Where Does Ryan Tannehill's Breakout Performance Rank Among All-Time Rookie QBs?

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IOctober 2, 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

Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed a historic stat line in the Dolphins' 24-21 overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals Sunday. 

Tannehill's 431 passing yards ended just one off Cam Newton's NFL rookie record of 432, but he did set a number of franchise rookie records in the process.  

26 completions and 431 passing both represent new Dolphins rookie records. His yardage also marked the fifth-highest in franchise history, and the first time a Dolphins rookie quarterback has ever went over 400 yards. 

So where does Tannehill's breakout performance rank amongst some of the better games by rookie quarterbacks in NFL history? 

Here's a quick look at some of the best rookie quarterback performances:


Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Arizona Cardinals, Week 1, 2011

Newton had his breakout performance right off the bat, throwing for 422 yards and two scores on the road against the Cardinals. He completed 65 percent of his 37 attempts, and also rushed for one of his 14 touchdowns on the ground. Newton would go on to break the yardage record one week later against the Green Bay Packers, but Week 1 was a much better performance on a more unexpected stage.


Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Cleveland Browns, Week 10, 2009

Stafford mostly struggled through his first seven starts, throwing six touchdowns against 13 interceptions. Then Week 10 happened. Stafford threw five touchdowns, including one to Brandon Pettigrew late in the fourth quarter to secure a Lions' win. Stafford had come out briefly with a shoulder injury prior to throwing the drama-packed score. 


Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins

Buffalo Bills, Week 6, 1983

Marino didn't start the season as the Dolphins No. 1 quarterback, but he took over in the third week and never looked back. Marino's coming out party might have been in Week 6, when he threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns in a loss to the Bills. The 322 yards was previously the record for a Dolphins rookie quarterback. 


Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

Jacksonville Jaguars, Week 12, 2004

Roethlisberger took over in Week 2 for a Super Bowl caliber team. He proceeded to have a number of strong performances, but his best might have been in Week 12 against the Jaguars. The rookie threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns on just 17 throws for a 158.0 passer rating. 


Peyton Manning, Colts

San Francisco 49ers, Week 7, 1998

Manning failed to crack a passer rating of 70.0 in six games before blowing up against the 49ers in Week 7. The No. 1 overall pick threw for 231 yards and three scores in a 34-31 loss to San Francisco on the road. The legend of Manning slowly evolve from that point forward.


Robert Griffin III, Redskins

New Orleans Saints, Week 1, 2012

Griffin III put together one of the better NFL debuts ever this September, throwing for 320 yards and two touchdowns in a 40-32 win on the road in New Orleans. The Heisman Trophy winner also rushed for 42 yards. Griffin is now the early front runner to be rookie of the year in 2012.


Andy Dalton, Bengals

Denver Broncos, Week 2, 2011

After throwing for just 81 yards in his NFL debut, Dalton tossed two touchdowns and had 332 yards in Week 2 of 2011. The Bengals lost to the Broncos by two, but Dalton would go on to make the Pro Bowl as an AFC alternative. 


Joe Flacco, Ravens

Miami Dolphins, Week 6, 2008

The Ravens got off to a 2-3 start under Flacco in 2008, but he finally flicked the light switch on in Week 6 in Miami. Flacco threw for 232 yards and one touchdown for a passer rating of 120.2. Baltimore would lose just two more games the rest of the regular season. 


Vince Young, Titans

New York Giants, Week 11, 2006

Down 21-0, Young led the Titans to 24 fourth-quarter points to stun the Giants. Young combined for 308 yards and three touchdowns in the second half, and Young's NFL star was born. It wouldn't shine for long, but Young's performance against the Giants was a signature moment. 


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