A (Backup) Quarterback Controversy in Kansas City
With Patrick Mahomes return getting closer and closer, it is almost time “Showtime”. Then you factor in Chad Henne being activated from the Injury Reserve list and Matt Moore playing above expectations and you get a quarterback controversy. A backup quarterback controversy that is. Henne was always supposed to be Mahomes backup. This was the case all through training camp and through preseason until an ankle injury got in the way. Then, the Chiefs went and found high school coach and former NFL starter Matt Moore. Moore has been keeping Mahomes seat warm since a knee dislocation sidelined him in Denver. So who do the Chiefs go with as their backup: Henne who put in the summer work or Moore that has been excptional in Mahomes place?
Chad Henne: The Original
Chad Henne suffered a fractured ankle and high ankle sprain week three of the preseason against the San Francisco 49ers. Henne is in his second year behind Patrick Mahomes. The backup boasts a career 59.3% completion rate and a passer rating of 75.5. In games started by Henne, he has a record of 18-35, but he has not started a game since 2014. Henne will more than likely not see the field this Sunday in Tennessee regardless. But does he deserve to take the backup spot back?
Matt Moore: The Replacement
When the Chiefs went out and got Matt Moore, no one was expecting him to really be used much, let alone start. With two starts under his belt against the Packers and the Vikings, Moore has proven he can keep up. Moore went 10 for 19 when he entered the game in Denver and has only improved. Against a stout Packer defense, the backup quarterback completed 24 of 36 passes for 267 yards which earned him a 107.1 passer rating. In his first win as a starter this year against the Vikings, Moore went 25 for 35 and 275 yards and a 103.9 rating. Moore has also thrown four touchdowns this year. He has done exactly what you want from a backup quarterback. Moore has stepped into the enormous shoes of Patrick Mahomes and held the fort down very well in his absence.
How does Matt Moore compare to the other starters in the league right now though? According to Pro Football Focus he is first in Pressured Passer Rating (139.6) and Deep Passer Rating (149.3). In both of those categories, Moore is followed by Russell Wilson who is playing at an MVP-Caliber level. The backup quarterback in also fourth in Play Action Passer Rating with a 138.7 behind only Gardner Minshew, Russell Wilson, and Jameis Winston. Matt Moore performs well under pressure with the tools he has in guys like Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Travis Kelce.
Who Gets the Backup Quarterback Position?
Based on the numbers and the performances of this season alone, the job should go to Matt Moore. He has proved he can be trusted in the event that Mahomes (hopefully never) goes down again. Henne still needs time to get re-acclimated to play. Matt Moore has put the Chiefs on his back and kept this team above water even better than expected. This team wants to win and clearly Patrick Mahomes is the way to do that. However, Moore has proven he can get wins too. So if the team ever needs him, he will be there. Ready to go and more comfortable with the playbook and his teammates than ever.
If Chiefs fans want to continue to see their team win they need to get out to Arrowhead. Mahomes will be back to take the field more than likely before they play at home next. Not to mention Moore has been fun to watch as well. Would everyone else continue to trust Matt Moore to keep this team above .500 if Mahomes gets hurt again or stays out longer? Come discuss with me on the Overtime Heroic Forums and on Twitter.