Comparing Tua vs Tannehill first two years.

I was a huge fan of Tannehill and did not lose faith on him until the end of 2018. Have continued following Tannehill and watch the Titans games whenever there is not a scheduled Dolphin game that conflicts.

Thought it would be interesting to compare -as objectively as possible- the first two Tannehill and Tua NFL seasons.

All the stats can be obtained and verified from the following two links:

Quantity stats first two years. Looking at Yards, TD, Int, Att, Completions and Sacks

Yards: Tua 4467, Tannehill 7207

TD: Tua 27, Tannehill 36

Int: Tua 15, Tannehill 30

Sacks: Tua 40, Tannehill 93

The discussion can take multiple turns from here.

1. If you like Tannehill and hate Tua you can point that Tannehill threw for 61% more yards, and 33% more TD. All absolutely correct.

2. If you hate Tannehill and like Tua you can point out that Tannehill threw 100% more interceptions and had 130% more sacks. This is totally accurate.

3. However, if you happen to like both Tua and Tannehill or like to think before quoting stats you might question the relevance of what you are seeing.

Simple fact of the matter is that Tannehill played significantly more than Tua. He started all 32 games in his first two years. Tua started 21. Tannehill played almost 50% more than Tua.

In this case since Tannehill played 50% more games than Tua it is helpful to look at rate stats to gauge the level of success per pass attempt.

Rate Stats for first two years for Tua and Tannehill:

Completion %: Tua 66.2%; Tannehill 59.4%

Yards per Attempt: Tua 6.6; Tannehill 6.72

Touchdown %: Tua 3.98; Tannehill 3.36%

Int %: Tua 2.21; Tannehill 2.8%

Sack %: Tua 5.57; Tannehill 7.98%

The rate stats explain why Tua has a better W-L record than Tannehill. When Tua played he got the job done despite many mistakes.

NFL Passer rating uses a complicated formula to weigh completion %, ypa. TD % and Int %. (It does not look at sacks). It comes up with a single number.

Passer Rating for Tua: 88.8; Tannehill first two years: 79.14

Caveat: Passer Rating tends to increase every year and I like to look at how each QB ranked each year.

Tannehill ranked 31st in 2012 and 27th in 2013. Tua ranked 29th in 2020 and 20th in 2021. The edge goes to Tua in that category but is smaller than the numbers would indicate.

PFF Grade Ranking:

Tannehill did better than Tua in that category.

First Year: Tua 2020 26th; Tannehill 2012 18th.

Second Year: Tua 2021 18th; Tannehill 9th.

Note: Tannegill ranked three times in the top 10 and never higher than 17th in his first five seasons in Miami. The bottom fell off in 2018. But Tannehill rebounded nicely in Tennessee having a top 10 PFF Grade every season.

ESPN QBR Rankings:

They are a mixed bag.

First year: Tua 26th; Tannehill 18th

Second year: Tua 18th; Tannehill 21st.


After two years, there was a significant feeling in Miami that Tannehill was not the answer. This feeling was not limited to the fans. Philbin who was forced to fire Sherman, tried to draft Derek Carr in 2014. Carr has proven to be very similar to Tannehill based on PFF rankings and probably would have not made a difference with Philbin as a coach. In 2014 the problem in Miami was the coach. Not the QB.

Over the first two years Tannehill had a significantly better PFF Grade than Tua. He stayed healthy for the first two seasons and had more yards and more TD. But on a per attempt basis his stats were worse than Tua and Tannehill could not lead the Dolphins to a winning record until his 5th season.

I do believe that Tannehill played better in his first two years. But the key difference was that Tannehill came into the league healthy and stayed that way.

Everyone knew that Tua’s durability was a significant question and the fact that Tua has been able to put decent stats and helped the team to winning records in the last two years has been a pleasant surprise.

Tua has a lot left to prove. But I do believe that Miami owes him another chance and am glad he is getting one this year. This year Tua has better support than Tannehill ever did in Miami and I hope he turns the corner and wins a couple of playoff games.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.