Oct 7, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) calls a play during the second half in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Dolphins won 17-13. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-US PRESSWIRE

Miami Dolphins Can Win Now With Ryan Tannehill


Ryan Tannehill was always the key for the Miami Dolphins.  Most believed he could be a good NFL quarterback but considered him a project.  After five NFL weeks, he has shown his future is now and his trajectory is now pointing toward superstardom.

Tannehill has shown no fear in the pocket and has chosen to remain there a few precious seconds more than the average NFL quarterback.  It helps that he has a good offensive line but Tannehill’s poise under pressure is one of his many good traits.  Tannehill is also athletic and makes strong, accurate throws when forced to move.  Just this past weekend he completed a long pass to Brian Hartline well after his pocket had collapsed.

Despite his amazing skill set when the ball is in play, Tannehill is at his best before the ball is snapped.  He is confident when reading defenses and head coach Joe Philbin has given him some freedom in directing the offense.  Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman deserve credit for understanding that Tannehill is ready for more responsibility and, of course, the rookie signal-caller deserves credit for having a strong football IQ.

This “project” has already surpassed many young starters, with more NFL experience, in being prepared to succeed in the league.

What about the weapons around him?  Miami supposedly had a wide receiver deficiency to go along with a rookie quarterback and a first-year head coach.  In contrast, Hartline leads the NFL with 514 receiving yards and Davone Bess is 19th with 346 yards.  The Dolphins are 14th in the league in net passing yards and, except for their opener against the Houston Texans, they have not been forced to pass.  With the 8th best running attack in the league (135.6 yards per game), passing is a choice.  While some of the credit goes to Philbin and Sherman, most of the credit should go to Tannehill.  Miami has a balanced offense that ranks in the top half of the league.  This is a far cry from the preseason expectations of the Dolphins.

The offense will improve as Tannehill will only get better.

Miami has the best run defense in the league and, on the other side, they have a strong offensive line and potent running game, led by Reggie Bush.  The Dolphins dominate the trenches.  This was Jeff Ireland‘s blueprint for success.

With the ascension of Tannehill and Hartline, this team has above-average talent in more than half of their starting positions. Tannehill, Bush, Hartline, Jake Long, Mike Pouncey, Richie Incognito, Cameron Wake, Randy Starks, Paul Soliai, Kevin Burnett, Karlos Dansby, and Sean Smith.

The Miami Dolphins can win now.

The defending champion New York Giants were not a juggernaut last year.  They squeaked into the playoffs with a 9-7 record and a negative point differential.  As we all know, they played well in the playoffs, beating the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, and New England Patriots.  The Giants won with strong play by the offensive and defensive lines, tough running, and great play by Eli Manning.  Sounds an awful lot like the Dolphin gameplan.  Sure, Manning is much more seasoned than Tannehill and you can argue Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, and Mario Manningham are better than anything that Miami offers.  Were the Giant receivers that good last year? or was it Manning’s play?

His older brother Peyton Manning and Miami’s divisional foe, Tom Brady, have shown us repeatedly how much a good quarterback can make everyone, from the general manager to the kicker, look better.

The Dolphins can win now and Ryan Tannehill can be great.

Follow me on Twitter @RiSantamaria

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Tags: Brian Hartline Joe Philbin Miami Dolphins MIke Sherman Ryan Tannehill

  • jcartwight67

    Richard, you’re right on track in my mind. Your comparison to the Giants of last year might raise some eye brows but those brows belong to the bone heads that wouldn’t have picked the Giants to win the Superbowl even after they made the playoffs. The same bone heads that thought our offense would be crap and that Tanny was a “project” at best. I was one of those boneheads! The fact remains; nobody truly knows what will happen on Sunday’s. I hope we’re competing for a playoff spot in week 13. Once in the playoffs, anything can happen. We need some solid play from our secondary and more productivity from TE, couple this with an offense in the middle of the pack and a defense in the top 5 and we could be a strong team in playoff contention. Love my Phins.

    • Richard Santamaria

      Thanks for the read and all I’m saying is that Miami can compete in a league of parity. Before Week 1, we were the worst team in the league, according to most. I argued that we were better than the Jets and Bills. People laughed.

      • TNS LIVE


  • finfan63

    I’ve thought since before the season that there were 10 wins on the schedule. Now take a look at the standings in the AFC. Assuming they stay healthy I believe Miami will be in the playoff hunt this season. Love the direction of the team and think Philbin was a great hire. Most cerebral coach since Shula.

  • Miami Jules

    I heard Joe Philbin say during his tv show last week, that the Dolphins HAVE to win the 4th quarter… I can’t even begin to tell you how strongly I feel about that.
    One can say it’s te kicker’s fault and to certain extent it is, but this late 4th quarter problems have been around since last year under a different coach anf QB.
    The key for Miami is and the objective late in the late 4th should be to get 1st downs period. If we are trailing, and depending on how many timeouts we have left and how much time is left in the game, we HAVE to stay away from trying to win the game in one play, stay focused, loose and get 1st downs, especially when deep down in our own end of the field but do favor the pass. When nursing a small lead, even more importantly, which remember, other than the Bengals’ game, we have lost those. we need first downs sowe can eventuall scoreor rest our defence.
    Should we do this, I don’t see ANT team out tere that is TOO good for us not to beat.

    • Miami Jules

      Ouch! Please excuse typO’s

  • Xman

    OK let’s not get crazy here…comparing them to last year’s Giants? C’mon man! Things are looking up but still MUCH to prove…