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Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Sanchez-Fitz-Moore Watch

By James Walker

Mark Sanchez, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Moore
Matt Moore remained atop the standings after Miami nearly upset the Patriots in Week 16.
The season-long race to be the No. 2 quarterback in the AFC East is nearing its conclusion.

Here is the latest installment of the "Sanchez-Fitz-Moore Watch" following Week 16:

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets

Result: L, 29-14 against Giants

Stats: 30-59, 258 yards, one TD, two INTs

QBR: 19.2

Analysis: Here is the most concerning part of Sanchez: The more he throws, the less likely the Jets will win. That has to ring deep in the minds of the Jets' coaching staff and front office when they have to think about him as the team's long-term solution at quarterback. Sanchez threw the ball a career-high 59 times against the Giants. He missed 29 of those throws and had two interceptions against one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. Considering everything that was at stake, more was expected. The Jets mostly likely will be watching the playoffs from home this year.

Walker's grade: D-

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills

Result: W, 40-14 against Denver

Stats: 15-27, 196 yards

QBR: 38.0

Analysis: Fitzpatrick had a lot going for him against the Denver Broncos. Bills running back C.J. Spiller recorded his first 100-yard game, the defense forced four turnovers and Leodis McKelvin returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown. Fitzpatrick didn't have to do much. His job was not to mess it up. Fitzpatrick threw for a pedestrian 196 yards but didn't have any turnovers, which was key.

Walker's grade: B-

Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins

Result: L, 27-24 against New England

Stats: 17-33, 294 yards, three TDs, one INT

QBR: 43.6

Analysis: Matt Moore was terrific in the first half and not so great in the second half. He threw two early touchdowns to get Miami off to a 17-0 lead at intermission. But the production of the offense slowed in the second half once the Patriots woke up. Moore played well overall, but this is the type of game that shows why the Dolphins need an elite quarterback. Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees with a 17-point lead would be able to keep the pressure on. Moore was incapable of doing that and scored just seven points in the final two quarters against the worst defense in the NFL. Still, it was a solid performance by Moore.

Walker's grade: B

This week’s winner: Matt Moore (three points)

Second place: Ryan Fitzpatrick (two points)

Third place: Mark Sanchez (one point)

Overall standings (fourth quarter)

1. Moore (seven points)

2. Fitzpatrick (six points)

3. Sanchez (five points)

This weekend is the final installment. Find out next week who is the true No. 2 quarterback in the AFC East.