Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was confident in the “Miami Miracle”, but emotional
No one would suggest Ryan Tannehill is an elite quarterback. But a couple of his statistics in his injury-interrupted season would certainly qualify as elite.
What’s more, some of Tannehill’s overall numbers in 21 games under Adam Gase would rank among the very best in the league.
▪ Tannehill’s near-perfect 155.2 passer rating Sunday raised his overall season rating to 105.7, which is sixth among all NFL quarterbacks.
The only five NFL QBs with higher passer ratings this season: Drew Brees (120.8), Russell Wilson (115.5), Pat Mahomes (115.2), Phillip Rivers (114.5) and Matt Ryan (108.3).
Among notable quarterbacks with lower passer ratings than Tannehill this year: Carson Wentz (102.2), Jared Goff (101.2), Deshaun Watson (100.9), Aaron Rodgers (99.6), Tom Brady (98.2) and Ben Roethlisberger (97.4).
▪ Tannehill, who has 16 touchdown passes and six interceptions, is throwing touchdowns on 8.1 percent of his throws this season, which is third best in the league, behind only Mahomes and Wilson.
His interception percentage is tied for fifth best. His average gain per play of 8.01 yards is ninth. And his 67 completion percentage is 13th in the league.
▪ In his three games back since his shoulder injury, Tannehill has completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 606 yards, with eight touchdowns, one interception and a 129.9 rating.
▪ Now consider what Tannehill has done in 21 career starts with Gase as his coach: a 13-8 record, 67 percent completion percentage and a 97.6 passer rating.
For perspective, only three active quarterbacks have career passer ratings higher than that 97.6: Rodgers at 103.4, Wilson at 100.5 and Brees at 97.8.
Brady’s career passer rating (97.6) is identical to Tannehill’s passer rating when Gase is his coach.
More perspective: Among active quarterbacks, only Brees has a higher career completion percentage (67.3) than Tannehill’s in 21 games under Gase.
And there’s this: The Dolphins’ 61.9 winning percentage in 21 games with both Gase as coach and Tannehill on the field would be eighth-best in the NFL this season.
Asked Monday if Tannehill’s play has re-affirmed Gase’s already-strong belief in him, Gase said: “I’ve never changed. He’s played the way we needed him to play these last few games. He’s protecting the football, doing a good job finding open guys, good job of running the offense.”
As for Tannehill’s ankle injury, Gase said Monday that he’s “sore, but walking around. So that’s good.” So his availability for Sunday’s game at Minnesota should not be an issue.
THIS AND THAT
▪ Cornerback Xavien Howard’s status for Sunday’s game is unclear, Gase said. “We will see how he feels,” Gase said. “Can’t rush him and put him out there and have something else happen.”
NFL Network reported Howard last week had arthroscopic surgery to trim a meniscus injury but he hasn’t been ruled for Sunday.
▪ With the Dolphins at their own 31 yard line, Gase said he believed laterals on the last play Sunday would have a greater chance of success than a Hail Mary.
On a Hail Mary, “it’s a long throw you’re trying to get up before you get sacked and a lot of bad things can happen,” Gase said. “I don’t know if [Tannehill] could have gotten [the ball to the end zone]. At least [a play like the Dolphins used] gives you a chance, almost like a kickoff return.”
Gase said he watched the game-winning play only once in the locker room and only once the rest of the night.
▪ With Howard sidelined, the Dolphins divvied up suddenly-available defensive snaps this way on Sunday: Torry McTyer played 38 of 82, Walt Aikens five, Cornelll Armstrong three and Jalen Davis one. (Davis was promoted to the 53-man roster Saturday when Dee Delaney was released.)
Linebackers Jerome Baker and Raekwon McMillan each played 53 snaps.
Aikens played some base defense early on because “Walt is a bigger body, kind of helps us with their [big] receivers,” Gase said.
▪ On the two Dolphins punts that were blocked, Gase said: “We are going to take a look at a couple things we can do in protection. They did a really good job of how they rushed us. That’s rare for us.”
▪ Gase, on Kenny Stills sliding for a 15-yard gain on a fourth-quarter play when he needed 16 yards, which preceded the Dolphins not getting a first down and punting: “I can’t say what I was thinking. I was a little frustrated because I knew all of my [short-yardage] plays are with Ryan running and he can’t run [with his ankle sore]. That’s not good.”
But Stills closed with eight catches (for 135 yards), while no other Dolphins player caught more than one pass. “It’s rare to see eight and everyone else has one,” Gase said. “That’s not really how it’s designed.”
▪ The Dolphins average of 9.2 yards per play Sunday was second-most in team history, behind the 9.6 this season against Oakland.