Let's face it. There are several fans and Media types that are heavy on the criticisms they choose to lay upon our teams Starting Quarterback. While some are a safe bet to ring true, others remain a shallow excuse that oversimplifies the issues with this team in a manner that wants to put many faults and blemishes on the shoulders of one man in the hopes to say that unless we fill the most important spot on the team with a proven winner, we will never win a playoff game, let alone a Super Bowl.
I am here to debunk that theory and tell you, that we have indeed found our guy. First allow me to present exhibit A, and that is that Tannehill had compiled a 8-5 record before exiting a game with an injury. Some would say that was a testament to Ajayi and his success against 8 men in the box, and that Tannehill in no way helped in Ajayi's success, well there are two games specifically that disproove this theory, and both teams are against Pittsburgh.
Lets look at the first game. Sure Ryan Tannehill threw for 0 TD's, but he also threw 0 ints, and had a whopping 75% completion percentage, completing 24 of his 32 passes for 252 yards and compiling a QBR of 97.4. This mistake free football allowed for Jay Ajayi to compile 204 yards on a meager 25 carries, and two scores.
Fast forward to the playoff game. Ryan Tannehill was sidelined due to injury, and as a result, we were treated to a Matt Moore led experience. How did he fare? Not only did he have a higher completion percentage, and throw for more yards and a score, giving him a higher QBR, but he also threw an interception and fumbled the ball not once but twice. As a result, Jay Ajayi rushed for a meager 33 yards on 16 carries, 0 scores, amd a 2.2 ypc average.
It appears to me that there is more to the story than a simple stat line can produce, and that is that with Moore at the helm, though at a statistical advantage when it comes to yardage and scoring, he is also a disadvantage when it comes to turning over the football and killing drives.
We all know how this plays out when it comes to criticisms, he didn't put points on the board, thus he contributed nothing. I say this is wrong. His contributions came in the form of mistake free football that allowed for a Defense to rest, and Ajayi to stay in a groove.
That is where Tannehills stat line shines. Despite throwing less passes, his completion percentage spiked to the highest it has ever been in his 5 years under Center. His QB rating was also the highest its ever been despite throwing less, and scoring less. Point being is despite these factors, he also contributed by making fewwer mistakes.
When looking for a narrative, it is important to view both sides of the arguement in an effort to form an unbaised opinion. One thing I would like to preface is that I am in no way, shape or form calling Ryan Tannehill the second coming of Dan Marino, that would be unfair to him amd Marino in general. But what I am saying is that in Ryan, you finally have a QB who is slowly becoming more accurate, and more mistake free with both more weapons at his disposal, but also with less armor. Would get the same results if you spent an entire game solely upgrading your sword or axe or bow in Skyrim, while minimizing your emphasis on your shield or boots, chest piece, gloves and helm.
His armor being the Defense, I think with a few tweaks here and there, we can build a team that Tannehill could win with. Another hidden gem of a stat that people forget to focus on is that in the second game against Pittsburgh, Miami allowed Bell to produce over 160 yards of Offense for the Steelers. Over three times the amount they allowed in the first meeting.
All I am saying is that despite the narrative, it is going to take this team getting better at more than one position to make our dream a reality, and for once it may not need improvement at its most important one.