- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The race to be the No. 2 quarterback in the AFC East is heating up (wink, wink). We are down to the final month of the season and it’s a tight three-way competition.
Here is the latest installment of the “Sanchez-Fitzpatrick-Tannehill Watch.”
Result: W, 7-6 against Arizona
Stats: 10-of-21, 97 yards, three INTs
Analysis: I’ve seen Sanchez have some bad games. But this may have been the worst outing of his four-year career. Sanchez threw an interception on the first drive and three in the first half. There was no indication things would get better. So Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who has been Sanchez’s biggest supporter, finally benched the quarterback. Ryan still hasn’t made a decision on his starting quarterback going forward and may be afraid to go back to Sanchez after this one.
Result: W, 34-18 against Jacksonville
Stats: 9-of-17, 112 yards, three total TDs, one INT
Analysis: Fitzpatrick only completed nine passes, but two were for touchdowns. Fitzpatrick also ran in for a touchdown against an awful Jacksonville team. The Bills have clearly put the clamps on Fitzpatrick, who has a gunslinger mentality. It has worked so far, because the Bills are 2-1 in their last three games. But playing conservative on offense is a sign that Buffalo doesn’t believe in Fitzpatrick as a franchise quarterback. This could be a prelude to the Bills looking to upgrade in the offseason.
Result: L, 23-16 against New England
Stats: 13-of-29, 186 yards
Analysis: As we mentioned weeks ago, Tannehill has hit the rookie wall. Tannehill is becoming more erratic with his play and accuracy as the season has gone on. He’s approaching the most games he’s played quarterback in a season. Opponents have adjusted, but Tannehill and the offense has not evolved. With the playoffs out of reach for Miami (5-7), its biggest goal is to get a strong finish from Tannehill.
This week’s winner: Fitzpatrick (three points)
Second place: Tannehill (two points)
Third place: Sanchez (one point)
1 (tie). Tannehill and Sanchez (26 points)
3. Fitzpatrick (24 points)
There are only four games to go. Check back next week for more on this race to be the second-best quarterback in the AFC East.