Ryan Tannehill's Inconsistent Play Should Be Huge Red Flag for Miami Dolphins

Jamal CollierAnalyst IIINovember 16, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 11:  Quarterback Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins throws against  the Tennessee Titans at Sun Life Stadium on November 11, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

He’s certainly not the only problem in the Miami Dolphins offense, but Ryan Tannehill’s struggles from the quarterback position could prove to be problematic if they persist for too much longer.

As the eighth overall pick, he won’t be able to avoid comparisons to fellow rookie QBs Andrew Luck (No. 1 overall, Indianapolis Colts), Robert Griffin III (No. 2, Washington Redskins) and Brandon Weeden (No. 22, Cleveland Browns). Russell Wilson’s (No. 75, Seattle Seahawks) success will be measured against Tannehill’s struggles as well.

As a third-round pick, Wilson’s achievements may be the biggest measuring stick for Tannehill’s young career because the Dolphins could have had him as well as another blue-chip prospect in the first round. Wilson has thrown almost twice as many touchdowns (15) as interceptions (eight) for the 6-4 Seahawks. He hasn’t thrown a pick at home.

Tannehill, meanwhile, has thrown almost twice as many interceptions (11) as touchdowns (six) this season. He trails Wilson in yards per attempt (7.07 to 7.22 prior to Thursday’s game against the Buffalo Bills), QBR (48.0 to 56.1) and passer rating (73.2 to 90.5).

On Thursday night, ESPN.com’s James Walker noted that Tannehill:

Is entering the time of year when the college season is wrapping up, but he still has extra games to play. Tannehill has looked subpar in his past 10 quarters and is missing throws he usually makes. Tannehill woke up in the fourth quarter with a touchdown pass to receiver Davone Bess. But the rookie failed to produce late heroics and threw two interceptions on his final two drives.

Wilson hasn’t had those problems.

He’s thrown five touchdowns and zero interceptions in his ninth and 10th professional games. He’s just now having his bye week, meaning that he has played 10 consecutive weeks—something Tannehill has not done.

Tannehill hasn’t spent much time as a quarterback, so the young signal-caller still has time to develop. But he’s undeniably behind his fellow rookies as a passer this season.

Quarterbacks are supposed to give their teams a chance to win games late. Instead, in Week 11, Tannehill threw the ball to the opposite team—twice—thwarting any opportunity the Dolphins had at pulling off the big comeback. 

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