Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Sanchez-Fitz-Moore Watch: The finale
By James Walker
Here is the final installment of the season-long "Sanchez-Fitz-Moore Watch" to determine the second-best quarterback in the AFC East:
Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
Result: L, 19-17 against Dolphins
Stats: 21-32, 207 yards, two TDs, three INTs
Analysis: This was the first time I’ve ever seen a quarterback throw two interceptions to the same defensive lineman. But that summed up Sanchez’s awful day in a must-win game for the Jets. Sanchez isn’t the biggest reason the Jets were .500 this year, but he was part of the problem. The Jets will stick with Sanchez for one more year to see if he can make the strides they expected this season. If not, the Jets can no longer afford to wait.
Walker's grade: D
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills
Result: L, 49-21 against New England
Stats: 29-46, 307 yards, two touchdowns, four interceptions
Analysis: Sunday’s loss to New England was a fitting microcosm of Fitzpatrick’s 2011 season. He started really fast then flamed out at the end. Fitzpatrick was great early and got Buffalo off to a surprising 21-0 lead. Then New England scored 49 unanswered points and Fitzpatrick threw four interceptions. It showed the best and worst of the streaky Fitzpatrick all in the same game. Consistency is something he needs to work on next season.
Walker’s grade: C-
Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins
Result: W, 19-17 against Jets
Stats: 22-32, 135 yards, one TD, two INTs
Analysis: Moore picked up another win in his final chance to impress the organization. The Dolphins will try to look for a replacement who can take Miami to the next level. Moore wasn't overly impressive and made a couple of big mistakes. But he was the only quarterback to win a game this week, and that helps his grade a little.
Walker's grade: C
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 (10 points)
2. Fitzpatrick (seven points)
3. Sanchez (six points)
So there you have it. There is no more debate. Moore is the second-best quarterback in the AFC East. That’s not a good look for New York’s Sanchez and Buffalo’s Fitzpatrick, who are expected to be the long-term solutions for their teams.
That brings a conclusion to the "Sanchez-Fitz-Moore Watch."