September was a tough month for Ryan Tannehill and that didn't really surprise anyone because the Dolphins quarterback is a rookie and rarely does a rookie get welcomed into the NFL with a red carpet and a party.
Tannehill was 80 of 143 (55.9 completion percentage) for 1,046 yards in September. He threw two touchdown passes and six interceptions. His quarterback rating was 66.4.
Fine. We expected growing pains.
October was much, much, much better. Suddenly, Tannehill seemed to improve his accuracy. He was playing like a veteran at times. One could see steady improvement. And the stats showed the change.
Tannehill completed 40 of 60 passes (66.7 completion rate) for 426 yards in October. He threw two touchdowns and no interceptions. His rating zoomed to 98.3. I should remind you the relatively modest statistics were a product of the Dolphins having a bye and also Tannehill missed most of the Jets game with a knee injury.
It was nonetheless a good month.
But since that knee injury and since the calendar advanced to November, the Dolphins quarterback has suffered a nose dive.
Tannehill this month has completed 59 of 105 passes (56.2 completion percentage) for 648 yards. He has thrown two touchdowns this month and five interception. And his rating is a season-low 61.1.
This has nothing to do with the amount of duress Tannehill is under. He was sacked seven times in September, and six times each in October and so far in November. This isn't about the success of the running game as the Dolphins actually rushed the ball better in September than October and November.
This obviously has nothing to do with comfort level with talent around him because Tannehill hooked up plenty with Brian Hartline early on even though the receiver didn't play in the preseason. Tannehill also found Anthony Fasano plenty early on but the combination of quarterback-tight end has gone practically silent in recent weeks.
And no, this isn't about strenth of schedule, either. The last couple of weeks, for example, the Dolphins played teams with losing records whose defenses were ranked dead last in points allowed -- until they got through the game against Miami, anyway.
So what is it?
Has Tannehill hit the rookie wall early?
Is that knee injury still bothering him or affecting his delivery although last week Tannehill said he felt completely healthy?
Have defenses figured him and the Miami offense out?
Or, worse, is he simply regressing?
This week the Dolphins play Seattle to finish out their November schedule so the finish to this month doesn't seem promising. The Seahawks boast the NFL's fourth-best defense in allowing only 16.2 points per game.
Yup, November has been a nightmare for Ryan Tannehill.