- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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Through two weeks, the statistics for Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill are up nearly across the board. Most importantly, the key number is Tannehill has Miami off to a 2-0 start entering Sunday’s home opener against the Atlanta Falcons (1-1).
So, what has changed for Tannehill in Year 2?
“I feel more comfortable at the line of scrimmage,” Tannehill explained this week. “We are moving the ball, we are converting third downs, I think all that plays a big factor into it and we have great guys on the team that are making plays for me. I wouldn’t say that I am doing anything special.”
It’s early, but Tannehill has improved his completion percentage (65.3), yards per attempt (8.21) and passer rating (94.2) compared to last year’s numbers. What is even more impressive is Tannehill is having success on the road to start the season. He was only 2-6 in eight road starts in 2012.
The Dolphins were hoping Tannehill's growth would take Miami to the next level. So far that has been the case. Tannehill showed an even-keeled mentality, toughness and a lot of tools as a rookie. This season he's starting to put it all together, and it’s showing in the standings.
“I think [it's] time and experience. I am confident in the guys around me making plays,” Tannehill said. “It’s my second go around at everything, so everything moves a little slower, especially pre-snap, so I am able to see things and identify and know where to go with the football.”
Not everything has gone perfect for Tannehill and the Dolphins. He's been hit a lot in the pocket the first two games. Miami’s offensive line has struggled in pass protection as Tannehill has been sacked nine times this season. Tannehill was limited in practice Wednesday with a right shoulder injury as a result of the wear and tear.
It will be vital for Miami to keep Tannehill healthy and upright. His numbers could rise even more if Miami’s pass protection improves. Keep an eye on Tannehill's development and the Dolphins' offensive line in the coming weeks.
3dField Yates and Rich Cimini