Through the first three weeks of the season, Mike Wallace has put up some modest statistics. Looking at the stat sheets for each game would lead one to believe that the only impact he had on this team was in week two against the Colts, and that he’s not justifying the massive contract that he landed in the offseason. All the nay-sayers are definitely entitled to their opinions, but they need to realize one thing – they’re wrong.
Does Wallace want the ball? Of course he does. I have no problem with this. However, the impact of Wallace, even if he doesn’t finish the season with 1000+ yards, justifies the expense of bringing him in. Wallace’s presence on the field improves every player on this offense. Wallace not only commands the coverage of the best corner for opponents, but also forces double coverage in many situations. He removes the ability to put extra men up in the box, and opens the underneath routes for other receivers. Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson have the opportunity to get open against the number two and three corners, situations that they will win on most occasions. Wallace’s presence means that SOMEONE is open, and Tannehill has done a good job following through on finding the open man thus far. As a team, consider this, Miami is number two in the NFL in 3rd down conversion percentage, and while Wallace may not be directly responsible, allowing other players to run free or in single coverage while spreading the defense has a major impact.
Consider that Tannehill has been able to spread the ball around to NINE different players through three games, four of whom (including Wallace) have double-digit reception totals. Tannehill has a 94.3 quarterback rating, and is connecting on over 66% of his pass attempts, and looking to have tremendous upside that is compounded by the fact that teams are forced to try so hard to take away Mike Wallace, and this writer is grateful for the impact that he has on this team.