Introducing the Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch
September, 14, 2011
By James Walker | ESPN.com
Icon SMIWho is the second-best AFC East quarterback: New York's Mark Sanchez, Miami's Chad Henne or Buffalo's Ryan Fitzpatrick?When I recently surveyed our AFC East community, I was surprised the amount of times Mark Sanchez versus Chad Henne came up. It's clear there is unfinished business with this debate.
Buffalo Bills fans also mentioned their guy -- Ryan Fitzpatrick -- deserves consideration. So I put some thought into how to finally settle who is the second-best quarterback in the division.
Introducing the "Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch." Each week, the AFC East blog will keep an updated scorecard on the three quarterbacks, grade each performance on a variety of factors, and determine who's better at the end of the season.
Here is the first installment:
Result: W, 41-7 vs. Chiefs
Stats: 17 of 25, 208 yards, four TDs
Analysis: Fitzpatrick had the best QBR in the NFL in Week 1. He was extremely efficient and led Buffalo to a 34-point victory on the road. I was impressed with was the Bills' efficiency on third down (50 percent). Although he didn't throw for many yards, Fitzpatrick had 13 completions for first downs against Kansas City. It's a lot easier to win games when the offense stays on the field and keeps the chains moving.
Walker's grade: A-
Result: W, 27-24 vs. Cowboys
Stats: 26 of 44, 335 yards, two TDs, one INT
Analysis: Sanchez's QBR is misleading. He made some mistakes -- which weighs heavily here -- but Sanchez also made a lot of plays down the field. New York's offense would not have moved the ball if not for Sanchez's arm. The running game sputtered against Dallas. I consider throwing for 335 yards and two touchdowns a pretty good game. Sanchez just needs to eliminate big turnovers in key moments.
Walker's Grade: B
Result: L, 38-24 vs. Patriots
Stats: 30 of 49, 416 yards, two TDs, one INT
Analysis: Henne had a career-best performance in a loss to the New England Patriots. He led the Dolphins in passing (416) and rushing (59) yards. Henne accounted for three touchdowns total and did a good job of moving Miami's offense. The Dolphins can win some games this year if Henne plays at this level. I thought he was poised and in control. Henne is off to a good start in 2011.
Walker's Grade: A-
This week's winners: Chad Henne and Ryan Fitzpatrick (three points)
Third place: Mark Sanchez (one point)
1 (tie). Henne (three points)
1 (tie). Fitzpatrick (three points)
3. Sanchez (one point)
Henne and Fitzpatrick take an early lead in the "Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch." But it's a long, 16-game season to determine the AFC East's No. 2 quarterback. We will have an updated scorecard after Week 2.