Monday, December 24, 2012
Sanchez-Fitzpatrick-Tannehill Watch finale
By James Walker
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
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.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills
Result: L, 24-10 against Miami
Stats: 20-of-35, 240 yards, one TD, one INT, one lost fumble
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.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
Result: W, 24-10 against Buffalo
Stats: 13-of-25, 130 yards, two TDs
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.
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.