Checking in on rest of quarterback play in AFC East after eventful weekend
|08.25.13 at 9:45 am ET|
The Patriots’ three division opponents have had up-and-down performances when it comes to quarterback play over the course of the preseason, with Buffalo and New York struggling and Miami looking pretty good by comparison. We know how things have gone in New England, but after an eventful weekend where three AFC East quarterbacks were forced from the game by injuries, here’s where things stand when it comes to the rest of the division and its’ signal-callers.
Bills: Buffalo’s quarterback situation is one of the murkiest in the league, as starter Kevin Kolb left Saturday’s preseason game against the Redskins with a head injury in the first quarter and did not return. (That’s after missing the preseason opener because of a freak knee injury he suffered while slipping on a mat on the way out to practice.) That comes in the wake of what was described as a “minor procedure” for rookie E.J. Manuel for a knee problem that sidelined him for the duration of the preseason. Buffalo’s only remaining healthy quarterback is rookie Jeff Tuel — small wonder that Bills coach Doug Marrone hinted Buffalo could bring in another quarterback in the next few days. (Reports indicated the Bills were going to kick the tires on Matt Leinart and John Beck.) To his credit, Tuel is 31-for-43 for 299 yards, two touchdowns and no picks to this point in the preseason.
Jets: On Saturday, the Jets quarterback situation was laid bare for the world to see. Rookie Geno Smith had the chance to win the starting job, but looked overwhelmed while locking on to receivers and stepping out of the back of the end zone to inadvertently take a safety while trying to avoid the Giants rush. (Smith finished the night 16-for-30 for 199 yards with a touchdown, three interceptions and the fourth-quarter safety.) Veteran Mark Sanchez was no better — he went 5-for-6 passes for 72 yards, but mishandled a snap that the Giants recovered. He left the game after suffering a shoulder injury on a sack while playing behind the second-string offensive line. (After he was injured, Sanchez was replaced by Matt Simms.) Right now, Sanchez has been the best QB of the preseason for the Jets, going 28-for-42 for 366 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Dolphins: Outside of the Patriots, the best quarterback play is in South Florida. In Miami’s third preseason game over the weekend, second-year starter Ryan Tannehill went 17-for-27 passes for 150 yards, a touchdown and no picks in the Dolphins’ 17-16 loss to Tampa Bay. (Tannehill’s numbers would have been even better if Miami’s Brandon Gibson hadn’t dropped at least two of his passes.) In three games this preseason, Tannehill is 34-for-56 for 377 yards, to go along with three touchdowns and no interceptions.