Ryan Tannehill pass completions to Brian Hartline have amassed 455 yards this year. That is more than Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson, Matt Ryan to Roddy White, Eli Manning to Victor Cruz, Tom Brady to Wes Welker, and Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall. In fact, through a quarter of the season, they are the NFL’s most prolific passing duo.
What is Brandon Marshall thinking now? The Chicago Bears just won a big game at Dallas but Cutler has averaged less than 30 passes a game and, because of his team’s horrible offensive line, he is being limited to three step drops. While Marshall is still among the league’s receiving leaders, I’m sure he cringes when he sees what is happening in Miami.
Ryan Tannehill is a prototypical quarterback with above average athleticism, who has not thrown less than 30 passes in any game this season. He is tall, accurate, mobile, and has the quintessential “cannon for an arm.” Now, he is showing us a high football IQ and has progressed exponentially in his young career. In only his fourth game, he passed for 431 yards against an Arizona secondary that boasts Patrick Peterson and Adrian Wilson. Tannehill was one yard short of the all-time rookie record held by Cam Newton. He will likely have twelve more attempts.
Before the season, Miami was considered to have the worst receiving group in the league. This may still be so but a good quarterback changes all that. Before this past Sunday, the Dolphins had not had two receivers with more than 100 receiving yards in a single game since November 25, 2001. Davone Bess and Hartline accomplished that against Arizona and Hartline now holds Miami’s single game receiving record with 253 yards.
Hartline may have been overlooked as he was injured during the preseason and had never worked with a prodigy like Tannehill. They quickly developed chemistry and, now, Hartline is on the national and fantasy football radar. The Ohio State product is in his fourth season and has good hands and great technique. His head fakes often result in separation and with a good quarterback, a small window is more than enough. While Hartline is deceptively fast, he does not possess elite speed. Can he be a number one receiver? So far he has been.
Phinphanatics have a lot to look forward to this season as Joe Philbin will continue to open up the offense. It looks like Miami has found its quarterback and everything else will follow.
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