Ryan Tannehill’s Improvement – Mike Sherman said this preseason that Tannehill would be the most improved quarterback of the 2012 draft class. So far he has been right. Both Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson have continued from where they left off last season, but others, like Robert Griffin III, have fallen flat. Tannehill has thrown nine touchdowns to seven picks, for 1,577 yards and a quarterback rating of 83.1. If the Dolphins can improve their line Ryan Tannehill could catch up with his classmates in Luck and Wilson.
Spreading the Ball Through the Passing Game – The Dolphins currently have four 300 yard receivers right now. Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson and Charles Clay all are over the 300 yard mark for the year. This is part of the reason why the Dolphins gave Wallace that fat contract in the offseason. Sure Tannehill and Wallace haven’t hit a billion deep balls and he only has one touchdown, but his speed and ability scare teams enough to open up all of the other players on the field. Brian Hartline is probably thrilled with all of the single coverage he is receiving this year.
3-0 Start – Yes the Dolphins are now 3-3 after dropping three in a row, but that losing steak would look much worse without the strong three win start. Miami’s opening five games were a tough start to the season, and not many expected them to do better than 2-3. They beat a woeful Falcons squad and the Browns, but the win at Indianapolis was pretty impressive. Even with a 3-3 record the Dolphins are still in the playoff hunt if they can right the ship.
The Running Game – Through the first six weeks (week six being a bye) the running game was nonexistent. Some will attribute this to not re-signing Reggie Bush. The reality of the situation is that the line isn’t making holes. Not to say that Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas are not to blame, but it makes it more difficult to run when there is nowhere to run.
Dion Jordan’s Season, Statistically – Some fans will look at Dion Jordan’s stats and sob over the fact that he only has one sack. If you watch carefully you would see Jordan is learning well from Cameron Wake. Jordan has a plethora of quarterback hurries that have caused big plays (Reshad Jones pick six against the Ravens and sacks by other teammates). For the amount of snaps he is playing, Jordan is contributing.
The Defense – The Dolphins defense is pretty good, but statistically doesn’t play like a very good defense. The Dolphins have had the defensive mentality in the past few years of “bend but not break.” This makes the defense statistically look bad, but they stay in games because they don’t break. If this defense wishes to become elite they need to get rid of that recent style of play.
The Offensive Line – The offensive line should be paying Tannehill’s hospital bills after this season. On a weekly basis they have let Tannehill become the most sacked quarterback in the league. At the beginning of the season analyst were pegging Jonathan Martin to be the weak point of the line. He has been pretty solid this season, but the line as a whole has been letting up tons of pressure. They haven’t been stellar in the running game either. Next April/May expect, as of now, that the Dolphins will take an offensive lineman.
About the Author: Zachary Cintron
Zachary Cintron is a sports blogger who has spent the past two years covering the National Football League (NFL), NCAA football, NCAA lacrosse, and Major League Lacrosse (MLL) for Sports Unbiased and The Sports Complex (Drexel University’s Sport Management Blog). Zach is expected to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in sport management from Drexel in June of 2016. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.