As most NFL fans know, and all Dolfans know far too well, Ryan Tannehill made his debut this Sunday against the Houston Texans.
The first round selection and former Aggie ended the day with a 39.0 QB rating, including three sacks and three interceptions against the team that won the AFC South one season ago.
But that doesn't tell the whole story.
Tannehill actually started the game on a pretty good roll with the play-by-play announcers even giving him props. As the game went on, we—along with the Texans—learned more and more about Mr. Ryan.
First thing that stood out from the tape was that the Dolphins WRs were not going to help Tannehill much. After rewatching it, none of them really seemed to get any yards after the catch. The backs (Lane, Thomas, and Bush) seemed to have that idea down much better than the WRs.
The other huge weakness I saw in his game was that he overthrew guys high. A lot. It sounds crazy, but there could have been two more interceptions thrown if the defensive backs could have held onto the ball.
The only good thing that came out of this was Anthony Fasano making a God-like catch in the first half.
All together you could tell that he wasn't really on the same page with anyone besides maybe Bess and Hartline, who look to be standout targets for him. If you own them in a fantasy league, keep them (based on targets and how much the Dolphins should be passing this year.)
Bush was a huge help for him, too, he seemed more comfortable with him in the backfield and threw him plenty of short passes to keep the pass rush honest.
Not everything was bad for Tannehill. He didn't drop any bombs, but to start the second quarter he had a chance to show his arm off and WOAH. What an arm it was. (Disregard the fact that his WR couldn't get under it.)
Big armed and big framed, he isn't small, but he did seem to have a lot of problems with tipped passes at the line on Sunday (although it seemed the entire defense had problems with the Man-ster J.J. Watt) even when he was in the shotgun formation.
That's another thing—the use of the shotgun formation has to be part Philbin coming from Green Bay and part Tannehill is used to it in college. Yet I would like to see him pass from under center a bit more.
What really hurt Tannehill this game was how the Texans played the Dolphins with the game clock. When Tannehill threw his second interception, it was with 1:44 left in the second quarter when they were down three.
The next pass Tannehill threw? 5:54 in the third while the Dolphins were down 17. He pretty much had to score every drive after that, which he almost did, but couldn't finish in the end.
His first redzone trip in the second half went pretty badly. Ball thrown out of bounds, ball thrown out of bounds, a three yard pass on third and ten, and then a three yard pass on fourth and seven.
Why would you throw a pass that wouldn't make it to the yard sticks on fourth down when your receivers aren't racking up any YAC? Because you're a rookie.
His second trip wasn't much better with a three yard pass, a hurried play on second down that went out of bounds, a rollout out called out of bounds on third (I think it was in but it's still a yard short of the target and there isn't an excuse for that), and then a knocked pass at the line of scrimmage by Jamison, who would end the Dolphins' drive twice in a row with a sack on Tannehill the next possession.
All in all, Tannehill looked like a basic rookie QB that just need to become more comfortable with his receivers before anything can get much better. Not playing the Texans every week might also help his progression.