Tuesday, September 11, 2012
By James Walker
Introducing the 2012 "Sanchez-Fitzpatrick-Tannehill watch." This is the annual battle in the AFC East to determine the No. 2 quarterback behind Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.
It was a crazy race in 2011. Last year’s winner, Matt Moore, is now a backup in Miami.
Now we need a new champion to hold the seat warm behind a future Hall of Fame. We will be keeping score throughout the 2012 season.
Here are our grades for Week 1:
Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
Result: W, 48-28
Stats: 19-27, 266 yards, three TDs, one INT
Analysis: This was as good as I’ve seen Sanchez play. He was in control, aggressive and took shots down the field at the right time. Sanchez also was not bothered by the Jets’ constant in and out with Tim Tebow and the Wildcat. Sanchez stayed hot throughout, which is exactly what Rex Ryan and the rest of the coaching staff wants. The Jets need this level of play from Sanchez all year to be a contender. It was a great performance overall from the fourth-year quarterback.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills
Result: L, 28-48
Stats: 18-32, 195 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs
Analysis: It was another case of “Good Fitzpatrick” and “Bad Fitzpatrick” on Sunday. First, Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions to put the Bills in an insurmountable hole. Then, Fitzpatrick stormed back with three touchdowns to make the final score a little respectable. One of the great things about the QBR is it measures the timing of when a quarterback makes plays. Fitzpatrick’s three touchdowns were much easier when the Bills were already down 34-7. Still, Fitzpatrick played hard until the end and maybe this provides some momentum into Week 2.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
Result: L, 10-30
Stats: 20-36, 219 yards, 3 INTs
Analysis: Tannehill posted one of the lowest QBRs I’ve ever seen. But I didn’t think his performance was that bad, considering the circumstances. Tannehill threw three picks, but two were tipped. That is partially his fault and the protection up front. Tannehill’s progress is going to be tough to grade week to week, because he simply has little to work with. I almost want to grade the rookie on a curve. But that wouldn’t be fair to Sanchez and Fitzpatrick. Four total turnovers won’t cut it on the road, especially for a team that needs to play near-perfect for four quarters to beat quality teams.
This week’s winner: Sanchez (three points)
Second place: Fitzpatrick (two points)
Third place: Tannehill (one point)
We will be back next week with another round of performances to determine the No. 2 quarterback in the AFC East.