Over the last four games, the Miami Dolphins appear to have found a solution to its running game in the form of 2nd year back Jay Ajayi. During that time, he has rushed for 608 yards and 4 touchdowns, a strong performance by anyone’s standards. If the team has in fact found its running back of the future, it may be time to take another look at the QB position.
Over the last 4+ seasons, QB Ryan Tannehill has started every game. That’s 71 straight games without interruption and enough to earn him credit for at least being durable. The team’s record over that span has been 32-39 without making the playoffs, though they could end up in position to do so this year. Not great, but not horrible.
By the numbers, his career looks something like this: He has completed 62.3% of his passes for an average of just over 240 YPG. Again, that’s not great, but certainly serviceable. The issue has been his propensity to turn the ball over. While he has accounted for 97 TD passes in his career, he has also accounted for 77 turnovers, 61 interceptions and 16 lost fumbles. These combined stats leave his QB rating at 85.9 and that’s not going to get it done in the NFL.
In 2014, Tannehill looked like he was ready to take complete control of this team. He passed for 4.045 yards and 27 TDs against only 12 interceptions. It was enough to inspire the experts to project the Dolphins as a playoff team going into the 2015 season. Unfortunately, the team started off the season losing 3 of its first 4 games and things never got any better as the team ended up 6-10 on the season. With over 4,200 yards passing and 24 TDs, it would seem Tannehill did his part and the blame needed to be pointed in another direction, but here’s the rub.
Tannehill has never been particularly mobile. When the offensive line fails to hold, he is incapable of getting out of harms way, which accounts for all the turnovers and the fact he has been sacked 204 times while only managing to scramble for 992 yards and 6 TDs in his career. Considering the poor state of the running game during his first four years, maybe too much pressure was being brought to bear on the young QB as defenses were able to simply t-off on the passing game.
After 9 games into the 2016 season, the Dolphins sit at 5-4. Tannehill hasn’t been particularly sharp, but the last four games show an interesting trend. While Ajayi greatly improved the effectiveness of the running game, Tannehill’s efficiency improved as well. He only had four TD passes during that time, but he also managed to get through with only 1 turnover.
Is Ryan Tannehil the QB of the future? There are issues here. Any betting man who had just secured the William Hill promo code F20 would have to hesitate to bet on the Dolphins making the playoffs. Surely, Head Coach Adam Gase is going to stand pat for now, but perhaps the Dolphins might want to start thinking about drafting or going through free agency to find a QB with more dimensions and higher ceiling than Tannehill may have over the next few years.