The Dolphins’ win Sunday wasn’t merely uplifting. It was also historic for Ryan Tannehill and ended an ignominious streak for the Dolphins.
The 24-21 victory Sunday against Seattle broke a streak of 49 consecutive losses in games in which Miami was trailing by seven or less in the fourth quarter, dating to a December 2005 game against the Jets.
It also marked the first time Tannehill has won a game in which his team trailed by seven or less in the fourth quarter since he became Texas A&M’s starting quarterback midway through the 2010 season.
Before Sunday, Tannehill had been 0-8 in that situation — 0-5 at Texas A&M and 0-3 with the Dolphins. At Texas A&M, he did win a 2010 game in which the Aggies and Nebraska were tied in the fourth quarter.
Tim Holt, Tannehill’s high school coach, said he could not recall whether Tannehill led his team to a late-game comeback win at Big Spring High.
“Most situations, we controlled the game from the beginning,” Holt said.
Entering Sunday, Tannehill had an 8.0 quarterback rating in the final two minutes of the first and second half (worst in the league) and had the league’s fifth-worst rating (62.5) in the fourth quarter of games with a margin of seven points or less.
Everything changed Sunday.
In the fourth quarter against Seattle, Tannehill completed 7 of 9 passes for 156 yards, with one of those incomplete passes on a ball spiked to stop the clock.
He twice led the Dolphins to touchdowns that tied the score. And excluding the spike, Tannehill completed all three of his passes on the game-winning drive, for 51 yards. He also ran for 15 yards on one play in that drive.
Asked what is the next step for Tannehill, coach Joe Philbin mentioned “consistency” multiple times, as well as “continued improvement in decision making, continued improvement in accuracy and ball location.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said the next step for Tannehill is “not to make that throw back” — the one that was intercepted in the end zone midway through the fourth quarter but was negated by an Earl Thomas late hit.
“I doubt very much he will” do that again, Sherman said. “He’s the first one to know when he screws up. He’s hard on himself. I’m glad he survived that.”
Philbin said “everyone offensively should look at this tape and see what we’re capable of doing.”
And Sherman said: “We’re in a much better position, confidence-wise to face” the Patriots now than before Sunday’s win.
Picking up the pace
The Patriots run their no-huddle offense at a faster pace than the Dolphins do, and Sherman would like to get to New England’s tempo eventually, though not necessarily this season.
“I would prefer to go faster than we are,” he said. He said Tannehill usually snaps the ball “with 10 seconds or more. It gives him time not to feel rushed.”
This and that
• Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said Sunday’s game was Jared Odrick’s “best overall. He had a big, big impact.”
• Sunday’s game against the Patriots already has been declared a sellout for TV blackout purposes. Tickets remain, however.
• Of Sunday’s bizarre on-field delay caused by the sprinklers going off, Philbin cracked: “That wasn’t in the head coaching manual — to prepare the team with the sprinklers going off.”