Would the Real Tannehill Please Stand Up
Ryan Tannehill had a quiet yet decent rookie campaign in 2012. He passed for 3,294 yards on 282 completions out of 484 attempts. He also threw 12 touchdowns compared to 13 interceptions and was the victim of 35 sacks on the year. For a rookie like Tannehill, who played wide receiver most of his college career, those numbers are not too bad. Especially considering that Tannehill was thought to be a project player for a season or two. However, Tannehill stepped up early and often to take control of Miami's offense. The problem, though, is that nobody was really sure which Tannehill would step up.
For example, Tannehill had an atrocious game against the Texans in week 1 by throwing 3 interceptions and no touchdowns. The very next week, versus the Raiders, Tannehill turned in a pretty solid performance to the tune of 200 yards and a touchdown against no interceptions. This was a sign of things to come for the young quarterback and the Phins. The following two weeks combined Tannehill threw 3 interceptions to only 1 touchdown to suffer 2 straight losses. This was followed by 2 straight wins where he threw 2 touchdowns to no interceptions. This is inconsistency at its best.
Tannehill threw more interceptions than touchdowns in 6 games and proceeded to lose each one of those games. He threw more touchdowns than interceptions in 6 other games and the Phins went 4-2 in those games. Between those 12 games alone Tannehill and the Phins were 4-8, hardly the kind of record you want from a franchise quarterback. In the other 4 games his touchdowns and interceptions were even and they went 3-1. Miami finished 7-9 when all was said and done with each win and loss reflecting Tannehill's performance. When Tannehill did not throw more interceptions than touchdowns the Phins went 7-3, but they went 0-6 when his interceptions outnumbered his touchdowns.
As a rookie he was consistently inconsistent which is to be expected, especially from someone deemed a project at first. But, is that acceptable out of someone deemed the future of the franchise? Probably not but let's see how he did during his sophomore year.
Year 2: Rising Up?
If you look purely at the stats then Tannehill improved quite a bit. He threw for 3,913 yards on 355 completions out of 588 attempts. He also increased his touchdowns to 24 against 17 interceptions. A successful campaign right? Not really to be honest. Tannehill should've easily had at least 4,000 yards with at least 4 or 5 more touchdowns while leading the Phins into the playoffs. Any Dolphan knows exactly what I'm about to bring up: weeks 16 and 17. I start hyperventilating anytime I even think about those weeks. Once again, Tannehill turned in some stellar performances against teams like the Colts, Ravens, Panthers, Jets, and Patriots as he threw for over 300 yards in each game and 8 combined touchdowns against only 2 interceptions. They won 3 of those games and lost the other 2 by a combined total of 7 points. He also had some solid outings that led to 5 more victories, but, he also had some real stinkers against the Saints and Bills before ultimately drowning in the final two weeks. In week 15 against the Patriots, Tannehill led the Phish to a win while throwing 3 touchdown passes to no interceptions and 312 yards. In weeks 16 and 17, against the Bills and Jets none the less, Tannehill threw 1 touchdown pass to 3 interceptions for a whopping combined total of 286 yards. He threw more touchdowns and for more yards in 1 week than he did in the following 2 combined. I'm not a professional coach but that is definitely NOT the kind of performance or inconsistency you want out of your quarterback let alone franchise quarterback.
Again, Tannehill had an up and down year. But this time it wasn't all his fault. Tannehill had no running game whatsoever to help him out and led the league in sacks with 58, an increase from 2012's 35. Because of these issues, as well as dealing with inept play calling and a forced chemistry (or lack there of) with Mike Wallace, Tannehill did not have much of a chance to succeed. Sure, he had better weapons in 2013 than 2012 with Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson jumping on board but he never had much time to find them. Then of course defenses could almost exclusively play the pass because Miami could not run the ball to save their lives.
So what does all of this mean for Tannehill?
Ryan Tannehill is either very lucky or very unlucky because we really have no idea what we have in him. I am a big Ryan Tannehill fan and a life long fan of the Phish so I am really pulling for him. I am a little biased because of that but not even I can say with 100% certainty whether or not he is Miami's future. Tannehill has played some great football and some atrocious football. He's beaten some awesome quarterbacks in Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, and Tom Brady while falling flat on his face against Jake Locker, Thad Lewis (who wasn't even the starter!), and Drew Brees. To date Tannehill has 7,207 yards with 36 touchdowns to 30 interceptions and an 15-17 record as a starter.
Regardless of what your thoughts are on Tannehill at this point in his career, we can all agree that this upcoming season will force the real Ryan Tannehill to stand up. Of course he will face the usual suspects in Brady, Smith, and Manuel twice but Tannehill and the Phish have some seriously tough opponents this coming season. Tannehill will face off with a who's who of the top quarterbacks in the league this year. He will go toe-to-toe with Philip Rivers, Joe Flacco, Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith, and Peyton Manning as well as whoever the Vikings, Raiders, and Jaguars end up with behind center. Tannehill definitely has one heck of a season to prove himself. If he can walk through that line up with a winning record then I think he will be just fine. If he puts up some more miserable performances then the Phish will get squished big time. Tannehill is probably already feeling the pressure to succeed and he has a great list of foes to prove he is Miami's answer to Marino's retirement.
Tannehill: Boom or Bust?
Is Tannehill the Future for the Dolphins?
What Do You Think?
Ryan Tannehill has definitely had his ups and downs like every other player in the league but are franchise quarterbacks this consistently inconsistent? In the "win now" NFL culture is Tannehill the right option for the Dolphins? Will they keep him around much longer if he doesn't step up big time this season? These questions are hard to answer right now but I think Tannehill is the real deal. Once Philbin and Hickey get him some linemen and a running game (Ben Tate or Darren McFadden anyone?) then I believe Tannehill will hang with the best of them each and every week. Oh yea, once he and Wallace develop some real chemistry they will tear defenses up. Cast your vote in poll to make your opinion heard!
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