The Tyler Thigpen Era Begins
With a short week and injuries to both Chad Pennigton and Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen is in line to make his first start as a Miami Dolphin.
It’s probably safe to assume that most Fins fans don’t know all that much about the team’s newest quarterback. He’s been the third-stringer behind Pennington, Henne, and (sigh) Pat White ever since he was acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs in September 2009, and had throw only one touchdown and three interceptions for Miami prior to last week. In his most extensive game action to date, he threw two costly picks in a winnable game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17 of 2009.
A mistake-prone QB going up against the Chicago Bears’ fourth-ranked defense that’s tied for the NFL lead with 14 interceptions on the season isn’t exactly a recipe for success, but that doesn’t mean that Thigpen can’t get the job done.
In 2008, Thigpen wasn’t just good in his final ten games for the Chiefs (we’ll conveniently ignore his first career start) — he was one of the best QBs in the NFL. No seriously, take a look at these numbers from Weeks 7 through 17 of that season.
|Player||Comp %||Pass Yds||Pass TD||INT||Total TD|
Only five perennial Pro-Bowlers and a QB playing with Randy Moss and Wes Welker at his disposal found the enzone more times. The aggressive Thigpen threw the eighth-most TDs — three fewer than Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers — rushed for 386 yards and three more scores, and even caught a 37-yard TD pass. Of course, the second-year player made his share of errors, and Kansas City lost 10 of the 11 games he started (though six of those contests were decided by seven points or less). The spectacular numbers apparenty weren’t good enough for the Chiefs, who opted to trade for the marginally-better Matt Cassel and keep the legendary Brodie Croyle as the backup QB.
Last week, I speculated that Thigpen would get an extended look towards the end of the season to see if he can be the Dolphins latest QB of the future. Miami hung on to him during the offseason despite getting plenty of offers, and instead cut ties with White, a 2009 second-round pick. Don’t be surprised if the underrated Thigpen seizes the opportunity and establishes an immediate rapport with Brandon Marshall on Thursday night.
At the very least, let’s hope he can make it through the game — I really don’t want to have to write anything positive about Patrick Ramsey.