Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill Hits 400 Yards, but Still Has to Mature

Connor McKnightSenior Analyst IOctober 4, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 30:  Quarterback Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins throws a pass during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 30, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Carindals defeated the Dolphins 24-21 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Against the Arizona Cardinals last weekend, everyone assumed the Miami Dolphins were going to rely on a run-heavy offense. While the Cardinals' secondary has looked incredibly formidable in the opening weeks of the season, the return of Reggie Bush made it seem that the Dolphins were going to take a different approach.

Although the tandem of Bush, Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller did receive 25 carries, head coach Joe Philbin entrusted rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill with 41 passing attempts.

And Tannehill delivered. On 26 completions, Tannehill passed for an astronomical 431 yards. Again finding receiver Brian Hartline deep to connect for 12 catches for 253 yards, Tannehill seemed to be in a groove under center.

Considering the strength of the Cardinals' secondary, which had previously hindered the production of the likes of Tom Brady and Michael Vick, Tannehill's performance was nothing short of extraordinary.

However, there were still instances that made it apparent that Tannehill is still maturing as a starting quarterback. Leading a young team is definitely not easy, especially for a rookie, but Tannehill still needs to demonstrate more patience in the passing game.

In overtime, Tannehill fell victim to a costly interception, which allowed the Cardinals to gain the field position needed to put away the game. This dark spot in Tannehill's otherwise solid game put a damper on his performance for the evening.

While he continues to gain more and more experience in the NFL, look for Tannehill to continue to elevate his game and mature as a starting quarterback. Only then will Miami be ready to lead a charge into contention in the AFC East.