We had the perfect setup this weekend for the "Sanchez-Fitz-Moore Watch." Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Buffalo Bills and Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets were tied and faced head-to-head in the final game of the second quarter.
Here is how things turned out:
Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
Result: W, 27-11 against Bills
Stats: 20-for-28, 230 yards, one TD, one INT
Analysis: Sanchez showed mental toughness against Buffalo. He overcame some early mistakes and a slow first half to put the game away with several big throws in the second half. Consistency has always been one of Sanchez's biggest issues. He needs to continue to improve in that area. But Sanchez eventually took advantage of great field position and put points on the board. He seems to be developing a good rapport with his bigger targets: receiver Plaxico Burress and tight end Dustin Keller.
Walker's grade: B-
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills
Result: L, 27-11 against Jets
Stats: 15-for-31, 191 yards, one TD, two INTs
Analysis: This was a bad a game as I've seen Fitzpatrick play all season. Even in earlier losses to the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Giants, Fitzpatrick didn't look lost. But the Jets made "Fitz" look like a confused quarterback. He's usually a great decision maker. But New York's blitzes rushed Fitzpatrick into some terrible decisions. He completed less than 50 percent of his passes and Buffalo scored fewer than 20 points for the first time all season. I'm interested to see if Fitzpatrick and Buffalo's offense rebounds against the Dallas Cowboys.
Walker's grade: F
Result: W, 31-3 against Chiefs
Stats: 17-for-23, 244 yards, three TDs
Analysis: Moore had the best game of any NFL quarterback in Week 9, according to the Total Quarterback Rating. I'm not sure about that (ahem ... Aaron Rodgers). But Moore certainly had his best game with Miami. Moore was efficient and effective. He didn't make any mistakes and threw for three touchdowns to blow out the Chiefs. This is how Moore has to play for the Dolphins to win.
Walker's grade: A
This week’s winner: Moore (3 points)
Second place: Sanchez (2 points)
Third place: Fitzpatrick (1 point)
Final second-quarter standings
Winner: Sanchez (11 points)
Second place: Fitzpatrick (10 points)
Third place: Moore (8 points)
We conclude the second quarter of the "Sanchez-Fitz-Moore Watch" with a bang. Fitzpatrick won the first quarter, Sanchez won the second and Moore could be coming on strong.
Check back next week with the AFC East blog as we begin the third quarter to determine the second-best quarterback in the division.