It’s early, but Tannehill has improved his completion percentage (65.3), yards per attempt (8.21) and passer rating (94.2) compared to last year’s numbers. What is even more impressive is Tannehill is having success on the road to start the season. He was only 2-6 in eight road starts in 2012.
The Dolphins were hoping Tannehill’s growth would take Miami to the next level. So far that has been the case. Tannehill showed an even-keeled mentality, toughness and a lot of tools as a rookie. This season he’s starting to put it all together, and it’s showing in the standings.
“I think [it's] time and experience. I am confident in the guys around me making plays,” Tannehill said. “It’s my second go around at everything, so everything moves a little slower, especially pre-snap, so I am able to see things and identify and know where to go with the football.”
Not everything has gone perfect for Tannehill and the Dolphins. He’s been hit a lot in the pocket the first two games. Miami’s offensive line has struggled in pass protection as Tannehill has been sacked nine times this season. Tannehill was limited in practice Wednesday with a right shoulder injury as a result of the wear and tear.
It will be vital for Miami to keep Tannehill healthy and upright. His numbers could rise even more if Miami’s pass protection improves. Keep an eye on Tannehill’s development and the Dolphins’ offensive line in the coming weeks.
3) Run Lamar Miller hard. Miller wants the ball early and often. He wants to prove that he can be an every down running back and make the fans of Miami chant his name.
4) Let Tannehill use his legs. Tannehill is an effective runner and showed his ability to do so, more in the latter part of the season.
5) Offensive Line needs to be better. The guys up front have to protect Tannehill better than they did last week. 9 sacks over 2 games is inexcusable. They need to stay at home and create room for Miller and Thomas. A balanced game will give the Dolphins’ a better chance to succeed.
1) Get to Matt Ryan. The Falcons have a solid offensive line, but with injuries to the offensive line namely Sam Baker; Rookie Lamar Holmes will have to fill in against the likes of Cameron Wake, Rookie Dion Jordan and Derrick Shelby. The defenders up front need to keep their hands up because Ryan gets the ball out very quickly and if they can knock some balls around, good things may happen for the Dolphins. Nose Tackle Paul Soliai is out, so the line better get pressure.
2) Stop Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling when they run the ball. With Steven Jackson out, these 2 guys will have to step up in his absence. The Dolphins are always stingy against the run. DT Paul Soliai is out, but everyone is ready to step up and force Ryan to scramble.
3) Cornerbacks better be ready catch. Last week, Brent Grimes picked off Andrew Luck late in the 4th quarter to seal the game. In last week’s game, Chris Clemons dropped a potential interception, but thankfully it didn’t hurt him. So, if balls are thrown towards them which most likely will happen = Make the play. Either catch it or knock it down if you can.
4) No big plays. Ryan is a top 6 quarterback in my opinion, with Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez at his disposal. Jones can torched any defender. This year, Brent Grimes will more than likely have that assignment of stopping Jones. Rookies Will Davis and Jamar Taylor should be available due to some nagging injuries that are healed. Patterson is out with a groin injury.
5) Linebackers better not let Tony Gonzalez beat them. Last week, the Dolphins let Coby Fleener of the Colts look like an All-Pro. That was ridiculous. The Dolphins had no answer. The linebackers need to stop Gonzalez from getting open.
1) Caleb Sturgis. Caleb has to make keep making his field goals and extra points, if they are presented which should happen. He is incredible.
2) No big plays.
3) Make a play. Either a block kick or block punt.
4) Marcus Thigpen. Thigpen needs to give Miami solid field position for Tannehill and company.
This is a winnable football game for Miami. They have a tough schedule, so a home victory against a playoff contender would be huge.
As always, I predict the Dolphins to win and my prediction this week is: 34-24 Dolphins.