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Miami Dolphins

Charting Ryan Tannehill 2018 – Week 2 at NY Jets

Travis Wingfield



Go To Week 1 vs. Tennessee

Week 2 at NY Jets –

The Jets defense, particularly their ability to create pressure with blitzes, stunts, and winning one-on-one match-ups, stifled the Miami passing attack for much of the day. Allowing for minimal separation on the perimeter, pressuring the quarterback frequently, and disguising coverages in a way that fooled said passer, Todd Bowles’ defense had a heck of a day.

It was tough sledding for Ryan Tannehill en route to the team’s second win of this young season. Better execution on third down and some timely quarterback keepers did just enough to stave off the Dolphins’ biggest rival.

Miami was confined to play inside of a box for most of the day, caused by the aforementioned pressure and lack of separation. Dolphin receivers gained 118 yards after the catch – 70.2% of Miami’s total passing output.


Portion of the Field Accurate Pass/Number of Passes
20+ yards 0/1 (0%)
11-19 yards 3/4 (75%)
0-10 yards (or behind LOS) 15/17 (86%)


Though Adam Gase dialed up 125 air yards’ worth of passes (5.68 air yards per pass), 50 of those came on one play. Without the downfield shot to Albert Wilson, Miami averaged just 3.57 air yards per pass.

Pressure arrived on Tannehill on 40.7% of his drop backs (11 out of 27). Tannehill heeded three hits, four hurries, and two of the four sacks fell on the shoulders of the Miami signal caller. The average time from snap-to-pressure was 2.59 seconds.

Miami’s personnel groupings, on passing plays, were as follows:


11-personnell 27 snaps
12-personnell 2 snaps
20-personnel 1 snap
01-personnel 1 snap


From an accuracy standpoint, Tannehill was on target for 18 of 22 passes (81.8%). The issue dealt more with his inability to process post-snap disguises deployed by the Jet defense.

Tannehill was graded with five errors on his 31 snaps. Those errors were:

  • Missed read on the first pass of the game
  • Jamal Adams’ sack fumble
  • Off-target throw to Stills on a speed-out in the 2ndquarter
  • Henry Anderson’s sack fumble
  • Off-target throw to Wilson on a go route in the 4thquarter

The third down passing offense improved from a week prior. On the money down, Tannehill and the Dolphins converted 5-of-11 chain moving opportunities, two of which came from the legs of Tannehill.

The biggest oddity as far as discrepancies go; Tannehill was under-center for just three of his 31 drop backs. Miami eschewed play action most of the day calling it four times. Those four attempts resulted in a sack, and just five yards passing on three throws (one completion).

It wasn’t a stellar day for the Dolphins offense in general. Key sacks, missed assignments, sloppy turnovers (fumbles) and poor quarterback play kept Miami from generating any kind of a rhythm.

Fortunately, Tannehill made a couple of big throws, in timely spots, that resulted in a pair of lengthy touchdowns. The Dolphins didn’t pass the football in the red zone one time (only two drives made it that far; the Drake touchdown run and the final possession of the game (victory formation)).

Tannehill would be the first to tell you that he has to play better for this team to compete with superior competition. Since he didn’t throw any egregious passes or interceptions, and was mostly accurate, we’re going to give him an inconsequential grade (the three options are winning, losing and inconsequential).

His inability to process Bowles’ defense post-snap, the two at-fault sacks, and the two fumbles prevent him from checking the positive box in consecutive games to open the season.

Result: Inconsequential Performance

2018 Performance Results Number of Games
Winning Performance 1
Inconsequential Performance 1
Losing Performance 0


Play-by-play chart:

DrivePlayQuarterDown DistDownDistancePersonnelFormationBound/FieldResultThrow LocalDirectionPressurePres TimeContestedRouteTargetAir YardsYACPlay ActionGun/UCFD/TD
1111st and 101st10202x120 yard runU/CFirst Down
2213rd and 83rd8113x1BoundaryCompletionOn targetRightSwingDrake-56Gun
2311st and 101st10122x2SackSack5.04YesU/C
3412nd and 162nd16113x2BoundaryCompletionOn targetRightOutAmendola71Gun
3513rd and 83rd8113x1SackSack3.85Gun
3621st and 101st10113x15 yard runGun
4723rd and 43rd4112x2FieldPBUPBUMiddleHurry2.43YesDragDerbyGun
4822nd and 72nd7113x1FieldCompletionOn targetMiddleScreenAmendola-27Gun
5923rd and 23rd2113x1FieldCompletionOn targetMiddleYesOverAmendola140GunFirst Down
51021st and 101st10112x2FieldCompletionOn targetRightScreenGrant-112GunFirst Down
51121st and 101st10112x2BoundaryOff targetWideRightSpeed outStills4YesGun
51222nd and 102nd10113x1FieldCompletionOn targetMiddleScreenWilson-16YesGun
51323rd and 53rd5113x1SackSack2.7Gun
51422nd and 12nd1113x1FieldCompletionOn targetMiddleSquare InWilson524GunTouchdown
61521st and 101st10012x1BoundaryCompletionOn targetRightFlatWilson12Gun
71623rd and 23rd2113x2FieldCompletionOn targetMiddleHurry1.79SearchStills31GunFirst Down
71721st and 101st10113x1BoundaryCompletionOn targetLeftOutStills130GunFirst Down
71821st and 101st10113x1BoundaryCompletionOn targetLeftHurry2.8FlatDrake13Gun
71922nd and 62nd6113x2BoundaryDropOn targetLeftSpeed outGrant6Gun
72022nd and 12nd1113x1BoundaryCompletionOn targetMiddleBrokenDerby190GunTouchdown
72131st and 101st10123x1Sack FumbleSack2.36U/C
82232nd and 62nd6112x2BoundaryCompletionOn targetMiddleSwingDrake-68Gun
92333rd and 43rd4113x1BoundaryCompletionOn targetMiddleHit2.72ChoiceDrake010GunFirst Down
92433rd and 13rd1113x1FieldPBUHit as threwRightHit2.36HitchWilson15YesGun
92531st and 101st10113x1FieldCompletionOn targetRightFlatAmendola-16Gun
102631st and 101st10113x1FieldCompletionOn targetRightScreenGrant115GunFirst Down
102742nd and 102nd10113x2ThrowawayHurry2.48Gun
112843rd and 103rd10113x1BoundaryOff targetLongLeftGoWilson50Gun
112942nd and 52nd5113x114 yard runGunFirst Down
123043rd and 193rd19113x1BoundaryCompletionOn targetMiddleHitValveGore217GunFirst Down
123143rd and 63rd6112x28 yard runGunFirst Down

Additional Videos:

Pressure causes the throw to come out early, disrupting timing.

Converting a third down by going through progressions and an accurate throw.

Third down conversion on the over route to Amendola.

Dolphins offense melts down on third down.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mark

    September 19, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    Great film analysis. I’ve been looking for something this for quite some time to better understand the Dolphins, I.e the hitch route to Wilson was not T’s fault. Also also enjoy learning more about the game in general. Thank you – keep ’em coming.

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Place Jake Brendel on IR; Sign Hroniss Grasu

Jason Hrina



Image Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Their players don’t just go on injured-reserve, they do it twice in the same season.

The Miami Dolphins official social media account announced that the team has placed center Jake Brendel on injured-reserve, ending his 2018 season. To fill the available roster spot, the Dolphins signed offensive guard Hroniss Grasu.

Brendel was first placed on injured-reserve with a calf injury prior to the start of the season. He was one of two players that received the IR tag with the ‘ability to return’; this meant that Brendel was eligible to return after Week 8. Since his return, Brendel started 3 games and was active for 4.

Earlier this week in practice, Brendel re-injured the same calf that originally put him on IR. Strategically speaking, we’re at the point in the season where players will be placed on IR simply due to the fact that they’re unable to recover in time to effectively play again this season. Miami has three games remaining and they essentially have to win out (or only lose to the Minnesota Vikings next week) if they want to make the playoffs. The team can’t afford to hold a roster spot hostage for a player who’s less-than 100%.

With Brendel hitting injured-reserve, the Dolphins now have 12 players out for the year.  It’s too bad we’re talking about the number of players on injured-reserve and not 12 Angry Men, because the only thing we can speculate at this point is how unlucky the Dolphins’ health has been this season.

The empty roster spot left by Brendel has been filled by former Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens offensive guard Hroniss Grasu.

Grasu was selected by the Bears with the 71st-overall pick (3rd-round) in the 2015 NFL draft. He started 8 games that season for Adam Gase‘s offense, but since then has only started 5. He played for the Bears from 2015-2017, though he missed the 2016 after being placed on injured-reserve. Grasu was signed by the Ravens this past September and was active for 3 games (making 1 start). He was released by the team on November 24th.

From one Hr to another: cheers, mate!

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Miami Dolphins

Squeezing Miami’s Tight Ends for Anything They’ve Got

Jason Hrina



Image Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Gase, a hobbled Ryan Tannehill and the rest of the Miami Dolphins have been tasked with operating an offense that has received minimal production from its tight ends. As the team is currently constructed, the playbook, in essence, centers around their two starting running backs, the three starting wide receivers that are healthy and that’s it.

That’s all they can scheme around.

As an opposing defense, you’re well aware that the tight end position is effectively eliminated in Miami’s offense – it’s not a personnel group you have to scheme for.

  • You have a banged up Kenny Stills you have to watch, though you really only need to keep him in your peripheral vision as Miami isn’t going to maximize Stills’ speed and Tannehill’s deep ball with the quarterback’s injured shoulder.
  • You can monitor DeVante Parker, but his lack-of-enthusiasm helps keep his freakish athleticism at bay.
  • You can be on the lookout for Danny Amendola, but you’re probably content allowing the underneath reception (though at 9.8 yards per reception, why aren’t we getting Amendola the ball more on those crucial 3rd-down plays?)

All of the injuries aside, it’s hard to discount the voids created by Miami’s nonexistent production from the tight end position. When Laremy Tunsil goes down in the Cincinnati Bengals game, it’s the perfect time to utilize a tight end for quick passes. All those 3rd-and-short situations – where Miami runs a mind-boggling play – could be eliminated if Miami had a legitimate tight end that could box out an opposing defender on a quick hit. At the very least, a tight end that poses even a minuscule threat would make a defense hesitant to send an extra blitzer or blanket a receiver.

Running this offense without your tight ends is like trying to drive your car without power steering. Of course you can do it, but you’re going to have a difficult time driving it.

The fall of this position started back in training camp, when one of the most underrated Dolphins, MarQueis Gray, suffered a torn achilles and was placed on injured-reserve.

Fans initially thought this was an omen for Mike Gesicki, as they clamored for the possibility of having an Olympic-caliber tight end playing with Ryan Tannehill – a quarterback known to utilize the tight end position well.

At a glance, you would think Miami’s tight ends were going to be extremely productive. Up to this point in 2018, Miami rewarded one of their tight ends with a contract extension and spent 2nd and 4th-round assets to bulk up the position. How could this season have gone so poorly for a group that, at the very least, was supposed to be average?

Tight ends predominantly see a spike in production from their rookie years to their sophomore seasons, and this is the one saving grace each of us optimistically have for Gesicki to turn it around. On tape, he doesn’t look the part. But you don’t want to write a player off this quickly. Check out some active tight ends and their growth from Year 1 to Year 2:

When going through the list, the only tight end I came across that saw a dip in production from Year 1 to Year 2 was Jordan Reed of the Washington Redskins. His stats were: 45/499/3 in 2017 and 50/465/0 in 2018…really not the biggest dropoff (I’m sure there are other tight ends who saw a drop in production, but after going through half the league, Reed was the only one that applied).

Problem is, are we confident Mike Gesicki is going to be a tight end that makes this jump? Look at where Gesicki (and Durham Smythe) stack up with other rookie tight ends:

We all thought Miami was going to have a 1-2 punch with Gesicki as a receiver and Smythe as a blocker; and so far, half of the duo has held their end of the bargain. Smythe has performed very well when asked to block on the line. He’s had some misses this year, but for a rookie tight end being tasked with blocking an elite defensive end at times, we can’t really complain much. What the team is missing is the other half of that duet.

Coming into 2018, we understood that Gesicki would need some seasoning before he could become a legitimate blocker. And to an extent, we were quite content if Gesicki didn’t block too well, just as long as he was making plays on 3rd-down and in the red zone. We all thought he was the missing component this offense needed to finally be effective in the red zone. Instead, we’d probably be better off stacking the line with 6 offensive linemen.

The wildcard of the bunch is Nick O’Leary. The Dolphins have played him at both tight end and fullback, giving them flexibility and the ability to maximize his roster spot. But going into 2019, does anyone think any of these tight ends are safe? Check out the disparity in snap counts from the first week of the season until Week 14:

It’s evident which player this team trusts. Or, at the very least, which player they believe they can get any kind of production out of. He’s also the only player that wasn’t on the roster at the beginning of the season – telling you just how far the other players have fallen.

This team might need to fire Matt Burke. It might need to overhaul the defensive line or even the linebacking unit. The Dolphins might even need a new starting quarterback in 2019. But one thing we can certainly say is that Miami definitely needs a productive tight end; otherwise, this offense is about as stagnant, stale and unsuccessful as you’ve seen it this season.

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Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tannehill’s Late Season Surge is Nothing New

Travis Wingfield



Adversity is the Dolphins QB’s Biggest Weapon

The divisive topic of tanking filters its way through the fan bases of all mediocre franchises. The discussion about whether it’s healthier to lose and climb the draft board, or to establish a winning culture, reverberates for the perpetual .500 purgatory of the NFL.

Every time Dolphins fans are ready to prepare for what’s next at quarterback, Ryan Tannehill rises from the ashes and plays at an elite level.

The statistics are there. After a 1-4 start and a sub-90 passer rating in 2016, fans turned to Notre Dame tape to scout DeShone Kizer. They peeped the ultra-exciting Patrick Mahomes making jaw-dropping off-script plays at Texas Tech.

All those discussions became moot when Tannehill ripped off a stretch of eight games in which Miami went 7-1. During that time, Tannehill posted a 101.5 passer rating and fell back into the good graces of Dolphins fans.

Bruce Arians’ famous quote preaches patience while installing a new scheme. “It takes about eight weeks before things start to become second nature.”

If that’s true, Tannehill has been ahead of that curve.

Two games ahead of the pace, Tannehill finds his groove in the sixth game. In a 2016 win over Pittsburgh, Tannehill posted his highest single game passer rating of the year, and would top that high-water mark four times in the next seven games.

The 2018 season is shaping up very similarly. After a strong start, then stumbling in games four and five, Tannehill is back with a vengeance.

The Dolphins are 2-1 since Tannehill’s return and the veteran, held together by duct tape and Band-Aids, is posting career highs. His passer rating post-return is a ridiculous 129.9. He’s averaging a smidge under 9 yards-per-pass. He’s completing a fraction under 70% of his passes and throwing touchdowns at clip of 11.7%.

The numbers. The wins. The quantifiable metrics are all fun and an easy shortcut to display Tannehill’s recent success, but the it’s the complete control of the offense that best showcases Tannehill’s growth.

Watch this video with the audio on to see an example of Tannehill’s command at the line-of-scrimmage.

Perhaps the time away from the game, and the return from a reconstructed knee, was a detriment to his development within this offense.

Tannehill is dealing with yet another injury, but if he wants to prove this theory, he has every opportunity. Miami can run the table and jump back into the post-season under Ryan Tannehill’s guidance.

After all, last time, he wasn’t healthy enough to finish what he started.


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