Wednesday, October 23, 2013
QB Watch: Dolphins' Ryan Tannehill
By James Walker
A weekly examination of the Miami Dolphins' quarterback play.
Rewind: Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill had an up-and-down outing in a 23-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Coming off the bye, Tannehill was rusty and had the worst start imaginable. He threw a pick-six on his first attempt and had a second interception in the first half that put Miami behind early. Tannehill eventually recovered and finished with 194 yards and three touchdowns. But his three turnovers -- two picks and one lost fumble -- were the story. Tannehill now has seven turnovers in the past three games.
Fast-forward: The competition gets much stiffer Sunday as Tannehill travels to Foxborough, Mass., to play the first-place New England Patriots (5-2). Gillette Stadium is one of the hardest places to play for opposing teams. Last year, Tannehill had one of his worst games while in New England, suffering a 28-0 loss in Miami’s regular-season finale. The Patriots are 11th against the pass, and the secondary is playing much better this year. New England will also be fired up coming off a tough overtime loss to the rival New York Jets.
Accuracy question: Tannehill’s accuracy is dwindling. He’s completed only 51.9 percent (40-for-77) of his passes the past two games (against Buffalo and the Baltimore Ravens). You have to wonder if the pressure of carrying the offense all season is starting to take its toll on the second-year quarterback. Tannehill is not getting consistent help from the running game, and he’s been sacked 26 times in six games. Tannehill may be hitting the wall at the wrong time.
Prediction: After a fast start, Tannehill's play has been declining for several weeks. It is hard to imagine Tannehill suddenly turning things around and out-dueling Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in Gillette Stadium. This is a bad time for Tannehill and the Dolphins to be in a funk. Miami has lost three straight games and could be staring at a four-game losing streak if it can’t change the momentum.