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Ryan Tannehill seemingly a tale of two quarterbacks so far this season

There's a growing perception that Adam Gase doesn't criticize Ryan Tannehill.

My frienemies at another newspaper (not actually frienemies as I tolerate them well enough) recently wrote a whole post about it. And I've had people in other cities tell me they're wondering when Gase will unload on Tannehill for thus far mediocre play.

Well, I can tell you there are unseen things that happen in a game that never get talked about or complained about and those exonerate Ryan Tannehill from blame. There are moments we don't know about that are simply there. Many such moments came during the Cleveland game when Gase pointed out Tannehill got the team out of bad plays at the line of scrimmage or adjusted the protection at the line of scrimmage to salvage plays.

There were other plays that look bad on tape and seem as if Tannehill is performing poorly when in fact his protection is breaking down and gives him no time to operate. Another time a receiver rounds off his route and so a pass goes incomplete, or there's a dropped pass, or there's an altogether wrong route run.

I'm not saying Tannehill is faultless. But it is a team sport and there are 10 other offensive players on the field.

So he's not the only one messing up.

That's why Gase said this week, "everybody was taking their turn," messing up.

And so in the last seven paragraphs I've made it clear it is not all Ryan Tannehill's fault.

But here come a few paragraphs that does indeed put it on Tannehill ...

He's the quarterback. He is the face of the offense if not the franchise. He has to play better.



He needs to be better than he has been so far in 2016.

And it's not a general thing. He specifically has to play better sooner in the game. What I mean by that is he has been a poor quarterback for the Dolphins in the first half of games this year. He has. It wasn't his offensive linemen. It wasn't the receivers. It wasn't the play-calling.


That first half against Cleveland on Sunday was atrocious. He threw two interceptions. And one of those was on the first pass of the game. No bueno.

Let me get out my No. 2 pencil. Doing some figuring here and Tannehill's first half numbers so far this season are as follows: 30 of 51 (58.8 completion percentage) for 311 yards with one TD and three interceptions.

Sharpening my pencil after doing all that figuring. In the second half of the three games so far this season, Tannehill has completed 48 of 58 passes (70.7 completion percentage) for 531 yards with four touchdown passes and one interception.

Tannehill's averages 6.10 yards per completion in the first half. He averages 9.16 yards per completion in the second half.

His first half quarterback rating is 58.5. His second half quarterback rating is 114.9.

So there you have one -- not all but one -- reason the Dolphins have not started fast in games so far this season. The quarterback.

“We haven’t played well in the first half," Tannehill said when asked specifically why he hasn't played well in the first half. "I think that’s plain to see. It doesn’t take any long division to figure that out. We just have to come out and execute. I think it all just comes down to execution of the total offense – just being on the same page, doing the right things and being in the right spot."

Again, this is a team sport and the Dolphins are trying to install a new offense for everyone. That includes the quarterback and all the other players, plus the offensive coaches. It takes time. I wrote on Aug. 31 this would happen, explained why and told you how long it might take before it gets right.

So no one is surprised.

But the frustration here is that if players can do certain things in the second half of games, they should be able to do it in the first half.

That includes Ryan Tannehill.