The Dolphin Report

By Ron Poltorack


Just finished watching 60 Minutes with Morley Safer.  Just one time it would be nice to watch 60 minutes with Ryan Tannehill. Unfortunately, he only seems capable of playing 30 minutes per week.  In 5 games this season, Ryan Tannehill has yet to play at a truly professional level for 60 minutes in any one game.  He has played 10 halves this season and only 2 of those have been worth talking about, the first half against the lowly Raiders and the second half against the Green Bay Packers.  At least his first half against the Raiders was enough to allow the Fins to coast to a win.  His second half performance against the Packers fell short, with the Fins losing a last-second heartbreaker 27-24.

Tannehill seems to go to sleep for significant portions of every game.  Three times this season it has been for the entire game.  Against the Packers, Tannehill essentially slept through the first half when he completed only 8 of 16 passes for a mere 84 yards (with a good chunk of those yards coming shortly before halftime).  He could not get the Fins into the end zone in the first half, even when a blocked punt gave them a first down at the Packers’ 16-yard line.  His 2 interceptions contributed to his first-half 26.0 passer rating.  Then, he woke up in the second half and completed 12 of 15 for 149 yards and 2 TDs.  He did not throw an interception after the intermission.  He ended the game with an 81.5 QB rating.

Considering that the Fins lost by only 3 points, it’s easy to pin the loss on the shoulders of their QB who slept through the first half.  The first time Tannehill trotted onto the field, special teams gave him the ball at the Packers’ 49-yard line.  The second time he trotted onto the field special teams gave him the ball at the Packers’ 16-yard line.  In those two possessions combined, he managed to lead the Fins to one field goal.  Considering the final outcome, the game was arguably lost right there.  Of course, some of the blame falls on Head Coach Joe Philbin who eschewed a chip shot field goal attempt that resulted in a turnover on downs when Knowshon Moreno could not manage to score from the 1-yard line on fourth down.

The biggest surprise in the first half may have been the Fins’ inability to rush the football.  After all, the Packers came into the game with the NFL’s worst rushing defense.  However, the Fins managed a mere 10 yards on 10 attempts in the first half.  The inability to run the football meant that the Fins would not be able to keep the ball out of the hands of Aaron Rodgers, perhaps the best QB in football.  Although they had more success running in the second half, the running backs still only combined for 63 yards on 20 carries (3.2 per attempt) against the Packers.  In the final analysis, although the Fins had a lot more success on offense in the second half, it was their failure to run the ball that cost them the game.  The Fins had a 24-20 lead and simply needed to run out the last 4:09 on the game clock to walk off victorious.  Unfortunately, they were unable to do so.  They surrendered the ball to Green Bay with 2:04 left and Aaron Rodgers proceeded to take the Packers 60 yards for the winning TD, leaving only 3 seconds on the game clock.

The Fins defense did a good job stopping the run, giving up only 3.6 yards per carry.  They were also doing a decent job holding off Aaron Rodgers as well . . . until those last 2 minutes.  In the end, both QBs showed their true colors.  Aaron Rodgers showed that he was one of the league’s best, while Ryan Tannehill showed that he cannot play effectively for an entire game.  If Dolfans want to watch 60 Minutes on any given Sunday, it looks like they will have to settle for Morley Safer and Company.

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