Is this Miami Dolphins’ QB Ryan Tannehill’s year to reach elite status?

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 11: Ryan Tannehill /

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is starting to turn heads in the media after three weeks of solid play to start the 2018 season.

Ryan Tannehill is in his seventh season with the Miami Dolphins, sixth season of playing after missing last year recovering from a torn ACL injury. Now playing for his third head coach, Adam Gase, could this be the year he comes into his own and rises to elite level?

The season is still early, with a lot yet to prove, but let’s take a look at his first three games to date.  Ryan is currently fourth in the league among starting quarterbacks with a Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) of 121.8. His best QBR for a year was 93.5 back in 2016. The last game against the Oakland Raiders he had a 155.3 QBR, a perfect rating is 158.3. In the category of average yards per pass, he ranks third with a 9.3 average, compared to a career high yearly average of 7.7 yards. He is completing 70.3% of his passes, which is fifth in the league.

Tannehill’s best completion rate for the year is 67.1% over his career. He is in the top ten in many of the other categories for quarterbacks. Looking at these statistics and the fact he’s thrown 7 touchdown passes against only two interceptions, it’s clear that he’s not the flashy quarterback, but more the efficient quarterback.

Miami arguably has one of the best receiving squads in the league for a quarterback to target and spread the ball around, keeping opposing defenses on their toes. It’s been a running argument on the team which of the wide receivers is the fastest, Jakeem Grant, Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills are always at the top of that conversation.

Although fun to have that competition among players, one thing has become very apparent, the speed of the Dolphins receivers has been a tremendous asset for Ryan Tannehill to utilize. Add to that the superior route taking skills of Danny Amendola, to seemingly always get open and the height and leaping skills of DeVante Parker and newly acquired TE Mike Gesicki. Ryan probably has the best receiving crew at his disposal than he’s had his entire career.

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Let’s not forget his athletic abilities and the threat he is with his legs.  There was a reason he was also a successful wide receiver in college before settling back into his natural position of quarterback. The last two games Ryan rushed 11 times for 70 yards for an average of 6.4 yds/carry. Several of those rushes were for 15 yards or more in key situations of the game. It looks like he has complete confidence in his surgically repaired knee.

This is also Tannehill’s third year under Adam Gase. The two have developed a great working relationship and a good understanding of each other’s style of play and game planning. Even though he missed last year due to injury, Ryan worked very closely with Gase and was very involved in the quarterback and receivers meetings.

Adam Gase seemed to start the year off with conservative play calling, but as the season progresses and Ryan knocks off some of the rust and fine tunes the timing with his receivers, the plays being called appear to be a little getting bolder and more creative.

This could be the year Miami fans have been waiting for, the year Ryan Tannehill turns that corner and has that real breakout season, the year that silences the naysayers and maybe even the year Tannehill’s name is mentioned among the elite quarterbacks of the league.