Neo…… I mean Ryan Tannehill has a 1-3 record as an NFL starter. He’s also thrown more interceptions (6) than touchdowns (2). BUT, there are clear signs of improvement. He MUST limit his turnovers, but at the same time, he needs some help. One of his interceptions came on a bad route by Legedu Naanee. One came on Sunday when he was hit as he threw. I’m not making excuses for him, but those are facts. Until Tannehill has more than 2 capable pass catchers, it will be hard to look at the stats alone to see his improvement.
But there are some stats that say a lot about the type of quarterback Tannehill will be. Against the Cardinals, a team with a very fast, very good defense, Tannehill was blitzed A LOT. According to ESPN Stats, the Cardinals sent 5 or more pass rushers at Tannehill on 22 of his pass attempts. How did the rookie do? Well, he didn’t look like a rookie quarterback. When blitzed, Tannehill completed 16 of 22 passes for 306 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. That means he completed 77% of his passes for a 110.98 QB Rating.
Making projections can be dangerous at this point in the season, since we’re only 25% of the way through. To come up with the projections, you simply multiply Tannehill’s current statistics by 4 to give you the yearly total. If we do that, he’ll end up with 8 TDs and 24 INTs. I will bet any of you Jeff Ireland’s job, that his numbers look nothing like that at the end of the season. He will learn to limit the turnovers and hopefully he’ll get some more help from his receivers (and O-Line). Peyton Manning, by the way, threw 26 TDS and 28 INTs in his first NFL season. Interestingly, Tannehill is projected to finish the season with 4,184 yards. He has over 1,000 yards passing through 4 games, in large part because of his 431 yards passing against the Cardinals.
I don’t know if he’ll get to 4,000 yards, but it is possible. If he does, THAT would be impressive. The Dolphins need Tannehill to continue to gain confidence in his receivers. The Dolphins new star at wide receiver, Brian Hartline, missed the entire preseason with a calf injury. He’s come back from that injury in a big way and now leads the NFL in receiving yards (which may be the surprise of the season thus far). It’s clear that Tannehill and Hartline are getting to know each other on the football field. The two hooked up for 253 yards and a TD on Sunday. (cont’d on page 3, click below)