Sanchez-Fitzpatrick-Tannehill Watch finale

December, 24, 2012
12/24/12
5:20
PM ET
It is time to crown a new champion of the "Sanchez-Fitzpatrick-Tannehill Watch." We have been tracking AFC East quarterbacks all season to determine who is legitimately No. 2 behind Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.

After 15 games, we have a winner for 2012.

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets

Result: L, 27-17 against San Diego

Stats: N/A

QBR: N/A

Analysis: I was trying to figure out how to handle Sanchez's benching last week. We thought about including backup Greg McElroy, but it's too late in the season. So we decided to just keep Sanchez in the running without points.

Grade: N/A

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills

Result: L, 24-10 against Miami

Stats: 20-of-35, 240 yards, one TD, one INT, one lost fumble

QBR: 42.5

Analysis: Fitzpatrick's numbers are a little deceiving. He pretty much stunk it up in the first half and started to pad his stats after the Bills trailed by three touchdowns. Fitzpatrick didn't get the Bills into the end zone until the fourth quarter. He nearly did it a second time but threw an inexcusable interception in the end zone to Dolphins safety Reshad Jones. It was yet another fourth-quarter interception by Fitzpatrick, who rarely makes plays in the big moments.

Grade: D

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

Result: W, 24-10 against Buffalo

Stats: 13-of-25, 130 yards, two TDs

QBR: 78.5

Analysis: Statistics do not seem to matter when it comes to Tannehill. He put together another winning performance without eye-popping numbers. Tannehill made the plays that needed to be made, including two touchdown passes and a key, 31-yard scramble in the second half. The biggest stat for Tannehill is seven. That is how many wins Tannehill has in his rookie season.

Grade: B

This week's winner

No. 1: Tannehill (three points)

No. 2: Fitzpatrick (two points)

No. 3: Sanchez (zero points)

Final 2012 standings

Champion: Tannehill (34 points)

No. 2 (Tie): Fitzpatrick and Sanchez (30 points)

Tannehill is the 2012 undisputed champion of the "Sanchez-Fitzpatrick-Tannehill Watch" and officially the No. 2 quarterback in the AFC East behind Brady. Fitzpatrick and Sanchez cannot catch the rookie's four-point lead with one game remaining. This is the second consecutive year a Miami quarterback won the award, as Tannehill joins 2011 champion Matt Moore.

Who will challenge Tannehill for the crown next year? Chances are Sanchez and Fitzpatrick both will be replaced in 2013 and Tannehill will defend his title against a new batch of contenders.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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