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Is Tannehill the problem in Miami?

If you look at Ryan Tannehill’s box score from Sunday’s defeat to New England, it looks impressive. 32 of 45 for 389 yards with two interceptions and two touchdowns.

You look at the score, Patriots 31 Dolphins 24, and you think Tannehill had a great game. That he almost lead his team to a victory in Foxboro and that he is improving under head coach Adam Gase.

You look at how the defence started, giving up three straight TDs on three straight drives at the Dolphins went into the half down 21-3. Given that Tannehill put the team on his back and carried them almost to victory, especially a throw through the eye of a needle to tight end Jordan Cameron in the 4th quarter, and you would summarise that Tannehill is not the problem.

However, there is more to this story. Tannehill, and the team, in that first half were god-awful. Absolutely shocking. Jimmy Garoppolo, in just his second NFL start, looked like the veteran QB in the game and RT looked like a 12-year-old playing against the big boys. Not all of it was his fault. There were some really bad drops, not as bad as Kenny Still’s in Week One, but there were too many on 3rd down when the team really need the 1st.

But even when Tannehill did have time in the pocket, throws were overthrown or just thrown into spaces where there was no a single white Dolphins jersey in sight.

In the second quarter, Tannehill under pressure through the ball to Jamie Collins of the Patriots. The throw found Collins so perfectly you would have thought Tannehill was throwing to his receiver.

Part of the problem for the Dolphins is that they just don’t have a run game. Arian Foster looked impressive in Week One against the Seahawks, rushing for over 100 yards. But on Sunday, he went out injured (shock) and his back-up Jay Ajayi fumbled the ball early on in the second half to halt a good drive.

If Miami had a ground game they could count on, it would open up the passing game and perhaps take the pressure off Tannehill.

Tannehill lead the team in rushing yards. That is an indictment of the dire situation the team is in when it comes to running the football.

Dolphins Reddit was an interesting read come Monday morning.

In a thread titled “Thoughts on Tannehill,” the opinions were mixed. While many were rightfully frustrated with the performance, many felt that the QB was the least of the problems.

Many pointed towards the abysmal performance from the defence and the run game. Others pointed that Gase had a baptism of fire in his first two NFL games, playing the Seahawks and Patriots and that many teams would end up 0-2 in that situation.

The problem is that in both games, the offence failed to get anything going until the pressure was off and that Tannehill could be blamed in both games.

The talent is there on offence. The line is good and getting better, even if there are four left tackles on it. The receivers in Stills, Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker can be called upon to make plays (sometimes) but are prone to really bad drops.

The problem still lies in the player under centre. No-one still knows what Tannehill is. Is he top 20 QB or is he a Jay Cutler, not very good but actually not very bad given some of the starters in the league?

This Sunday’s game will be telling against one of the worst teams and defences in the league, the Cleveland Browns. Should Tannehill and the offence struggle to get the ball moving against Hue Jackson’s men, serious questions will be raised about what is going on in Miami.



Article written by:

Kadeem joined the team in 2016 and is currently the AFC Conference Editor, covering the AFC West division, as well as writing about Madden for the Gaming section. Though quite new to the NFL, after becoming acquainted with it through Madden, Kadeem has written features and articles on the sport for the Morning Star newspaper, where he is the current sports editor. He can be followed on Twitter @KadeemSimmonds.

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