Is Ryan Tannehill a top 15 NFL QB ?


Earlier this week, the Cover 32 Dolphins page brought up a very interesting question.

While it is hard to judge someone based only on two seasons in the league, is it possible that Tannehill is already on the way up? A few people seem to think so.

Lets take a closer look at where some of Ryan’s numbers match up against the competition. He was 10th in yards, tied for 12th in touchdowns, but 24th in QBR. Now these numbers don’t always tell the whole story.

Tannehill was also 7th in PFF rating even though he had a up and down season. Without making a specific list, some of the QBs around 15 would be Eli Manning and Carson Palmer.

Eli lead the league with 27 INTs, while also having 6 less touchdowns than Tannehill. Manning also lost 45 attempts due to sacks and broken plays. Tannehill lost almost twice as many snaps and continued to be more successful.

Palmer lead the Cardinals to a 10-6 record with an elite receiver in Larry Fitzgerald and overall better talent around him. He also threw more Interceptions and less TDs. Arizona was also known more for their playmaking defense.

Tannehill’s season (much like the Dolphins) is a story of runs. The Dolphins started off by winning three, losing four then finishing the last five by winning three then losing two. Tannehill showed signs of not only being top 15 but elite against the Pats and Steelers. In both games Tannehill was able to lead his team to 4th quarter comebacks against pretty good teams.

The Dolphins then had to win one of the next two games against the Bills and Jets, in which not only Ryan, but everyone on the team played very poorly. When talking about Tannehill, most people bring up those last two games, instead of focusing on all 32 games.

Tannehill has had some poor games but has also had his own fair share of borderline elite games. When looking at the numbers of Andrew Luck and comparing them to Tannehill they both have had their fair share of games they want back. The one difference is that Luck has had games in which he didn’t have to do as much.

Luck had four games in which he threw less than 200 yards, his team was 3-1 in those games. Tannehill had three games he threw less than 200 yards and the Dolphins lost all three of those games. They both had games where they had to throw for over 300 yards on 20 attempts, Tannehill was 3-2 in those games while Luck was 0-3. Finally, Luck’s defense held the opponents to 10 or less points 5 times, while the Dolphins only did it twice.

With this comparison, I am in no way saying Tannehill is better than Luck, but that Tannehill is doing almost as well (two less wins) with not nearly as much help as Luck. Ryan is also showing that he can but up better numbers than middle of the road QBs like Palmer and Manning.

Tannehill as a lot to work on, especially his pocket presence and deep ball. Even with limited time as a starting caliber QB, I’d take him over about 20 other starting QBs in the NFL.

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