I will come clean and admit that there was a time, not even two years ago, when I thought Ryan Tannehill was going to be a very good NFL quarterback. I have submitted my resignation to Tim Marchman, and will step down as a sports writer-abouter if it’s accepted.
The Dolphins were embarrassed 22-7 by the Bengals last night, and at 1-3 on the season they’re averaging under 18 points per game. On Thursday night, they converted just two of 11 third downs, and on six of their 11 possessions, failed to gain a first down.
Ryan Tannehill, what is going on?
“Not a lot worked,” Tannehill said. “We really didn’t do anything well. It was one of our worst performances from our offense in a long time. ... No consistency. No execution. Too many mistakes. We have to get it fixed soon, and I mean Monday.”
Yes, it’s a teamwide failure--you don’t play that badly without everyone contributing. But also: what if Ryan Tannehill is just ass?
Watch him play and a weird pattern emerges. There are times when Tannehill appears to have no clue what’s going on around him. Here was Carlos Dunlap’s forced fumble late in the first half, and like on at least a couple of Tannehill’s five sacks on the night, he was completely unaware.
And here was Tannehill’s drive-killing, game-sealing interception in the fourth quarter:
The caption on that Vine is spot-on; Tannehill is in his fifth year, he’s doing stuff you’d cringe to see from a second-year player. That is a truly, truly terrible interception, maybe the worst of this young season, and lest you think that angle is ungenerous, here’s what Tannehill saw:
Tannehill locked onto his first option and never considered throwing elsewhere. And somehow threw it directly to Chris Lewis-Harris, who by the time Tannehill pulled back to pass had clearly dropped into coverage right underneath Leonte Carroo.
Did you see what Andy Dalton and A.J. Green were doing last night? That’s what a competent passing game looks like. Dolphins fans, I’m not sure you’re going to see that until you get a new quarterback. In possibly related news, the big money in Tannehill’s contract extension doesn’t kick in until next year, and they could walk away from him this winter owing just $10.4 million in dead money. At the very least, they appear to be positioning themselves for a pretty sweet draft pick.