Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill takes the field each week; Miami Dolphins fans are watching something they haven’t seen in a long time, a rapidly improving signal-caller taking the team to the next level.
While the sample size is still small for this season, Tannehill continues to improve his game and has the Dolphins sitting at 3-0 for the first time since 2002. Tannehill is doing behind an iffy offensive line and without a ton of help from his running game.
This year, Tannehill is 71- for 107 (66.4 completion percentage) for 827 yards, 4 touchdown passes and two interceptions. Tannehill’s longest pass went for 67 yards and his receivers are averaging 11.6 yards per completion on the young season.
In addition, Tannehill has improved his quarterback rating nearly 20 points over last season to 94.3 and he’s throwing for 70 more yards per game in 2013 compared to last season.
Tannehill’s passer rating of 94.3 puts him into the Top 10 quarterbacks in the league in passer rating, specifically ninth place, just behind Michael Vick and Matthew Stafford. Tannehill has also already beaten Andrew Luck and Matt Ryan and has Drew Brees and Joe Flacco in the next two weeks.
But Sunday, Tannehill took a huge step forward by leading a game-winning 13-play, 75 yard drive that saw him complete nine of 12 passes for 69 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown to tight end Dion Sims with the clock winding down in the fourth quarter.
“Monumental,” wide receiver Brian Hartline told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald of the final drive. “The best of the best do that, and he’s definitely played himself into the circle.”
When asked by the Herald about the final pass, Sims said, “It was awesome. Absolutely a perfect throw over the top. It was up to me to make the play.”
In his rookie season, Tannehill flashed moments of greatness but needed more talent around him. Now that he has the playmakers surrounding him, the Dolphins look like they finally have a quarterback to sit on for the next decade as he continues to improve and take the Dolphins even further.