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Henson and the Fire win; but miss World Bowl

Drew Henson came back from injury to start this week and led the Rhein Fire to a 21-10 victory over the Cologne Centurions. However, the victory was not enough to get Rhein into the World Bowl as the Frankfurt Galaxy survived a missed FG by the Berlin Thunder late in the 4th quarter to hold on to a 14-13 victory. The Galaxy earned the right to meet the Amsterdam Admirals for the championship.

Henson and the Fire started out fast when they scored on an 80-yard TD run on their first offensive play. But that was it for the rest of the first-half which ended in a 10-7 lead for Cologne. Overall Henson was 8/20 for 133 yards and a TD, but was only 3/8 in the first-half as the Fire was content to keep the ball on the ground.
Henson got hot in the 3rd quarter, throwing a 33-yard completion to Steven Harris to set up one TD and then connecting with Harris again for 35-yard TD giving the Fire a 21-10 lead, one they kept until the end.

Henson so showed some moxie by coming back from the knee injury and leading the team to a win. It wasn't until the 4th quarter that Rhein knew the outcome of the Galaxy game and that they weren't going to the World Bowl.

On the 33-yard completion Henson's shoulder was being pulled down but he hung in the pocket and got enough on the ball for a completion. On the TD throw he had plenty of protection, stayed patient and stepped up in the pocket before shooting a dart into the end-zone for the score.

After watching most of Henson's NFLE games this season I feel he's a better QB than I previously thought. He's shown the ability to read defenses, he often checks down to the 2nd or 3rd receiver, and remains patient in the pocket. He's not afraid to take a hit and throws well on the move. He needs to establish a little more touch on his long throws as he consistently was off by a few feet on these all season.

Henson was hampered this season by spotty line play, injuries to his main receiving targets, and numerous dropped passes. His stats were also limited by Rhein's style of offense, which relied heavily on the run game and used a very conservative play-call philosophy. The Rhein head coach was content to run a draw on third and long and then punt or kick the FG. In fact, it was reminiscent of a traditional Bill Parcells' style offense.

But Henson got what he wanted out of this experience, a chance to line-up regularly at QB in a real game. He took the opportunity to shake off all the rust he's accumulated over the years and show his skills week-to-week. I think it will serve him well and should give him a better shot at moving up the depth chart in training camp.

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