The one topic that divides the Miami Dolphins fan base the most is “Is Ryan Tannehill the franchise quarterback the team has hoped for?” Fans and experts alike have pushed both sides of the debate and no one side has come up with a clear answer. Going into his sixth season as the quarterback for the Dolphins Tannehill has the best chance of a break out season. For the ﬁrst time in his short career, he will be going into camp with the same head coach, same offensive coordinator, and running the same offense. With so much emphasis on the dominating career of current legend Tom Brady. In order to win over Dolphins fans, Tannehill would have to channel his inner Brady and ﬁnd that killer instinct. However, Brady did not enjoy the success early in his career that he currently produces. There is still hope for Ryan Tannehill to be the franchise quarterback the Dolphins need. Statistically, in their ﬁrst 5 years, the two quarterbacks stand shoulder to shoulder.
Through their ﬁrst 5 seasons:
Games: RT- 77, TB- 79
Yards: RT- 18,455, TB- 18,029
Touchdowns: RT- 106, TB- 132
Interceptions: RT-66, TB- 66
Attempts: RT – 2637, TB- 2545
Completion Percentage: RT- 62.7%, TB- 61.9%
Rushing Yards: RT- 1065, TB- 333
Rushing TDs: RT-6, TB- 3
Sacks: RT- 213, TB- 156
*based on seasons where each QB started the majority of games. So where is the one area that Tannehill is lacking? Wins. Plain and simple, the team needs wins. Brady is light years ahead of the Dolphins’ starter. Miami would have to repeat last year’s 10-6 season in order for Tannehill to get his career above .500. Brady has an unheard of .773 win %. Of his 141 games at home throughout his career, Brady has lost just 21 and only 40 more on the road. In the same 5 years span, the Patriots won the Super Bowl 3 out of five times. The Dolphins have made it to the playoffs just once since 2011 and lost in the ﬁrst round.
While the Miami Dolphins were in free fall mode before and into the Ryan Tannehill era, the Patriots were not far off from a playoff team when Brady took over. The team was in a decline due to an aging Drew Bledsoe but was not as bad as their 5-11 record showed when Brady eventually took over. If Miami truly does believe in Tannehill going forward, the team needs to get their uniforms dirty and ﬁnd a way to grind out wins. The only thing that will settle this debate is Miami making the Super Bowl after beating out true playoff contenders. Ryan Tannehill has all the tools to be a great quarterback in today’s NFL, but he has often struggled with consistency. In his defense, Brady did not separate himself from the pack until year 7 when he put up Hall of Fame type numbers. Ryan Tannehill needs to turn that corner a year earlier in his career or the Miami Dolphins might have a big decision on their hands.
Editor’s Note: This article can also be seen in our upcoming NFL Preview Edition.