Thursday, December 13, 2012
Does Tannehill lack the clutch gene?
By James Walker
The quarterback class of 2012 could be one of the deepest in recent memory. The Indianapolis Colts (Andrew Luck), Washington Redskins (Robert Griffin III) and Seattle Seahawks (Russell Wilson) are all happy with their rookies. There is a strong chance two or three of these quarterbacks will lead their teams to the playoffs.
The Miami Dolphins (5-8) feel they have a good rookie quarterback, too, in No. 8 overall pick Ryan Tannehill. However, there’s something with Tannehill that really stands out: Tannehill drastically trails his rookie counterparts in fourth-quarter comebacks.
Is Tannehill not clutch?
Tannehill has the lowest Total Quarterback Rating of all four rookie quarterbacks in the fourth quarter. The Dolphins have five losses by seven or fewer points this season. Tannehill's inconsistent play in fourth quarters is a major reason.
Despite throwing for a lot of fourth-quarter yards, it hasn't resulted in victories for Tannehill. His only fourth-quarter comeback came against the Seattle Seahawks at home in Week 12.
Tannehill failed to produce in the clutch in recent losses to the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts. If any of these games had a different outcome, Miami would still be in wild-card contention.
Tannehill is a young player who only had 19 career starts in college. He's learning on the job, but so are Luck, RGIII and Wilson. Tannehill's inability to come through in the clutch is concerning, but it's still too early to make a firm determination.