West Texas Native Ryan Tannehill Plays Better in 2nd NFL Start for Miami Dolphins, Beats Oakland Raiders 35-13
After last week's tough 30-10 loss to the Houston Texans in his NFL debut, quarterback Ryan Tannehill stood at the podium, in front of a room full of reporters, asking the Miami Dolphins 1st round draft pick various questions regarding his (and his team's) horrible performance. The Big Spring, Texas native handled the tough questions like a champ, and kept a positive outlook heading into week 2 against the Oakland Raiders. Th e positive attitude paid off, and the result was a 35-13 whipping of the Raiders, and a week of firsts for Tannehill.
Not only was the victory Ryan Tannehill's first NFL win, but he scored his first career touchdown on a 2-yard run in the first quarter, and threw for one in the 4th quarter on a 14-yard pass to Anthony Fasano, a huge touchdown that put the Dolphins up 27-13 with under 12:00 to go in the game. Wide receiver Brian Hartline proved to be Tannehill's go-to guy through the air, with 9 catches for 111 yards.
Tannehill did not turn the ball over, and made few mistakes in his first career win. That's a big difference from the 3 interception performance a week earlier against the Texans. He was 18-30 for 200 yards passing with the one touchdown, and was sacked only once by the Raider defense. Even though he scored two touchdowns, perhaps the most impressive play by the rookie QB was a pass completion of only 3 yards. The throw was made as Tannehill was falling, parallel to the ground.
Despite the solid performance from the rookie quarterback, running back Reggie Bush gets the game ball. Bush rushed for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a long 65-yard run. He added three catches for 25 yards. And Tannehill knew where to give credit in his postgame press conference.
“I had great protection, guys were making plays for me down the field, we were able to establish a running game…I think the balance of things really helped to take the pressure off.”
Credit to the offensive line, and to his star running back. Classy. But Ryan's appreciation of his teammates didn't stop there.
“We refocused, realized that we needed to get back to our running game that was moving the ball for us…when you’ve got a guy like Reggie and an offensive line that’s creating holes…if it’s working, you’ve gotta lean on that and make it work for you. So, we came out and had a more balanced attack in the 2nd half…when your base run game is working for you, you know it opens up a whole new set of things that can work for you on offense.”
With a record of 1-1, next up for Tannehill and the Dolphins is the New York Jets next Sunday at noon. After looking brilliant in a 48-28 win over the Buffalo Bills in week 1, the Jets cooled off in their second game, falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-10. All of a sudden, this looks like a winnable game for the Dolphins.
What do you think of Ryan Tannehill's performance in game 2? Do you think the Dolphins will beat the Jets?