QB Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
HT: 6-4, WT: 221, Born: 7-27-1988, College: Texas A&M, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 8
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: K Stills (143), S Smith (144), Ryan Tannehill (145), A Gates (146), L Blount (147)
Position: B Roethlisberger (113-QB17), C Palmer (137-QB18), Ryan Tannehill (145 - QB19), J Flacco (149-QB20), E Manning (150-QB21)
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With a new offensive coordinator, quarterback Ryan Tannehill enters his third year having to learn at least part of a new playbook and needing to get used to new OC Bill Lazor's speedier tempo as well. It's a lot to ask in some ways of a guy who was erratic and held the ball far too long last season. On the other hand, former Mike Sherman looked a bit overwhelmed last season, and Lazor is a very creative play caller. The offensive line has been improved, there is another weapon in the backfield in Knowshon Moreno, and the team added some receiving help in the draft. Tannehill knows he needs to take a big step and has the talent around him to do it. We saw signs he was settling down at the end of last year before he imploded against the New York Jets. Prior to that three interception, one touchdown game, he had thrown eight touchdowns and just two interceptions over four games. Ultimately, Tannehill has as much to prove to fantasy owners as he does to the Dolphins, and while he has upside, he's a just a safe QB2 right now.
|1||at Kansas City Chiefs|
|3||at Cincinnati Bengals|
|4||at Indianapolis Colts|
|7||at Washington Redskins|
|10||at Baltimore Ravens|
|12||at Philadelphia Eagles|
|13||at Houston Texans|
|14||New York Giants|
|15||New York Jets|
|16||at Jacksonville Jaguars|
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - There were questions asked of both Ryan Tannehill and his offensive line in the preseason. The Browns were playing without starting defensive end Ahtyba Rubin and rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, but the Dolphins’ pass protection still left plenty to be desired. However, Tannehill scored some brownie points for hanging in the pocket, taking some hits, but still finding some receivers when he needed to. The much-improved Brown defense and new coordinator Ray Horton certainly deserve some credit, but Tannehill’s sieve of a line yielded 11 hurries, 3 hits, and 4 sacks. That’s not going to cut it.
That forced the second-year quarterback to utilize a short and intermediate passing game, which he excelled at when he had time to throw. He was able to work the middle of the field with Brandon Gibson and Charles Clay, finding them on 12 of 16 targets, which included several drops by Gibson. His chemistry with Brian Hartline on the outside has not gone away either, as Tannehill chose to attack good matchups with Buster Skrine and Chris Owens instead of going after Joe Haden, who was shadowing Mike Wallace all day. Tannehill may not have had a day like this last season. With Joe Haden likely locking down Hartline, Tannehill would have been forced to target Davone Bess with extreme regularity. With Wallace on board, Tannehill can pick on other mismatches. He dropped in a perfectly thrown 30-yard pass down the sideline for his only touchdown. With his line in relative shambles, the explosive plays may be few and far between, but Tannehill looks comfortable matriculating the offense down the field with a short and intermediate passing game. Especially when he had no running game on Sunday.
Week 2 - Ryan Tannehill turned in another very strong outing on Sunday against the Colts. Of course it’s Andrew Luck who gets all the attention, but it was the second-year pro from Texas A&M that made the plays that won the game for the Dolphins. Although he still received some shoddy protection, Tannehill and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman have made it work by going with a quick-hitting passing attack. Tannehill made his share of big-time throws, though. On their longest play of the game, a 67-yard catch and run to Charles Clay, Tannehill fit a nice throw into a tight window, as safety Antoine Bethea completely whiffed on his hit, allowing Clay to run free for another 40 or so yards. His chemistry with Clay and Brian Hartline is still very evident, but after running into Joe Haden last week, he established a connection with Mike Wallace. He only attempted one pass over 20 yards, a completion down the right sideline to Wallace, but he’s been so efficient through 2 games that it doesn’t really matter. He’s steadily had two very good games primarily through dinking and dunking down the field. If the running game gets on track, the play-action shots to Mike Wallace will eventually come. For now, he can definitely be counted in the mid-range QB2 heap after performing well against a pretty good defense (Browns) and a somewhat below average defense (Colts).
Week 3 - It was another eye opening day for the second-year quarterback from Texas A&M. There are a few factors that will probably prevent Tannehill from putting up truly massive numbers this season, but he continues to look like the real deal as an NFL quarterback. The Dolphins’ defense started the game without Paul Soliai, and spent much of the affair without Cameron Wake and Koa Misi. But, the defense as a whole, will usually keep Miami in every single game. It’s that good. Ryan Tannehill has averaged 36 passing attempts through 3 games, and that number is likely to stay constant. Additionally, the Dolphins don’t have any downfield passing game. Tannehill took five sacks again on Sunday, putting his total up to 14 on the early season. However, he has looked comfortable on three and five step drops. On the majority of those plays, he’ll hit his back foot, and the ball will be out almost immediately. It was somewhat surprising that the Dolphins didn’t at least try to test Asante Samuel’s troublesome thigh with Mike Wallace’s speed, but Samuel looked up to the task and the Falcons’ banged up defensive front managed to get some pressure on Tannehill. Nevertheless, Tannehill spread the ball around as he’s done in the first two games. Five players had four or more targets, with no one seeing more than 8 looks.
Tannehill’s lone interception was a not his fault. He threw down the seam in the direction of Charles Clay. Clay was being tracked by linebacker Joplu Bartu, and hadn’t completely beaten him, but the throw was only in a place where Clay could reach it. Tannehill put it up high, and while Clay is not a great athlete, it was a catchable ball. Clay dropped a couple passes, and none appeared bigger than that one. It glanced off his fingertips and into the waiting arms of safety William Moore. However, one thing that Tannehill needs to work on is his pocket presence. While you always your quarterback to scan downfield, and Tannehill’s done a wonderful job moving through his projections this season, he needs to know when to get rid of the ball or even tuck it and go. Both fumbles occurred as a result of Tannehill hanging in the pocket too long and not being aware of the collapsing pocket. There’s not a lot to nitpick about Tannehill, but with that defense, he’s looking like a better real life quarterback than fantasy one.
Week 4 - Ryan Tannehill’s national coming out party on Monday Night Football unfortunately was a bit of a dud. It wasn’t a completely lost game for the second-year signal caller, but the four turnovers surely won’t settle well with him. Early on, in the first half, Tannehill looked like the guy we saw in the first three weeks of the season. He was making on-time stick throws and even flashed some of the running skills that we hadn’t seen from him this season. On a read-option on the first drive, the defensive end dove down looking to stop Lamar Miller on the run, so Tannehill tucked it and scampered 26 yards. If not for his two turnovers in the first half, Miami would’ve been right in the game at halftime. Miami was running the ball on the Saints, and moving the ball at will. But, Tannehill was solely at fault for the first turnover. With another collapsing pocket, and the Dolphins just past midfield, Tannehill tucked the ball and scrambled. That was smart. He hasn’t really flashed his running ability so far this season, so it was nice to him pickup nearly 50 yards on the night. But, his ball security remains an issue. Curtis Lofton came in and smacked the ball out, and when Rafael Bush recovered it, Tannehill’s league leading sixth fumble and third lost fumble was the result. That error was on him, but the second turnover of the first half has to be shared. Late in the second quarter, Jabari Greer jumped a quick slant intended for Brian Hartline, giving the Saints great field position and setting up a touchdown and a 21-10 lead at the half.
The game went south in the second half, with the Dolphins unable to move the ball after abandoning the running game, and Drew Brees just being Drew Brees. Unfortunately, that didn’t open up garbage time for the Dolphins. The Saints continued to dominate the ball, and the Dolphins’ offense struggled. With Miami abandoning the run, Saints’ defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was able to dial up the pressure on Tannehill. His last two interceptions came as a result of the pressure, which forced Tannehill into mistimed and inaccurate throws. He wasn’t on the same page with Mike Wallace the entire night, and it showed. Most teams struggle when they become one dimensional, and the Dolphins were just that in the second half last night. That allowed the Dolphins’ league leading sacks allowed total to rise to 18 for the season. Tannehill’s protection is now officially a concern, and we’ll see how opposing defensive coordinators handle it over the coming weeks. This is probably more of a blip on the radar for Tannehill than a worrisome performance, but if anything, it’s a reminder that there are still growing pains for these second-year quarterbacks.
Week 5 - Looking at the box score, it’d be irresponsible to say Ryan Tannehill had his worst day of the season. Sure, his completion percentage was off about 10% from his season average. But, he had a lot of factors working against him. Mainly, the rest of his team did not help one bit. Multiple drops from receivers ended drives, turned touchdowns into field goals, and even hurt the Dolphins on their final offensive play. A simple 5-7 yard gain on 3rd and 15 would’ve set Caleb Sturgis up for a more manageable 50-52 yard field goal. Forget the other drops, one completion there may have sent the game into overtime. But, Charles Clay dropped another pass, and Sturgis pulled his game-tying attempt. Another troubling development for Tannehill continues to be the offensive line. It was a perfect storm on Sunday against the Ravens, as Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, and the rest of the Ravens’ pass rush terrorized Tyson Clabo and Jon Martin all day to the tune of 6 sacks. The Dolphins have now allowed at least 4 sacks in every game this season, and are now on pace to break the all-time record for sacks allowed. To be fair to his offensive line, Tannehill is at fault for holding onto the ball on occasion, but on Sunday, the pocket tended to collapse. Tannehill couldn’t even escape the pocket to scramble.
Overall, though, the second-year pro looked good throwing the ball. Aside from the drops, and occasional lapses in chemistry with Mike Wallace, Tannehill’s throws were on time and he even looked downfield when he was afforded the time. His nicest throw came on a pivotal fourth and 10 with time running down in the game. He was forced from the pocket, and had to move to his left toward the sideline. However, he zipped a throw deep along the sideline with superb accuracy, There’s only a handful of quarterbacks who have the arm, accuracy, and poise to pull off that throw, so there are reasons to believe in Tannehill’s talent going forward. Going into the bye, the Dolphins’ coaching staff has some work to do. If they can fix their offensive line woes and kick-start the running game, Tannehill’s already good start could get better.
Week 7 - Coming out of the bye, and playing a defense that had struggled against the run and pass, there were high expectations for the Dolphins’ offense at home against the Bills. However, it was a rough start for Tannehill, as the pick-6 he threw on his second pass of the game was completely on him. The Bills were in their dime look with two deep safeties on third down, which allowed Nickell Robey to read Tannehill’s eyes and just jump his short route to Brandon Gibson. Tannehill’s second INT was also on him, and it came in the red zone. Although he was under pressure, he had no field awareness and floated a ball into the waiting hands of Aaron Williams. It was disappointing to see him struggle early on after gaining so much momentum before the bye. But, he turned it around and nearly led the Dolphins to a comeback win, despite dealing with consistent pressure from Mario and Kyle Williams. The interior of the line did their jobs, but Tyson Clabo and Jonathan Martin struggled yet again, prompting GM Jeff Ireland to trade for declining tackle Bryant McKinnie on Monday afternoon. Tannehill was lucky to avoid injury, and did well to buy time and find receivers, spreading the ball around. His first two touchdowns were simple throws, one being a quick throw to the flat to Charles Clay, and the other a short crosser to Brandon Gibson. Tannehill made the right reads on both and allowed his receivers to do the rest. His third TD was a good bit of improvisation. Flushed from the pocket, and rolling right, he found Brandon Gibson near the corner of the end zone, to grab a lead early in the third quarter. Unfortunately, it’d be the last points for Miami. Despite the three turnovers, and the lack of yardage, Tannehill proved he could still put up points. The Dolphins have scored at least 20 points in every game this season, so it stands to reason that if McKinnie can give them anything, the arrow is still pointing up for the second-year QB.
Week 8 - The Dolphins established the run early on Sunday, while Ryan Tannehill dinked and dunked his way down the field in the first half, finishing 11-for-18 for 72 yards in the first half. However, in the first 30 minutes, Tannehill had two touchdown passes and zero turnovers. After the break, he turned the ball over three times, was sacked six times, and was less efficient overall. Miami abandoned the run after dominating the game in the first half, which led to protection breakdowns as the Pats dialed up some more blitzes. Tannehill did have his moments though. His first touchdown pass came on a rollout to the right, which broke down initially, but his chemistry with Brandon Gibson showed, as their eyes met and Gibson broke off from his route to secure the pass. His second TD pass came on an inventive playcall from Mike Sherman. In the shotgun, with Daniel Thomas at his side, the offensive line drove to the left, feigning run, but Tannehill rolled right. Thomas snuck out of the backfield and his quarterback found him and threaded the needle for the score. It’s a reminder that Tannehill’s athleticism could be used effectively on rollouts and bootlegs in the red zone. The Dolphins could’ve had more in the first half too. The play before Miami kick a field goal to go into the half leading 17-3, Tannehill had Charles Clay down the right sideline, lofting in a perfectly thrown touch pass. Clay’s hands were stretched, and the ball hit off his hands. Had he hauled it in, the Dolphins would’ve had timeouts and about 35 seconds to score from inside the 15-yard line.
For all that went well in the first half, everything came apart in the second half. Drops, miscommunications, and pass protection doomed the Dolphins. His two interceptions really weren’t egregious. His first came on a sideline pass to Mike Wallace. The only problem with the pass was that it was into double coverage. Marquice Cole was in coverage on Wallace with Devin McCourty helping over the top. “60 Minutes” beat Cole, but McCourty was there to help, as the ball was thrown a split second too late. Normally, it would’ve been just an incomplete pass, but McCourty made an incredible play to bat the ball up in the air, with Cole setting his feet and securing the pick. His second pick came on the Dolphins’ last play of the game. Tannehill just heaved a pass downfield, and his receivers didn’t have enough time to get to the ball. Duron Harmon easily hauled in the hail-mary. Tannehill’s lost fumble came on a busted protection. Cornerback Logan Ryan came unblocked on a corner blitz from the slot, and neither Daniel Thomas nor new left tackle Bryant McKinnie picked him up. The Dolphins have emphasized the run game in their two games since the bye, and Tannehill has struggled to find his rhythm. At 3-4, the Dolphins have to figure out their run-pass breakdown quickly.
Week 9 - After a 22-for-42 effort against the Patriots, Ryan Tannehill had a more efficient night on Thursday against the Bengals. The game-flow went against Tannehill to have a big game, with Miami running the ball 22 times in the first half, and seeing very little of the ball in the second half and overtime. Tannehill salvaged his fantasy day for any owners who were forced to start him in a bye week crunch with a TD plunge in the first quarter. Additionally, Tannehill rewarded fantasy owners by not turning the ball over, making his 200 yard, 0 passing touchdown performance look a little better. He was ONLY sacked 3 times as well, as Miami’s makeshift offensive line actually protected him well, especially after Geno Atkins went down with a serious knee injury. Left guard Richie Incognito left the game, forcing Nate Garner into action. He held up well, and tackles Bryant McKinnie and Tyson Clabo combined to allow just 3 hurries total.
Tannehill still got the ball out quickly as usual, but his connection with Mike Wallace appeared as good as it had all season. Instead of short 5-8 yard connections, the pair hit on some intermediate plays. Wallace beat Terance Newman twice, connecting for a 40-yarder on one such occasion. In overtime, Wallace had two steps on Newman for what would have been an 86-yard game-winning TD. Newman made the smart play and committed a pass interference penalty, which temporarily saved the Bengals. That play would’ve put Tannehill up over 290 yards with 2 total touchdowns. When the Dolphins needed Tannehill to step up, he did. After taking a sack to start the final drive, Tannehill made every throw he had to, throwing impressive outs with zero timeouts to set up the tying field goal. There will be better days for the second-year QB, but all things considered, it was a good bounce back performance.
Week 10 - After dealing with the circus of off field issues, the Dolphins’ offense got off to a slow start on Monday night. Ryan Tannehill was afforded his usual minimal time to throw, as the Dolphins’ offensive line continued its struggle. When the second-year quarterback was given time, he missed throws. Mike Wallace was able to beat Darrelle Revis on the play, but Tannehill’s throw was pushed out of bounds. If Wallace had the ball skills of a Jordy Nelson, he may have been able to tiptoe out of bounds with the catch. Miami ran 16 offensive plays through the first quarter and half, mustering just 20 yards of offense. However, Tannehill used the Dolphins’ weakness to his advantage on the final drive. Instead of trying to drive the ball downfield with no protection, Tannehill locked in on a positive matchup for the Dolphins. Rishard Matthews was drawing very soft coverage, mostly from Dashon Goldson, and his quarterback identified that and took advantage. Tannehill and Matthews hooked up 6 times for 51 yards, with the sixth connection coming wide open in the end zone from 6 yards out.
Tannehill started to come on in the second half though. With a lack of any run game, it was on Tannehill to comeback and lead Miami to a victory. By the end of the third quarter, it was a real possibility, as the Dolphins had taken the lead. But, with no running game and an offensive line that couldn’t stop a four man rush, an all-out blitz, and anything in between, the 4th quarter drives proved to be fruitless. Anyone who used Tannehill as a bye week fill in for Tom Brady probably came away mostly happy, although his final pass of the game was a Hail Mary interception on a desperation fourth and 28. What’s more worrisome, Tannehill continues to take a beating in the pocket. He did a better job tonight of moving in the pocket to avoid sacks and hits, but the offensive line continues to do him no favors in protection. At this point, Tannehill owners need to worry more about his well being over the rest of the season. He’s made strides this season, but until he gets an offensive line, he can’t really be trusted in fantasy.
Week 11 - It was another winning effort from Ryan Tannehill on Sunday, but it certainly wasn’t a fantasy winning effort from the second-year signal caller. Tannehill cleared 200 yards for the eighth time in 10 starts this season, but he’s only passed the 300-yard threshold twice. Additionally, he’s scored more than 1 touchdown just four times this season, and has just 15 total TDs overall (14 pass, 1 rush). Tannehill still is having issues finding his receivers downfield, but the quick-hitting passing game is still working efficiently. He is adept at hitting his back foot on a 3 or 5 step drop, and letting loose to one of his receivers. On the first drive, the Dolphins ran it with Lamar Miller on the first play, lost a yard, and then proceeded to throw the ball down the field into field goal range. He was 6-for-8 for 74 yards on the drive, connecting with Wallace, Hartline, Matthews, and Clay on the drive. However, he couldn’t put the ball in the end zone. While the game ended up as a defensive battle, it happens far too often to the Dolphins for Tannehill to be considered a fantasy asset. Moreover, he continues to struggle getting the ball downfield. He was just 4 for 11 on throws over 10 yards, missing an open Wallace on multiple occasions. Even his interception came on a miscommunication with Brian Hartline. He shouldn’t be in danger of being out in Miami after the off-field mess is cleaned, but a new regime, a revamped offensive line, and another offseason with his receivers can only help.
Week 12 - Going up against one of the league’s most fearsome defenses, Ryan Tannehill played nearly as well as he had all season in a tough loss. Another game, another invisible running game for the Dolphins. Tannehill led the way with 36 yards on 4 rushes, and if you take away his totals, Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas rushed 13 times for 17 yards. Tannehill was “only” sacked 3 times, but was hit numerous others, so the makeshift offensive line continued to spring leaks against a ferocious defensive front that was missing Charles Johnson.
However, Tannehill looked very good in the short and intermediate passing game, finding the likes of Brian Hartline and Charles Clay. Additionally, while Lamar Miller only saw 4 targets, he caught all of them, including a few third down conversions, and was a bigger factor in the passing game than he’s been for most of the season. Tannehill also found Hartline for a number of big third down conversions and was on-time with nearly all of his timing throws.
The biggest development of the game was Tannehill’s deep ball, both good and bad. When he came under pressure, instead of finding a sack like he has so often in 2013, his pocket awareness was exemplary, shuffling his feet and moving out of the pocket. He always kept his eyes downfield and there were potentially four big plays that he could’ve had with Mike Wallace. The first was the most beautiful, as he found Wallace near the 5-yard line, who finally came down with a deep pass for a touchdown. Later, Wallace beat Captain Munnerlyn down the right sideline again, but Tannehill under threw the pass, leading to a FG. A touchdown would’ve put the Dolphins up 14-3 early in the second quarter. With their defense shutting down Cam Newton and the Panthers’ offense, they could’ve attempted to establish a run game and shortened the game. In the second half, Tannehill and Wallace had two other potential hookups, one of which would’ve been a game-winning touchdown in the dying seconds of the game. When initially looking at the play, Wallace dropped the pass. However, if Tannehill had put the ball out in front of Wallace, the Dolphins may very well have come away with the victory. Tannehill’s interception came on his second pass of the game, as the ball was tipped about 5 times in the air before being taken in by Josh Thomas. Overall, it was a promising performance from the second-year pro. It looks like he and Wallace are finally getting on the same page and he came within a few plays of beating one of the better teams in the league.
Week 13 - The Miami Dolphins played one of their most complete games of the season on Sunday, destroying the hapless New York Jets and getting back to .500 for the season and now are tied with just Baltimore for the final playoff spot in the AFC. Ryan Tannehill wasn’t drop-dead accurate, but he attacked a porous Jets secondary and threw for the highest yardage total of his career, which is somewhat surprising considering the Dolphins were in command for the entire game. New York’s stout front seven, for the most part, stifled the run game, but Mike Sherman stayed with Lamar Miller. That allowed Tannehill to see single coverage on his receivers for most of the afternoon. Additionally, Antonio Cromartie’s sore hip forced Ed Reed to play over the top of Mike Wallace for most of the day, allowing Brian Hartline and Charles Clay to see very soft coverage. Tannehill attacked struggling rookie Dee Milliner all day, but ironically, it was when Cromartie and Milliner switched sides that they allowed their touchdowns. Tannehill’s first touchdown toss came on a quick slant to Brian Hartline. Hartline just turned Cromartie the wrong way off the snap, and Tannehill fired a strike to his go-to target. Tannehill slipped Cromartie’s outstretched arms and a Demario Davis tackle and found paydirt. The second TD pass came while Milliner was defending Wallace. The $60 million man found himself open on an out route and was able to slip Milliner before scampering into the end zone. This was another case where the Jets had stacked the box with safeties Ed Reed and Dewan Landry, leaving Wallace all alone against the hapless Milliner. Tannehill even cleared 20 rushing yards for the fourth time this season, knowing when to tuck the ball and look for some positive yards instead of trying to find an open receiver. Tannehill only took one sack yesterday, which has to be considered a huge upset against a vaunted Jets front.
There were some negatives to the second-year QB’s performance. His interception was more of a spectacular play from Muhammad Wilkerson and an indictment of Mike Wallace’s effort to breakup the play than an egregious error by Tannehill. However, for as much as the Dolphins moved the ball, they could’ve easily put up 35 or 40 points. Miami failed to score inside the 5-yard line on multiple occasions, which prevented Tannehill from having a 3 or even 4 touchdown games. While it’s unlikely that many fantasy owners started Tannehill against the Jets, Tannehill will likely be on the QB2 radar as he has matchups with the Steelers, Patriots, and Bills in the fantasy playoffs.
Week 14 - In some brutal conditions, Ryan Tannehill led the Dolphins to another win. On a rough Heinz Field, where good footing was hard to come by, Tannehill didn’t quite outduel Ben Roethlisberger on pure numbers alone, but made enough plays with his arm and his legs to produce a W. It didn’t look pretty for most of the first half, as the snow was the heaviest during the opening portion of the game. Tannehill missed some throws early, struggling to hook up with go-to target Brian Hartline in the first half. However, he did make up for it with his legs, scampering for a 48-yarder, which set up a first half field goal. The Dolphins’ only TD of the first half came off a Roethlisberger turnover, which set Miami up with great field position. Mike Wallace caught his only two passes of the game to get the Dolphins into the red zone. Tannehill had his easiest pass of the game, as Charles Clay leaked out from blocking, and was wide open for the score.
The second half became much easier to move the ball, as the snow had let up and the Dolphins found their running game. Tannehill started hitting Hartline and Clay in the intermediate passing game, and Daniel Thomas was eating up yards, after Lamar Miller left with a concussion. Tannehill’s only poor play of the second half was his pick-6, but Troy Polamalu should take plenty of credit for reading the QB. In the Steelers’ dime package, Polamalu plays linebacker next to Lawrence Timmons. He started down the near line of scrimmage, baiting Tannehill to throw a crossing route to Hartline. It was a reminder of how good Polamalu was and still is on occasion. The Dolphins could’ve folded up, but Tannehill led two more touchdown drives, burgeoned by big plays in the passing game from Charles Clay and in the run game from Daniel Thomas. Tannehill has produced his two best fantasy outputs of the season over the last two weeks. With the Dolphins very much in a win or go home situation, he’ll see the Patriots and Bills in the rest of the fantasy playoffs in pretty decent matchups.
Week 15 - Ryan Tannehill continued his run of very solid play over the past few weeks with another come from behind performance, this time against the Patriots. Again, it took a little while for the offense to get going, but Tannehill still ended up throwing for 300 yards for the third time in the last four games, and he tossed 3 TDs for the second straight week. It seems as if Tannehill is taking the reigns of the offense with Miami in must-win mode as they fight for the final playoff spot in the AFC. However, he didn’t start the game very well, as the offensive line struggled to contain Chandler Jones and company. He rushed some throws, overall looking very poor through the first quarter plus. Sacks derailed any positive drives the Dolphins had going until the end of the second quarter. Like most teams, the hurry up allowed Miami to move the ball at the end of the half. Tannehill converted a third and long with a perfect throw on a corner route to Rishard Matthews. Tannehill’s first TD pass to Mike Wallace was textbook, as he let loose with the ball after hitting his back foot, firing a strike that allowed Wallace to make a move after catch.
After halftime, Tannehill was much sharper, started to find Brian Hartline a little more, which allowed the run game to be slightly more productive. However, it was Tannehill who led the Dolphins down the field down by 3 points in the final minutes to take the lead and ultimately the win. Tannehill was 6 for 8 for 60 yards on the final drive. His TD pass to Marcus Thigpen was a brilliant job by the Dolphins in getting a matchup that they could win. The shifty Thigpen was matched up with Don’t’a Hightower, and Tannehill lofted a beautiful pass, so Thigpen didn’t have to break stride as he caught it and found the end zone. Tannehill has been rapidly improving with each passing game, and despite a leaky line, which still sees him getting sacked and hit numerous times per game, is leading the Dolphins to the playoffs. With Miami needing another win away at Buffalo in Week 16, there’s no reason to think Tannehill will slow down. However, Buffalo’s defense can create turnovers, and Miami’s defense could have success stopping Buffalo.
Week 16 - In what had to be one of the worst offensive showings by any team in the NFL this season, the Dolphins started the game with 8 straight punts and never really came close to scoring against a very dangerous Buffalo defense. Ryan Tannehill struggled to get going early in the wind and rain, missing throws, suffering drops from his receivers, and having his offensive line get absolutely manhandled by the Bills’ front four. In addition to the seven sacks he took, he was hit another 10 times and hurried 15 times as the pocket often collapsed on itself and swallowed him whole. Of course, Tannehill is no stranger to being bombarded by an opposing pass rush, but this may have been the worst game of the season. And it came at the absolutely worst possible time for the club as well. Although the Dolphins fell behind early, the Bills never pulled away. Miami just couldn’t get anything going to even lean on a run game, as they averaged just two yards per play on the day. Tannehill still connected on some short and intermediate throws early in the game to the likes of Charles Clay and Mike Wallace, but Brian Hartline let him down on a few occasions. Hartline shook Stephon Gilmore’s coverage in the first half, and Tannehill let fly a nice deep ball down the left sideline. Had Hartline reeled it in, it would’ve at least put the Dolphins into the red zone, and quite possibly have been a touchdown. It’s not often you can say one play early in the game would be so pivotal, but in this case, it might be true. The Bills used their nickel and dime package on a routine basis throughout the game, rushing their front 4, sometimes bringing a blitzing defensive back, and the Dolphins couldn’t handle it. If Miami had hit on a deep ball early, it could’ve deterred some of the defensive calls that Mike Pettine dialed up.
Despite his clunker, Sunday’s game was a testament to how well he has played this season in the face of his offensive line woes, both on and off the field. He’s been sacked a franchise record of times, hit and pressured countless others, but has shown real improvement over the course of the season, and even had the Dolphins on track for a playoff position had they won out. While they’re not completely out of the tournament yet, they’ll need some help in Week 17 to make the field of 12 in January. While no one really knows what the front office or coaching will look like in Miami following the season, upgrades on the offensive line should be the top priority. Tannehill’s fantasy value is on the way up if the Dolphins can find a way to protect him. It looks like the second-year QB dodged a major knee injury, and with the Dolphins needing a win + help next week, Tannehill’s a near-lock to suit up against the Jets. The Dolphins will likely play it safe in practice this week with him though.
Week 17 - In a win-and-in game on Sunday against the Jets, Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins fell on their faces in rather spectacular fashion. It wasn’t all Tannehill’s fault, as an injury to Brian Hartline early in the game and several untimely drops by his receivers ultimately doomed Miami. It was disappointing to see Tannehill struggle over the last two weeks of the season after he and Dolphins had gone on a good run to put them into position to make the playoffs. The Dolphins actually were a pretty balanced team for much of the game, before going into full passing mode when they went behind by multiple scores in the second half. Even before Hartline left with an injury, he and his QB didn’t appear to be on the same page, as they had a few miscommunications on passes early on. Tannehill did have some good throws though. He dropped a pass over the top of the defense on a third down early in the game that Charles Clay couldn’t reel in, and later hit Rishard Matthews in space for a potential big-gainer only to see Matthews drop the pass. His TD pass to Mike Wallace was also pretty. With an all-out, 7 man blitz for the Jets on 3rd and goal from the 4, Tannehill let Wallace beat Dee Milliner and then put his pass right at the back of the end zone, so it would either be incomplete or Wallace would catch it. That’s about where the positives ended for Tannehill.
Throughout the second half, the second year QB and the Miami offense struggled to get anything going. The only time the Dolphins really threatened to score, the drive ended with Wallace falling down and Milliner intercepting the pass. Lamar Miller actually ran the ball better in the second half than he did in the first. With Miller finding some creases, there’d be reason to believe Tannehill would have better success throwing the ball, but that was not the case. He struggled to get into a rhythm without Brian Hartline, ultimately missing on some throws and being let down by some of his receivers. It’s a disappointing end to the 2013 campaign for Tannehill, but he certainly made some important strides during the season. With change likely coming to at least some of the coaching staff, as well as along the offensive line, Ryan Tannehill will likely fall into the QB2 group with potential to post top 15 numbers from the quarterback position.