Ryan Tannehill will make the Pro Bowl in 2015


When Ryan Tannehill received a huge contract extension back in May, it finally put an end to the inconsistent saga at the Miami Dolphins quarterback position. From 2000 to 2011, the Fins had 16 different starters at the quarterback position. Who could forget the horrible front-office decisions like trading for A.J Feely, signing Daunte Culpepper (when Drew Brees was available), and drafting John Beck? I’ll tell you who, no one! If you’re a true Dolphins fan, these nightmare-like memories have haunted you for the past decade and beyond.

However, in 2012, in an unlikely move (solely because it was a good one), the Fins front-office made a risky decision that would change their franchise for years to come: they drafted the “inexperienced” QB Ryan Tannehill out of Texas A&M.

Since his rookie season, Tannehill has gradually improved in all areas of his game. He’s consistently made progress in terms of on / off-field leadership, completion percentage, touchdown/interception ratio, and overall QB rating. Furthermore, Tannehill has brought much needed continuity to a generally inconsistent Fins offense, and is easily the second-best QB in the ultra-competitive AFC East. See the table below for full passing statistics.

Ryan Tannehill career passing statistics.

So, why should you believe Tannehill will be a Pro Bowler in 2015? I’m glad you asked!

When taking a look at the Fins roster this (2015) season, it is undeniably the deepest, most talented offense Tannehill has ever had the pleasure of leading. With a 1,000 yard-rusher in Lamar Miller and receivers like Davante Parker, Jarvis Landry, Greg Jennings, Kenny Stills, and Jordan Cameron, 2015 is Tannehill’s best shot to become a Pro Bowl selection, by far.

Furthermore, with a little optimism and statistical analysis, Fins fans can assume Tannehill will become a consistent top 10 QB for many years to come. In 2013 and 2014, Tannehill increased his QB rating by 7.36% and 13.59%, respectively. Therefore, if Tannehill is able to keep up that progress and raise his QB rating by 19.82%, he will end the 2015 season with a 111.19 QB rating, placing him in the top 3 of last year. With realistic expectations in mind, even if Tannehill is able to boost his QB rating by just 7.36% (like he did in 2013), he would end the season with a rating of 99.63, putting him in the top 5 and ahead of rival Tom Brady.

The two biggest hurdles Tannehill must get over in order to become a perennial Pro Bowler is his horrible sack rate and inconsistent deep ball. The bigger need out of those two hurdles is definitely taking less sacks, most of which is not Tannehill’s fault. The offensive line simply needs to improve on all fronts, and it begins with the health of left tackle Branden Albert. After Albert went down last year in week 10 against Detroit, Tannehill’s sack rate increased from 2 sacks per game, to 3.7, an 85% increase.

As for the deep ball, rookie wide receiver Davante Parker and veteran Kenny Stills will be huge for Tannehill. For the past two seasons, Tannehill’s only true deep threat was Mike Wallace. Unfortunately, Wallace’s style of play calls for an ultra-accurate quarterback like Steelers QB “Big Ben” Roethlisberger who can deliver an overarching pass into tight windows. For example, Wallace won’t be able to “go up and get it” like Parker or Stills, but can run underneath the ball and beat defenses deep with his speed. This is why he had so much success with Big Ben from 2009-2012.

Tannehill is not this type of quarterback. If Tannehill is going to throw it deep, he needs a player with a wide wing span who possesses acrobatic talents and glue-like hands (insert Davante Parker). With added talent around him in the receiving game and a stellar defense to boot, Tannehill should have the best season of his young NFL career. As for predictions, I believe Tannehill will finish the season with 32 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 4,500 yards, and a QB rating of 99.5.

The 2015 NFL season will be huge for fans, critics, and Dolphins players alike. With Tannehill poised for a fantastic year and the defense looking stout, it would be a disappointment if Tannehill didn’t reach the Pro Bowl and the Dolphins didn’t make a deep playoff run. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for kickoff! Let me know your thoughts and as always, Fins up!