Miami Dolphins: Why Ryan Tannehill Has Been Miami's MVP

Nick WigginsCorrespondent IIIDecember 21, 2013

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 15:  Ryan Tannehill
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins are playing meaningful football in late December for the first time since 2008. If Miami can manage to win its final two games, it is guaranteed a playoff spot. The biggest reason for the Dolphins' turnaround this season has been second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Tannehill has proved himself as the leader of the team and is leaving no doubt as to who the Dolphins' MVP is this season.

The only Dolphins quarterback who ever put up better numbers than Tannehill has this season was Hall of Famer Dan Marino. Tannehill is closing in on 4,000 yards passing and 30 touchdowns. The most impressive part about that could be that he's putting up these numbers with an inconsistent running game and an offensive line that has allowed a franchise-record 51 sacks.

Tannehill is 10th in the league in passing yards (3,627), ninth in touchdown passes (23), ninth in completion percentage for quarterbacks who have started every game (62.4) and 10th in passing yards per game (259).

This season, Tannehill has victories over Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Andy Dalton, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady. In Miami's Week 15 victory over New England, Tannehill outdueled Brady while completing 67.6 percent of his passes for 312 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Dec 15, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA: Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) prepares to throw the ball as guard Sam Brenner (65) blocks New England Patriots defensive tackle Sealver Siliga (71) in the second half at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Bleacher Report's AFC East Lead Writer Erik Frenz recently credited Tannehill for being the driving force behind Miami's playoff push. Mike Wallace praised Tannehill following Miami's 24-20 win over the Patriots. Wallace told Cristina Ledra of The Boston Globe:

For the last couple of weeks, I think Ryan’s been doing a great job getting everyone involved. That’s the way you have to keep it. If everybody’s into the football game and contributing, then everybody keeps their mojo going, everybody’s happy, and everybody feeds off each other.

Tannehill's highlights from that victory of the Patriots can be seen here:

Tannehill has performed remarkably during the most important stretch of the season. His performance has been the driving force behind Miami's playoff push and has left no doubt about who this team's MVP really is.

All stats courtesy of