October, 11, 2011
By James Walker | ESPN.com
US PresswireBills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, center, has outperformed the Jets' Mark Sanchez, left, and the Dolphins' Matt Moore through the first quarter of the season.We thought about ending the "Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch" after Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick took a sizable lead and Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne had a season-ending shoulder injury. But our AFC East community talked me out of it.
So, by popular demand, here is the "Sanchez-Fitz-Moore Watch." To make it fair, we gave Fitzpatrick the first quarter of the season (Games 1-4), and will start the second quarter this week. That allows Mark Sanchez and new entry Matt Moore to have a clean slate.
Miami was on a bye in Week 5. But Moore will have his shot to make up ground when the Bills and Jets take their byes.
Here is the latest installment:
Mark Sanchez, Jets
Result: L, 30-21 against New England
Stats: 16-26, 166 yards, two TDs
Analysis: Jets coach Rex Ryan said he would throw less and run more. That certainly was the case for New York this week. The result actually helped Sanchez, who played a solid game. Sanchez bounced back from his awful performance against Baltimore and was efficient against the Patriots. He threw two touchdown passes and led three scoring drives total.
Walker's grade: B
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills
Result: W, 31-24 against Philadelphia
Stats: 21-27, 193 yards, one TD, one INT
Analysis: Fitzpatrick had another winning performance against the "Dream Team" Eagles, who have a really talented secondary. Most of Fitzpatrick's completions were short and intermediate throws. He had just two completions over 20 yards, and one was a well-designed screen that tailback Fred Jackson took 49 yards. I think the ankle injury to receiver Donald Jones will be an underrated loss for Fitzpatrick and the offense. But Fitzpatrick is smart enough to adjust and still win games.
Walker's grade: B
This week's winner: Sanchez and Fitzpatrick (three points)
Overall second-quarter standings
1. (tie) Sanchez (three points)
1. (tie) Fitzpatrick (three points)
3. Moore (zero points)