The Miami Dolphins were without the services of all seven starters for last Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Add to that the short week and facing a playoff quality opponent things did not look promising for a young, struggling team.
The 22-7 loss should not have been a surprise. And it was not. But results do not tell the entire story.
That first drive. Two plays punctuated by a long touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to Stills. That drive gave hope, it turns out false hope.
After an audacious start the offense sputtered and stalled for the rest of the night. Fairly or unfairly much of the blame is heaped upon beleaguered quarterback Ryan Tannehill. No matter what is seen reviewing.. film about why the offense failed Thursday night many will place it on Tannehill’s shoulders.
They will insist they ‘know’ what he is and that Thursday’s performance is proof of that. That is untrue. And that itself is the frustrating part.
We do not have answers to what the ceiling or floor of Ryan Tannehill is. We do not know if he is another journeyman quarterback or if he can raise himself to a higher level. All we have are more questions.
Can he finally become consistent?
It is not talent that is the issue. We have seen enough to know he has the ability. The problem is putting entire games together.
Why does he not use his athleticism?
He was good enough to play wide receiver at Texas A&M when they needed him to. He has shown a great ability to run and throw from the run. You would think we would see this more often. Especially with an offensive line falling apart.
Why is there a disconnect with the play calling?
This is not on the quarterback but on the new staff. The flow of the game is missing. Former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan was famous for scripting his first twenty offensive plays. Does this staff plan out what they intend to do or are they simply throwing things at the wall to see what sticks.
It is still early in the season. No matter what Tannehill’s critics may insist he is not a bad quarterback. The biggest question. The only important question is:
Can he be a great one?
This season will answer that one way or another. By the last day of the season he will either swim or…We will be starting the clock on someone new.
On that day not before.