AFC East: Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch

Sanchez-Fitz-Moore Watch

October, 11, 2011
TBDUS PresswireBills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, center, has outperformed the Jets' Mark Sanchez, left, and the Dolphins' Matt Moore through the first quarter of the season.
We thought about ending the "Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch" after Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick took a sizable lead and Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne had a season-ending shoulder injury. But our AFC East community talked me out of it.

So, by popular demand, here is the "Sanchez-Fitz-Moore Watch." To make it fair, we gave Fitzpatrick the first quarter of the season (Games 1-4), and will start the second quarter this week. That allows Mark Sanchez and new entry Matt Moore to have a clean slate.

Miami was on a bye in Week 5. But Moore will have his shot to make up ground when the Bills and Jets take their byes.

Here is the latest installment:

Mark Sanchez, Jets

Result: L, 30-21 against New England

Stats: 16-26, 166 yards, two TDs

QBR: 54.9

Analysis: Jets coach Rex Ryan said he would throw less and run more. That certainly was the case for New York this week. The result actually helped Sanchez, who played a solid game. Sanchez bounced back from his awful performance against Baltimore and was efficient against the Patriots. He threw two touchdown passes and led three scoring drives total.

Walker's grade: B

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills

Result: W, 31-24 against Philadelphia

Stats: 21-27, 193 yards, one TD, one INT

QBR: 56.8

Analysis: Fitzpatrick had another winning performance against the "Dream Team" Eagles, who have a really talented secondary. Most of Fitzpatrick's completions were short and intermediate throws. He had just two completions over 20 yards, and one was a well-designed screen that tailback Fred Jackson took 49 yards. I think the ankle injury to receiver Donald Jones will be an underrated loss for Fitzpatrick and the offense. But Fitzpatrick is smart enough to adjust and still win games.

Walker's grade: B

This week's winner: Sanchez and Fitzpatrick (three points)

Overall second-quarter standings

1. (tie) Sanchez (three points)

1. (tie) Fitzpatrick (three points)

3. Moore (zero points)

Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch: Week 4

October, 4, 2011
Sanchez, Henne & Fitzpatrick Icon SMINone of the trio had good games, but Ryan Fitzpatrick still leads this group after Week 4.
Week 4 was unkind to the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills. All three AFC East teams lost.

Here is our latest installment of the "Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch."

Mark Sanchez, Jets

Result: L, 37-17 vs. Baltimore

Stats: 11-35, 119 yards, three lost fumbles, one INT

QRB: 0.6

Analysis: Sanchez's various turnovers against Baltimore is well-documented. Three of Sanchez's four turnovers were returned for touchdowns, costing the Jets 21 points. The offensive line deserves a share of this grade, as well. The pass protection and running game didn't do much to help Sanchez, who had arguably the worst game of his career. The only good thing that came out of it for Sanchez was he's still healthy enough to play next week against the New England Patriots.

Walker’s Grade: F

Chad Henne, Dolphins

Result: L, 26-16 vs. San Diego

Stats: 3-4, 27 yards, one INT


Analysis: Henne only threw four passes before injuring his shoulder against San Diego. He completed three and the other went to Chargers cornerback Marcus Gilchrist. You don't want to penalize Henne too much for limited playing time. But his inability to play more than a quarter does hurt him to some degree.

Walker’s grade: D

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Result: L, 23-20 vs. Cincinnati

Stats: 20-34, 199 yards

QBR: 38.8

Analysis: Fitzpatrick can be streaky at times and didn't look like the quarterback we saw in the first three games. Fitzpatrick wasn't clicking with his receivers and it bogged down the offense, which only produced 13 points. Buffalo was held to three points in the second half when Cincinnati made its comeback. Perhaps the good sign is even during a sub-par performance, Fitzpatrick didn't have a turnover.

Walker’s grade: C-

This week’s winner: Fitzpatrick (three points)

Second place: Henne (two points)

Third place: Sanchez (one point)

Overall standings

1. Fitzpatrick (12 points)

2. Henne (seven points)

3. Sanchez (six points)

Morning take: Henne over Sanchez?

September, 28, 2011
Here are the most interesting stories Wednesday in the AFC East:
  • Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor says quarterback Chad Henne is more talented than New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Morning take: Taylor spent a short stint in New York and has been around both quarterbacks. The AFC East blog is taking a neutral stance until the conclusion of our "Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch." Henne and Sanchez are tied after three weeks.
  • Speaking of Sanchez, he says his broken nose is no big deal.
Morning take: Sanchez will wear a protective shield, which is smart. I've seen what powerful Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata can do to a quarterback's face with one swipe. It's not pretty.
  • The status of Cincinnati Bengals starting running back Cedric Benson remains up in the air against the Buffalo Bills.
Morning take: The Bills caught the Bengals at the right time. Cincinnati is in turmoil on and off the field. Losing Benson would make Cincinnati's already struggling offense one dimensional and easier to defend.
Morning take: New England was thin on the defensive line against Buffalo because of injuries to Albert Haynesworth (back) and Mike Wright (concussion). Warren knows the system and could help in the rotation.

Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch: Week 3

September, 27, 2011
Sanchez, Henne & Fitzpatrick Icon SMIRyan Fitzpatrick, right, still leads Mark Sanchez, left, and Chad Henne through three games.
Here's our latest installment of the "Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch" after Week 3:

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets

Result: L, 34-24 vs. Oakland

Stats: 27-43, 369 yards, two TDs, one INT

QBR: 33.3

Analysis: I'm starting to think the Total Quarterback Rating doesn't like Sanchez. This is the second time I thought Sanchez played a solid game, but the QBR says he was well below average. Sanchez threw for 369 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. I was particularly impressed since Sanchez had virtually no help from the running game and the Jets' usually stout defense. Sanchez was by no means perfect. But I just don't see how 21 other quarterbacks had better games in Week 3.

Walker's Grade: B

Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins

Result: L, 17-16 vs. Cleveland

Stats: 19-29, 255 yards, one TD, one INT

QBR: 73.7

Analysis: I don't think Henne played twice as well as Sanchez this week, as the QBR suggests. He started extremely hot, completely 11 of his first 12 passes. But Henne and Miami's offense once again struggled in the red zone and that was the difference in a last-minute loss to Cleveland. Henne spread the ball to seven different receivers. That's solid. But Henne hasn't been clutch this year. He had plenty of chances to put the Browns away in the second half but failed. Henne also had an opportunity to win the game in the final drive but threw a pick to Cleveland safety Mike Adams.

Walker's Grade: C+

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills

Result: W, 34-31 vs. Patriots

Stats: 27-40, 369 yards, two TDs, two INTs

QBR: 80.8

Analysis: Fitzpatrick had nearly identical numbers with Sanchez. But the difference is Fitzpatrick led the Bills to a dramatic, second-half comeback over the New England Patriots and Sanchez's Jets blew an early lead to Oakland. Fitzpatrick thrives this year in the clutch. His play at the end of the first half and the end of the fourth quarter was masterful. Fitzpatrick made a few bad throws. He was picked off three times, but one was called back because of a pass-interference call. But overall Fitzpatrick earned the best grade in the "Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch" for the third week in a row.

Walker's Grade: B+

This week's winner: Ryan Fitzpatrick (three points)

Second place: Mark Sanchez (two points)

Third place: Chad Henne (one point)

Overall standings

1. Fitzpatrick (nine points)

2 (tie). Sanchez (five points)

2 (tie). Henne (five points)

Fitzpatrick is separating from Sanchez and Henne. We will have another installment of the "Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch" after Week 4.

Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch: Week 2

September, 20, 2011
Sanchez, Henne & Fitzpatrick Icon SMIRyan Fitzpatrick, right, has outperformed Mark Sanchez, left, and Chad Henne through two games.
Last week the AFC East blog introduced the "Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch." This is our way to finally settle the debate, without bias, on who is the second best quarterback in the division.

Week 2 in now in the books. It's time for another round of grades.

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets

Result: W, 32-3 vs. Jaguars

Stats: 17 of 24, 182 yards, two TDs, two INTs

QBR: 77.6

Analysis: Sanchez continues to have turnovers for the second straight week. He threw two interceptions during a rout of the Jaguars. Sanchez now has four turnovers (three interceptions, one lost fumble) in two games. Otherwise, I thought Sanchez was accurate. His first drive to start the game was phenomenal. The 17-yard touchdown to receiver Santonio Holmes was probably the best throw of the game. The Total Quarterback Rating surprised me. I actually thought Sanchez made more big throws in Week 1 than on Sunday. The blowout most likely led to the higher rating. Sanchez made mistakes in the clutch in Week 1, which severely hurts his QBR.

Walker's grade: C+

Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins

Result: L, 23-13 vs. Texans

Stats: 12 of 30, 170 yards, one TD, one INT

QBR: 30.5

Analysis: Last week Henne played as well as I've ever seen him play. He torched the New England Patriots with his arm and legs. That showed his potential. But Henne wasn't nearly as good against Houston. He missed a lot of throws, especially in the red zone. Henne struggles at times with his accuracy on the outside. I also noticed him staring down receiver Brandon Marshall a couple of times and trying to force the ball. That's something opponents will notice on tape. I do like Henne's awareness to scramble (26 rushing yards). That is a definite improvement over previous years. He will need it, because his pass protection isn't the greatest.

Walker's grade: C-

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills

Result: W, 38-35 vs. Raiders

Stats: 28 of 46, 264 yards, three TDs, one INT

QBR: 82.2

Analysis: Fitzpatrick had the sixth-highest QBR for Week 2. This follows his No. 1 QBR rating in Week 1. It took a half to warm up. But Fitzpatrick put together another solid performance against Oakland. He was clutch during Buffalo's second-half comeback from a 21-3 deficit. Fitzpatrick's game-winning drive culminated in a six-yard touchdown pass to receiver David Nelson. There's a lot to like about Fitzpatrick. He's poised, smart and aggressive. That's why Buffalo is confident in Fitzpatrick throwing the football 46 times from the spread. The biggest concern after watching two games is his arm strength. Most of Fitzpatrick's completions are short. He didn't complete a pass for more than 19 yards Sunday against Oakland.

Walker's grade: B+

This week's winner: Ryan Fitzpatrick (three points)

Second place: Mark Sanchez (two points)

Third place: Chad Henne (one point)

Overall standings

1. Fitzpatrick (six points)

2. Henne (four points)

3. Sanchez (three points)

Bills fans rejoice. Fitzpatrick now has the lead through two weeks of the "Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch."

Check back next week as we grade each AFC East quarterback after Week 3.

Introducing the Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch

September, 14, 2011
Sanchez, Henne & Fitzpatrick Icon SMIWho is the second-best AFC East quarterback: New York's Mark Sanchez, Miami's Chad Henne or Buffalo's Ryan Fitzpatrick?
When I recently surveyed our AFC East community, I was surprised the amount of times Mark Sanchez versus Chad Henne came up. It's clear there is unfinished business with this debate.

Buffalo Bills fans also mentioned their guy -- Ryan Fitzpatrick -- deserves consideration. So I put some thought into how to finally settle who is the second-best quarterback in the division.

Introducing the "Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch." Each week, the AFC East blog will keep an updated scorecard on the three quarterbacks, grade each performance on a variety of factors, and determine who's better at the end of the season.

Here is the first installment:

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Result: W, 41-7 vs. Chiefs

Stats: 17 of 25, 208 yards, four TDs

QBR: 91.2

Analysis: Fitzpatrick had the best QBR in the NFL in Week 1. He was extremely efficient and led Buffalo to a 34-point victory on the road. I was impressed with was the Bills' efficiency on third down (50 percent). Although he didn't throw for many yards, Fitzpatrick had 13 completions for first downs against Kansas City. It's a lot easier to win games when the offense stays on the field and keeps the chains moving.

Walker's grade: A-

Mark Sanchez

Result: W, 27-24 vs. Cowboys

Stats: 26 of 44, 335 yards, two TDs, one INT

QBR: 17.6

Analysis: Sanchez's QBR is misleading. He made some mistakes -- which weighs heavily here -- but Sanchez also made a lot of plays down the field. New York's offense would not have moved the ball if not for Sanchez's arm. The running game sputtered against Dallas. I consider throwing for 335 yards and two touchdowns a pretty good game. Sanchez just needs to eliminate big turnovers in key moments.

Walker's Grade: B

Chad Henne

Result: L, 38-24 vs. Patriots

Stats: 30 of 49, 416 yards, two TDs, one INT

QBR: 70.7

Analysis: Henne had a career-best performance in a loss to the New England Patriots. He led the Dolphins in passing (416) and rushing (59) yards. Henne accounted for three touchdowns total and did a good job of moving Miami's offense. The Dolphins can win some games this year if Henne plays at this level. I thought he was poised and in control. Henne is off to a good start in 2011.

Walker's Grade: A-

This week's winners: Chad Henne and Ryan Fitzpatrick (three points)

Third place: Mark Sanchez (one point)

Overall standings

1 (tie). Henne (three points)

1 (tie). Fitzpatrick (three points)

3. Sanchez (one point)

Henne and Fitzpatrick take an early lead in the "Sanchez-Henne-Fitz Watch." But it's a long, 16-game season to determine the AFC East's No. 2 quarterback. We will have an updated scorecard after Week 2.