Dolphins’ Tannehill Faces Trial By Fire


Oct 7, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) gestures at the line of scrimmage in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

One of the worries about Ryan Tannehill when he was in college was that his delivery mechanics were leading to some of his passes being tipped at the line of scrimmage. When J.J. Watt tipped a few Tannehill passes in the opener, Miami Dolphins fans worried that Tannehill’s college problem would be a pro nightmare. Well, seven weeks later, we know now that Watt has been tipping everyone’s passes. We also know that Ryan Tannehill has developed pretty well and he has had to do it against the most difficult pass defenses the league has to offer.

Tannehill has faced some of the strongest pass defenses the league has to offer. The Houston Texans, New York Jets, and Arizona Cardinals are among the best defensive teams in the league this season. Arizona and St. Louis are particularly strong against the pass. The Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals are solid against the pass, though Miami was able to dominate their weak run defense.

The New York Jets had Darrelle Revis at corner for the first half of Tannehill’s first encounter with the Jets and Antonio Cromartie has been having a career year since Revis was injured. As a result, Tannehill has yet to face a subpar pass defense. Despite this, Tannehill has managed to look better with every game.

Outside of the Arizona game, Tannehill’s stats have not looked as impressive as Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. However, they have not faced competition as stiff as Tannehill has this season. It is also notable that the Arizona pass defense has been formidable this season, yet Tannehill was able to come close to breaking the rookie passing record against the Cardinals.

Greener pastures are ahead for Tannehill. After the second meeting with the Jets comes the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, and Buffalo Bills. All three teams are subpar defenses and weak against the pass. It will be interesting to see if Tannehill’s experience against strong defenses will allow him to dominate the weaker defenses.

With Luck and Griffin facing stiffer competition in the coming weeks, Tannehill has an opportunity to turn Offensive Rookie of the Year into a three man race.