Kendall Hinton actually had better stats than notorious draft bust Ryan Leaf
Kendall Hinton was put into a terrible situation by the Denver Broncos on Sunday. The practice squad wide receiver was thrown into starting quarterback duties less than a day before the team’s game against the New Orleans Saints despite not having taken any practice snaps at QB. The lack of preparation and extent to which Hinton was overmatched was evident in the results.
Hinton went 1/9 for 13 yards and two interceptions in the Broncos’ 31-3 loss to the Saints. He rushed twice for seven yards.
Even though Hinton was completely overmatched, he did help his team get three points and avoid a shutout. There’s something to be said for that. He also did not have the worst performance we’ve ever seen by a starting NFL quarterback, either. That distinction belongs to none other than Ryan Leaf.
Leaf, the No. 2 overall pick by the San Diego Chargers in the 1998 draft behind Peyton Manning, is regarded as one of the biggest busts in NFL history. He was beyond awful as a rookie, completing 45.3 percent of his passes for 1,289 yards, two touchdowns and 15 interceptions in nine games. The rest of his career wasn’t much better. He completed 48.4 percent of his passes for 3,666 yards, 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions and went 4-17 as a starter.
Leaf’s worst career game came in his third career game, which was Week 3 of the 1998 season. In a 23-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on September 20, Leaf went 1/15 for four yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. He rushed for one yard.
So, yes, Hinton outgained Leaf by 15 yards.
If you watched any of Denver’s game, you saw just how ineffective the Broncos were offensively, and how much Hinton struggled to get anything done. At least he had a great excuse; he was totally unprepared and playing out of position. Leaf was drafted and paid well to be a good quarterback. He just failed at it terribly. At least Leaf now has a good sense of humor over his career.