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Miami Dolphins

Charting Ryan Tannehill Week 1 2016

Travis Wingfield




The advent of NFL GamePass has ushered in a new era of tracking and critiquing America’s most popular sport. Spawning juggernauts like Pro Football Focus, data previously available only to the 32 franchises is now in the hands of the public.

Still, antiquated statistics reign supreme. Volume numbers listing touchdown passes or completion percentage merely tell the result of the story – leaving out the details for how the game arrived at that juncture.

The purpose of this project is to lay out the fine-points of every Ryan Tannehill drop back from the 2016 season. Each game will have its own write-up with GIFs from the key moments in the game, scouting notes and the venerable table of data-charting.

Without further ado, week one at Seattle:

Week 1 at Seattle –

Drive No.PlayQuarterDownDistancePersonnelFormationBound/FieldResultThrow LocalDirectionPressurePres TimeContestedRouteTargetAir YardsYACPlay ActionGun/UCFD/TD
111st110113x1FieldCompletionOn TargetLeftScreenLandry-41Gun
121st35113x1FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleScreenLandry-33Gun
231st110112x2EvenCompletionOn TargetRightHurry2.59HitchCarroo20Gun
241st36112x2BoundaryCompletionOn TargetLeftHurry1.58SwingFoster248GunFirst
251st27113x1FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleFlatLandry10Gun
261st36113x1FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleHit2.65Square InCameron50Gun
372nd110113x1BoundaryDropOn TargetMiddleGoStills53Gun
392nd318112x2FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleHurry2.37Shal CrossLandr28Gun
5122nd110113x1RunZone readGun
11 yard run - FD
5132nd25113x1BoundaryPBULOS batMiddleAngleWilliams2Gun
5152nd110112x2FieldDropOn TargetMiddleHit3.36OverCameron16Gun
5162nd315113x1BoundaryCompletionOn TargetMiddleSearchFoster42Gun
6183rd316113x1EvenCompletionOn TargetMiddleAngleFoster06Gun
7193rd110112x2FieldCompletionOn TargetRightHurry3.24FlatCameron10YesU/C
7203rd29112x2RunZone readGun1 yard run
7213rd38112x2FieldUnderthrowHit as throwMiddleHit1.99Shal crossLandry2Gun
8223rd37113x1FieldPBUBehindMiddleHit2.13Inter crossLandry8Gun
8244th310113x1FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleHurrySlantLandry77GunFirst
5 yard run (naked boot designed)
8264th25113x1FieldPBULOS batMiddleSearchLandry5Gun
8274th35113x2BoundaryCompletionOn TargetRightHit2.79ComebackCarroo93GunFirst
8284th15113x1FieldPBUOn TargetLeftYesFlatFoster0Gun
8294th25113x1RunZone readGun
(neg) 2 yard run
Scramble out of bounds
9314th110122x2FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleDigStills160YesU/CFirst
9324th29122x2FieldCompletionOn TargetLeftHit3.26ComebackLandry90YesU/CFirst
9334th110113x2FieldCompletionOn TargetLeftBrokenLandry721GunFirst
9344th110113x1BoundaryCompletionOn TargetLeftScreenWilliams-433GunFirst
Scramble end of game

This was a shaky day for the debut of Adam Gase’s offense in Miami. Devante Parker missed the game with an injury, Jay Ajayi was left in South Florida to sulk, and Mike Pouncey had aggravated yet another injury.

Yet, the Dolphins offense crossed the goal line with a four minutes and change on the game-clock. Ryan Tannehill’s two-yard run, via a quarterback draw, caught the Seattle defense napping.

Tannehill was in the shotgun all day (33 of 38 drop backs – 86.8%). From that formation, he kept the football on designed quarterback runs three times – each the zone-read (he had another run on a play-action boot from under-center). Seattle all-pro safety Earl Thomas was privy to the empty set at the goal line, but was too late.

Up until that point, the offense was sputtering. Only 23.7 of Tannehill’s 38 plays with the ball in his hands resulted in a first down. Constantly under duress, the average time-to-pressure on the 19 instances of heat on the quarterback was 2.6 seconds (categorized as 4 sacks, 7 hits and 8 hurries).

The Dolphins two biggest plays came on a pair of quick-hitters to the running back. Damien Williams and Arian Foster had lengthy scampers after catching the ball from the backfield. Of Tannehill’s 186 passing yards, 132 came after the catch – a 71% clip.

While the Williams’ reception (seen first) was simply a well-designed screen, the swing pass to Foster showcased Tannehill’s re-focused pre-snap prowess. Identifying the blitzer and getting the football out to his hot-read, he put his running back in a one-on-one position to make a huge play and Foster obliged.

Three of the five passes targeted 15 yards and beyond was target. Tannehill was largely accurate throwing on-target on 18 of 26 qualifying throws (intentional throw-aways not graded against). The Dolphins dropped two passes – one beyond the sticks and the infamous Kenny Stills would-be-touchdown.

The vast majority of the throws made throughout the game were to open receivers. Of the 26 qualifying pass attempts, just four were into contested areas – all four fell incomplete.

Miami’s offense only converted one third down via the pass in the first half, but came on in the second frame. In total, Tannehill threw catchable passes on nine of his 12 third down plays. Eight were caught and four moved the sticks. Accounting for Cameron’s third-down-drop, Tannehill had an adjusted third down conversion rate of 41.7%. 

(In-depth breakdown (with audio) of Tannehill going through progressions on this Cameron drop).

Of the eight passes gone awry, three were quarterback error. Each of the 21 passes targeted 10-yards-and-in were on-target; two batted at the line-of-scrimmage and three pass break-ups by the defensive backs. Approaching the red-zone in the second quarter, Tannehill had an opportunity to hit Stills in the end-zone on an extremely difficult throw. The pass sailed a yard too long and fell incomplete. On the same possession, Tannehill broke the pocket and was late to recognize Stills coming back to the football, throwing it and behind and a tick too tardy.

With a limited roster at both wide receiver and running back, Gase operated primarily from one grouping and one formation. The Dolphins were in 11-personnel 34 of the 38 drop backs (89.5%) and lined up in 3×1 formations 24 times (63.2%)

Two of the three plays ran from 12-personnel came at the start of the lone touchdown drive – each play yielding chunk yardage.

Tannehill’s marked improvements were on display in this game. Quicker processing of the defense’s pre-snap look, better pocket manipulation and smoother foot work – Gase’s work on the fifth-year quarterback was evident.

Anticipatory throw:

Example of WRs failing to uncover:

Immediate pressure to cause a misfire:

Threat as a runner:

The case in most NFL games, one or two plays with a different result would’ve made the long-flight back to Miami a much happier affair. Kenny Stills hanging on to the wide-open go-route would’ve tacked 20 points onto Tannehill’s passer rating and, given the defense’s performance, Seattle might’ve failed to overcome the two-score deficit.

All things told, Tannehill’s performance neither prohibited his team from winning, nor was it considered enough to claim a win was imminent.

Result: Inconsequential performance by the QB

Next: Week 2 at New England


Go To:

Week 2 at New England

Week 3 vs. Cleveland

scores by the Score
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