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Miami Dolphins

Charting Ryan Tannehill 2018 – Week 3 vs Oakland

Travis Wingfield



Go To Week 1 vs. Tennessee
Go To Week 2 at NY Jets

Week 3 vs. Oakland –

Though Ryan Tannehill played his sharpest game of the season, the passing numbers are rather inflated. With a touch of appreciation for his quarterback, Adam Gase was the proverbial inflator using the forward touch pass on two separate jet-sweep misdirection runs (passes).

With the Oakland defense hell bent on shutting down the inside run, and zone-read concepts of the Dolphins playbook, Miami turned to its seventh-year quarterback, and some crafty play-calling to capitalize on a vulnerable Raider Defense.

Leading the team in rushing for the day and completing the lowest-probability touchdown pass across the week-three NFL landscape (20.3% probability; source: Next Gen Stats), Tannehill led his team to a thrilling come-from-behind victory.

With plenty of time to progress through his reads, Tannehill was taking shots down the field with regularity. The Oakland pass rush arrived just five times on 26 drop backs. The pressure rate of 19.2% was a nice change from last week when pressure arrived at a rate double that total (40.7%). The average time from snap-to-pressure was 2.3 seconds.

Under pressure, Tannehill came up aces. He completed three-out-of-four passes for 49 yards and a touchdown under duress. He was taken down for one sack on the day.

The depth of the Miami passes was, far-and-away, the highest of the season. Averaging 9.3 air-yards-per-throw, aggression was the name of this game.


Portion of the Field Accurate Pass/Number of Passes
20+ yards 3/5 (60%)
11-19 yards 4/4 (100%)
0-10 yards (or behind LOS) 11/14 (78.6%)


Tannehill has found fire on the intermediate pass this season. Tannehill has been on-target 11-of-12 times on throws between 11-19 yards.

Throwing into coverage proved fruitful for the Miami quarterback. On his six passes into coverage, four were completed for 92 yards and a touchdown. Adjusting for Devante Parker’s drop, that number would’ve been 5/6 with 125 yards and the score.

Tannehill was accurate on 19-out-of-23 throws. His misses were a pair of passes batted down at the line of scrimmage, an underthrown go route to Kenny Stills, and the potential touchdown on a post-route to Stills.

The 19-of-23 number accounts for the entirety of Tannehill’s mistakes. The one sack arrived in 2.66 seconds with no separation down field, and there were no egregious errors reading the defense.

Miami converted 12-of-26 of Tanenhill’s drop backs into first down. The 46.2% first down rate is the best of the season for the Miami offense.

The shotgun was used on 20 of the 26 drop backs and play-action was called seven times. Tannehill completed five of those seven play-action passes for 69 yards. One incompletion was a mis-fire on a potential touchdown to Stills off play-action, and Devante Parker dropped the other.

The Dolphin offense could’ve had a perfect 7-for-7 day on play-pass with 128 yards and a touchdown if properly executed.

Gase’s offense is still primarily an 11-personnel attack.

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


11-personnel 20 snaps
12-personnel 3 snaps
20-personnel 1 snap
13-personnel 1 snap


Yards after the catch weren’t prevalent in this game until the final offensive play for Miami. Without Albert Wilson’s 78 yards’ worth of YAC, Miami had only 75 yards after the catch, just 30% of the total passing yardage. With Wilson’s big gainer, Miami’s YAC went up to 52.9% of the passing game production.

It was a banner day for Tannehill in the box score. His passer rating is climbing, his record as a starter has been off-the-charts impressive his last 11 outings, and Dolphins fans are starting to buy in on the 30-year-old gun slinger.

The biggest takeaway from the game was Tannehill’s poise in the pocket, and the potential of how deadly this offense can be when the quarterback is protected. Tannehill’s big, precise arm was on-point throwing the ball down the field.

For that reason, a couple of nifty scrambles, and a day free of mental errors, Tannehill earns a resounding passing grade in this contest.

Result: Winning Performance

2018 Performance Results Number of Games
Winning Performance 2 (TEN, OAK)
Inconsequential Performance 1 (NYJ)
Losing Performance 0


Play-by-play Chart:

DrivePlayQuarterDown DistDownDistancePersonnelFormationBound/FieldResultThrow LocalDirectionPressurePres TimeContestedRouteTargetAir YardsYACPlay ActionGun/UCFD/TD
1111st and 101st10202x1BoundaryCompletionOn TargetMiddleSwingDrake-67Gun
2213rd and 63rd6113x1BoundaryPBUUnderthrowLeftHit1.68YesGoStills22Gun
2313rd and 93rd9113x19 yard runGunFirst Down
3411st and 101st10112x2FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleSlantAmendola86YesGunFirst Down
3511st and 101st10112x2BoundaryCompletionOn TargetRightSpeed OutStills60Gun
3613rd and 83rd8113x1BoundaryCompletionOn TargetMiddleHit2.51DragParker13Gun
3712nd and 172nd17113x1FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleFlatGesicki-12Gun
4813rd and 163rd16113x1BoundaryOff targetHighMiddleScreenDrake-3Gun
4923rd and 93rd9113x1FieldCompletionOn targetLeftHit2.86YesPost cornerStills340GunTouchdown
51021st and 101st10112x2FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleSlantAmendola85YesGunFirst Down
61121st and 101st10112x2BoundaryCompletionOn TargetMiddleOverDerby151GunFirst Down
61221st and 101st10123x1FieldCompletionOn TargetLeftDeep outStills147YesU/CFirst Down
61321st and 101st10132x2FieldOff targetWideMiddleHurry1.98Post Stills26YesU/C
61422nd and 202nd20113x1FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleYesHitchGesicki110Gun
61523rd and 193rd19113x2SackSack2.66
61632nd and 172nd17112x2BoundaryCompletionOn TargetRightFlatDrake33YesU/C
71733rd and 113rd11113x1BoundaryPBULOS batRightHitchGrant4Gun
71831st and 101st10113x1FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleYesOverAmendola150YesU/CFirst Down
81931st and 101st10113x1BoundaryCompletionOn TargetRightYesGoParker324GunFirst Down
82032nd and 92nd9113x1FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleShovelGrant-422GunTouchdown
82142nd and 102nd10113x1FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleSquare InGesicki613GunFirst Down
92241st and 101st10112x2BoundaryDropOn TargetMiddleYesPostParker33YesU/C
92342nd and 102nd10113x1FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleSwingWilson-22Gun
92443rd and 53rd5113x1FieldPBULos batMiddleSwingDrake-4Gun
92541st and 101st10123x118 yard runU/CFirst Down
102642nd and 42nd4122x1BoundaryCompletionOn TargetMiddleShovelWilson-478GunTouchdown

Additional Videos:

Tannehill scrambles for 18

Tannehill’s eye-manipulation and accuracy on display here

Kenny Stills puts Gareon Conley in the spin-cycle and Tannehill drives the out-route

Easy read and accurate throw makes for an easy completion

Miami finally began to use the RPO look for easy yardage on the slant to the vacated middle

Tannehill has always had issues with short, touch throws


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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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