Miami Dolphins Preview: Ryan Tannehill

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"Nov 9, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) after the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Detroit won 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports"


Miami’s offensive line was better last season, but better than historically awful still isn’t good. Tannehill found himself running for his life on way too many passing plays last season. Unless the offensive line improves, Tannehill will still be frantically scrambling thus making developing a bond with his receivers all the more challenging.

With a largely young and mostly brand new receiving corps, Tannehill will have to find chemistry with the likes of Devante Parker, Kenny Stills, along with veterans Greg Jennings and tight end Jordan Cameron sooner rather than later.

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Chemistry will be vital as Dolphins fans watched Tannehill struggle to build any kind of connection with Mike Wallace, but on the other hand Tannehill did find an instant rapport with Jarvis Landry. So how quickly Tannehill and his receivers can find a rhythm will be crucial for Miami. Particularly because the schedule isn’t exactly on the Dolphins’ side, especially late in the season.

Dolphins fans can argue that the beginning of the schedule is fairly easy, allowing for more of a buffer for Tannehill and his receivers to find their niche.

But the Dolphins have proven the last few season that beating inferior teams is still a problem, especially their divisional foes the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. And they cannot afford to lose to the likes of Washington, Jacksonville or Tennessee because of a lack of production from their passing game.

If Tannehill can guide the team through the first half without any issues, the good news is they don’t have a single cold weather game in December. The bad news is they have some tough games down the stretch against the likes of the Ravens, Colts, and Chargers before closing out the season against the Patriots.

This provides one of Tannehill’s biggest hurdles, outdueling the league’s better quarterbacks. Tannehill has beaten Andrew Luck and Phillip Rivers in the past, but he’ll also have to contend with the likes of Eli Manning and Tony Romo as well as Tom Brady.

Tannehill hasn’t quite proven he can beat the better quarterbacks in the league with any regularity. The Dolphins will need him to do just that in 2015. All the while, Tannehill has yet to prove he can consistently beat flat out bad quarterbacks, making this a potential season-breaking problem.