Ever since the old Cowboys days of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michel Irvin, the NFL has had an obsession with the idea of “The Triplets”. This concept consists of a teams starting QB, RB, and it’s top WR.
For the Miami Dolphins this would be Ryan Tannehill, Jay Ajayi, and Jarvis Landry.
To the average NFL fan or even a huge fan of another team this trio may not seem like much but this trio is sneakily one of the top five in the league.
Jay Ajayi as we all know had a huge breakout year this season finishing fourth in rushing this year , adding eight touchdowns.
He was only one of only four players to rush for 200 yards in back to back games adding himself to a list that includes three all time greats in Earl Campbell, OJ Simpson, and former Dolphin Ricky Williams. Then after a few weeks of down games Ajayi burst out for over 200 again putting him again in legendary company with Campbell, OJ, and Tiki Barber this time.
Ajayi lead the NFL in missed tackles with 58, and was also second in the NFL with 901 yards after contact. Ajayi became one of the most feared and unstoppable backs in the NFL.
At the beginning of his break out there were some doubters who gave all the credit to the offensive line for Ajayi’s success but his yards after contact numbers tell a different story. If Ajayi was featured throughout the first couple weeks of the season like he was in the later portions he would have finished even higher on that rushing list.
I think it is safe to say that the Miami Dolphins should all be hopping aboard to Jay-Train.
Jarvis Landry is the heart and soul of this Miami Dolphins team. There is no stat that measures the size of your heart or a special camera that can track your will to win but anybody that turns on a Dolphin game any Sunday can see that this dude fights with all he can for his team.
In the analytical community Jarvis Landry is a hot topic of discussion, nobody quite knows how to judge how good he is. Everybody understands how important he is to this team and this Quarter Back.
One of the main problems when people argue over how good Landry is, is that he is going to be getting a new contract in all likely hood this summer and nobody seems to agree on how much he should be paid.
The Dolphins will have to pay him like a top 10 receiver in the league and that is okay because that is exactly what he is.
Landry finished the season with 94 catches which is tied for 7th most in the league, he finished 10th in receiving yards with 1,136, and he finished second among wide receivers in yards after catch with 634, only one yard behind the leader Golden Tate.
While Landry finished well outside of the top 10 in touchdowns with only four, players like Amari Cooper and Julio Jones only finished with five and six respectively.
Jarvis Landry’s 288 receptions is tied for the most ever in their first three seasons, he shares this record with another receiver and a close friend Odell Beckham Jr who also lacks prototypical number one receiver size for the NFL.
Not only does Jarvis Landry pass the eye test but he puts up the numbers that fans love to see. Jarvis Landry is the real deal.
Yes the quarterback, the “most important position in sports”.
Ryan Tannehill is an enigma, fans opinion on Tannehill doesn’t change week to week it changes snap to snap.
Every year Tannehill puts up top 15 quarterback numbers but he gets bashed because he hasn’t won. In the NFL the only position that we include wins in the discussion of individual player stats is the QB. This year though something clicked for Tannehill.
After the Pittsburgh game in week 6, Tannehill started winning. That is because for the first time in his career the Dolphins weren’t asking Tannehill to throw the ball 50 times and win the game all by himself. The run game got going, the receivers started making plays, and the defense began forcing turnovers.
We can only look at some of Tannehill’s stats because of the unfortunate injury that pre maturely ended his best season to date.
Tannehill had a 93.5 QB Rating which was good for 12th in the league ahead of guys like Russell Wilson and Cam Newton.
Tannehill’s completion percentage was 6th in the league which was .3 percentage points behind Tom Brady, and well ahead of Aaron Rodgers.
Throughout his career Tannehill has been criticized for his deep ball and rightly so but this year he finished 8th in the league in yards per attempt at 7.7, ahead guys known for throwing deep often like Roethlisberger, Rodgers, and Derek Carr.
Not only did Tannehill start winning games in the 4th quarter for the dolphins like against the Chargers, Rams, and 49ers. Tannehill also continued to put up pretty good numbers and improved on the areas of his game that he needed too.
Ryan Tannehill is never going to carry a below average team to the playoffs like Aaron Rodgers did this season, but with a good team around him he can put up an MVP type season like Matt Ryan did this season.
Both of those quarter backs are in a win away from the super bowl and that is something the dolphins would definitely count as a success from Tannehill.