Monday, December 16, 2013

Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill Has Come Of Age

Yesterday's victory will be remembered as the mile post that Ryan Tannehill finally became an NFL quarterback to be considered amongst the league's elite.

He engineered 2 critical TD drives, with the help of some big catches, at the end of both halves.

That's what elite QBs do. Despite what may have happened previously in the game, they find a way to make plays and put points on the board when everything is on the line.

Ryan Tannehill did just that and now deserves this recognition!

 In the first half, trailing 10-0, with 1:23 left and facing a 3rd and 10 from our own 18 yard line, Tannehill found Rishard Matthews for 24 yards and a first down at our 42 yard line. This play was huge, not only to extend the drive, but we all know what Tom Brady can do with 1:10 left and 3 time outs in his pocket.

Five plays later, facing a 3rd and 2 from the NE 39 with only 40 seconds left, Tannehill fired a strike in stride to Mike Wallace on a skinny post, resulting in a TD and giving the Dolphins some much needed momentum going into the second half.

Tannehill took us 82 yards on only 4 completions in 8 plays in only 59 seconds, without needing a time out.

Wow!

That brings us to the most important drive of his career to date.

After NE scores a go ahead TD with 4:07 left, we get a gift from NE kicker Stephen Gostkowski as he boots the ensuing kick off out of bounds setting us up on our own 40 yard line.

The Dolphins need to gain about 35 yards to get Dolphin kicker Caleb Sturgis a realistic shot at a game tying field goal.

After an incompletion on 1st down, Tannehill gets sacked for a 6 yard loss. With the clock ticking, he finds Brian Hartline for 11 yards at our 45 yard line.

Facing a 4th and 5, with 3:20 left, Coach Philbin decides to go for the 1st down rather than punt the ball back to NE despite having 3 time outs in our pocket. I couldn't have agreed more with this strategy.

 And it pays off! Tannehill, facing a NE blitz, fires the ball outside to Charles Clay on a screen and Clay maneuvers his way through a few Patriots for a much needed first down at the NE 49.

What a great call by our Offensive Coordinator, Mike Sherman!

With 2:10 left, 1st and 10, Tannehill hits Matthews for 3 yards and we hit the Two Minute Warning.

Tannehill next finds Hartline for 8 yards and a first down at the NE 38 yardline. The clock continues to tick.

Now comes the catch of the game.

Needing another 13 yards to get Sturgis a 42 yard field goal attempt with 1:30 left, Tannehill looks for Matthews against press coverage down the left sideline. Tannehill puts the ball perfectly were only Matthews can grab it and Matthews makes a gem of a catch keeping both his feet inbounds.

Gain of 24 yards and a big first down for Miami at the NE 14 yard line!

We are now well within field goal range and I like Philbjn's decision here. With 1:25 left, he could have run the ball 3 times forcing NE to burn TOs and then kick a game tying field goal.

But Philbin trusts his QB. And it pays off again.

After an incompletion, with 1:21 left, Tannehill comes to the line and recognizes the coverage. He knows he will get Marcus Thigpen one on one with a linebacker and that is a mismatch to heaven.

Sure enough, 8 seconds later, Thigpen beats  his man and makes an adjustment to the ball for the game winning TD.

On this drive Tannehill was 7 for 9, hitting 4 different receivers for 60 yards. Philbin showed complete trust in his quarterback and tremendous patience as well by not burning any time outs.

In both drives, Tannehill completed 11 of 17 passes for 142 yards and 2 TDs without running the ball once.

Despite 4 sacks, Tannehill finished the game 25 for 37 to 10 different receivers for 312 yards and 3 TDs with no interceptions. And get this, his career best 120.6 qb rating!

2 huge drives for TDs, with complete trust from his head coach to lead his team to a comeback victory in a game against a first ballot Hall of Fame QB and keeping your team in the playoff picture.

If that doesn't sound elite, then what does?

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971
Carldleone@aol.com


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7 comments

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I like your posts, but have never really commented. I can also feel the excitement. Been a fan too long and it has been awhile since I have felt this good about the team.

Had a good feeling going into this year, so good that I have not bought a Madden game since 2008 because the team has been so bad. And this year I bought one. :)

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I like your posts, but have never really commented. I can also feel the excitement. Been a fan too long and it has been awhile since I have felt this good about the team.

Had a good feeling going into this year, so good that I have not bought a Madden game since 2008 because the team has been so bad. And this year I bought one. :)

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Thank you Ray for reading this year.

You are so right about the excitement level around this team. I am sure Dolfans around the world can see that we have turned the corner and are on to something special.

Hopefully we can continue to play well these next 2 weeks because, frankly, my heart cannot take much more of these last second victories as at Pittsburgh and now vs NE.

Thanks again Ray. And Phins Up!!

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Carl,

First, I am elated. And, I agree for the most part. However, Tannehill has miles to go to get to elite. He is probably a season away from being elite, but in the mean time I am so happy to watch him get better and better. When he hits every other deep pass, and throws the ball away more consistently to take less sacks, he will graduate to elite... Right now he is damn good and as Joe Rose says, "He has his big boy pants on." - From the movie, "The Other Guys."

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I see great things with this kid, MD. Great things!

This game was the mile post were it all began. People will look back and say "I remember that game. That was a big game and Tannehill was awesome."

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I think this win was the most important "statement game" since #13 left. 2008 was a fluke and we know that. RT is the real deal and he's still just a kid. Get some more OT help and a playmaking RB and we're much better. I am concerned about our non-run stopping D. what the hell happened? Kudos to Ryan and also one of the better games our OC has called. I recorded the game and have watched it 2 more times since Sunday. The Dolphins not caving in the 4th qtr is getting to be a reversal of a 20 year bad habit. Stadium packed. Tailgaters there @ 9AM. It's a beautiful thing after enduring all the crap. WE should all thank Ritchie and Jonathan, without whom would not have been.

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Tannehill is the real deal FinsFanNJ.

I actually like our RBs. Maybe add a bruiser for short yardage and running out the clock.

Need some depth at DT and 2 OTs.