Too Much Luck

The Dolphins clearly have a great prospect at quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He turned in another solid performance Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, and this despite having missed practice time during the week because of a leg injury. The only problem for Tannehill and the Dolphins was that the quarterback on the other side was a rookie even more impressive than Tannehill.

Indeed, the Dolphins had their first face-to-face encounter with Andrew Luck, and he proved just as good as advertised.

Luck, the first overall pick in the April draft, set a new NFL rookie record with 433 passing yards, one more than Cam Newton collected last season and two more than Tannehill produced against Arizona earlier this season.

But let's be honest, Luck's performance was even more remarkable than those of Newton and Tannehill. It's almost as though he gave the Dolphins no chance.

Sure, this was probably the Dolphins' ugliest performance of the season, even worse than that against Houston in The Opening week when Miami lost 30-10.

The Dolphins defensive backs gave Colts receivers too much space throughout the game, and they also weren't able to make plays on the ball. In particular, Sean Smith had a rough go — and Smith is a good player.

The Dolphins also failed to get much pressure on the quarterback, despite the fact that Cameron Wake extended his sack streak to five games.

That said, you really have to give credit to Luck. On those rare occasions when the Dolphins did get pressure, Luck always seemed to find a way to slide in the pocket, buy time and then throw an accurate pass. The best example was his third-down completion to Reggie Wayne just as he was falling to his knees — you might even argue his knee hit the ground before he released the ball.

Luck showed off during that afternoon in Indianapolis all the skills that scouts had seen during his career at Stanford University. After all, there's a good reason — many, in fact — why Luck was considered the best college quarterback prospect to enter the draft in a good 15 years.

It's almost not fair, either, that it's the Colts who had the luck — pardon the pun — to be the worst team in the league when Luck entered the draft.

Indy enjoyed a fabulous run with Peyton Manning in charge, then had to suffer merely through one forgettable season to get another franchise quarterback, with whom they figure to enjoy another great run.

Clearly, there was a reason that after the Dolphins got off to an 0-7 start last season many Miami fans suggested the time had come to "Suck for Luck."

No doubt, the Dolphins would love to have Luck as their quarterback — as would probably 28 or 29 other teams.

Not that the Dolphins are disappointed in Tannehill's work so far. It may not be at the same level as Luck's play, but that was expected at this stage. Luck arrived in the NFL with great skills, plenty of experience and his early success hasn't surprised many observers.

Tannehill, for his part, was regarded as a very promising prospect but one who figured to experience his share of ups and downs early on. But what we've seen from Tannehill instead is a quarterback who has done nothing but improve from week to week.

In short, maybe Tannehill is not Luck, but the Dolphins and their fans have good reason to be encouraged and excited by his performance and his future.

Tannehill played more than well enough for the Dolphins Sunday in Indy; it's just that Luck was better.

What remains to be seen is whether Luck will always be better.

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