While watching the two championship games this weekend, I was able to figure out what separates Ryan Tannehill from QBs like Russell Wilson.
Russell Wilson started the NFC Championship by fumbling the ball on the first play of the game. Seattle’s defense was able to hold the 49’ers to a field goal.
Wilson also had a hard time moving the offense as they only scored 3 points in the first half. Marshawn Lynch broke off a 40 yard touchdown run in the second half to help kickstart the offense.
Lynch had 6 runs of 20+ yards in 2013 while Miami’s “Co-starters” Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller had a combined total of 5. Lynch was also able to run for 25 more first downs then the two combined, not to mention having twice as many TDs than the two backs combined.
In Seattle’s three losses, Wilson had to throw the ball 25 or more every time for only an average of about 5.5 yards per attempt. Wilson’s season average for passes was 25 per game, he went over that twice in the three losses.
The Seahawks were also below their season average in rushing yards in the two of the three games and even won the turnover battle during those three games with a +2 ratio.
When Russell Wilson had to carry the team’s workload Seattle’s offense would struggle. Seattle finished 26th in passing yards, yet Russell is viewed as a “Pro Bowl Quarterback” and on a different level then Ryan Tannehill.
Tannehill attempted 12 more passes a game than Wilson (not including sacks). This was because of Miami’s sad rushing game only averaged only 90 yards a game. Wilson was able to have more than his fair share of second and 4-7 while Tannehill was forced into a second and 8-12.
Another difference between these two is the deep ball. The perception is that Tannehill can’t make the throws while Wilson can. It isn’t necessarily true, these two QBs completed the same amount of passes for 40+ yards and Wilson only had 3 more of 20+ yards then Tannehill.
Tannehill was sacked 58 times for 399 yards lost while Wilson was sacked 44 times for 272 yards in 2013. It was also thought that Tannehill had a fumbling issue. Tannehill actually fumbled the ball one less time than Wilson in 14.
Wilson isn’t a better QB. I actually think an argument could be made that Tannehill may even be better. But the one thing that separates these two quarterbacks is the talent around them. Wilson is able to lean on one of the best defenses and running games in the league. Anytime Tannehill try’s to lean on someone he ends up taking a sack. The Dolphins could have made the playoffs if Tannehill made a few more throws. The thing is, he shouldn’t of had to make more throws if he had any type of help around him.