Brian Hartline: Miami Dolphins Receiver Is Still Hit or Miss

Connor McKnightSenior Analyst INovember 8, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 04: Cassius Vaughn #32 and Tom Zbikowski #28 of the Indianapolis Colts make a tackle against Brian Hartline #82 of the Miami Dolphins during the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 4, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts won 23-20. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Consistency is important in the NFL. The top wide receivers in football history separated themselves from the pack based on their ability to beat even the best defensive backs day in and day out.

While Ryan Tannehill slowly matures into a leader under center, he has searched for a top receiving target he can rely on regardless of the situation. This option seemed to be Brian Hartline during the first few weeks of the season.

Against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 4, it seemed as if Hartline had adjusted to this role. That afternoon, he hauled in 12 catches for an astronomical 253 yards and a touchdown. The 80-yard score kept Miami in the game until they fell in overtime to a Jay Feely field goal.

But from there, Hartline had been mildly lackluster in his performances. The following week against the Cincinnati Bengals, he only hauled in four catches for 59 yards. And then, against the St. Louis Rams, it was as if he was invisible on the gridiron, courtesy of corner back Cortland Finnegan.

And yet again, it was not until Week 9 that he broke 100 receiving yards in a game again. Against the Indianapolis Colts, Hartline caught eight passes for 107 yards, which helped lead Miami in an offensive shootout against Andrew Luck.

However, as Miami continues to contend for a playoff spot, some sort of consistency must come from Hartline as a dominant receiver. Tannehill could use a reliable option, especially as the running game continues to struggle.

So next weekend, when the Dolphins take on the Tennessee Titans, who were absolutely torched by Brandon Marshall last weekend, look for Hartline to rise to the occasion.