a wide-open Brian Hartline, allowing beaten Browns corner Joe Haden to react and make the interception.

Even Dan Carpenter's team-record 60-yard field goal, and a brief moment of brilliance from Henne when he marched the team down the field for the tying TD after Cleveland had gone ahead, could not erase the offense's problems.

The worst part of the loss was that on the drive prior to Henne's fatal interception, Dolphins defensive back Nolan Carroll had his hands on a Jake Delhomme pass with nothing but green grass in front of him

But, as Dolphins defenders have done all season, he dropped the ball.

The Dolphins defense did a good job stuffing Browns back Peyton Hillis, holding him to 57 yards on 18 carries, but after a strong first half, the pass defense faded.

Delhomme completed 24-of-34 passes for 217 yards, and more importantly, did not throw an interception. Ben Watson had his best game of the season with 10 catches for 100 yards and a TD, bringing back memories of 2009, when the Dolphins let tight ends run free all season.

But it was the defense's inability to force a turnover from the interception-prone Delhomme -- and Henne's continuing knack for throwing picks at terrible times -- that ultimately doomed the team.

Now, the Dolphins brass must take a serious look at Henne -- who they already benched earlier this season -- and determine if he is indeed the quarterback of the future, as it has been trumpeted since his arrival in 2008.

Because right now, he looks like he belongs in a class with John Beck, Jay Fiedler, Trent Green and all the others who have tried to follow Dan Marino's large footsteps.

And that's just not good enough.

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