Tannehill Matures Before Our Eyes

On Sunday afternoon, Dolphins fans everywhere were perhaps shown another reason to be optimistic about the future. I am not talking about the immediate future of a December game this coming Sunday that means something, although no one saw that coming in August. Not the fact that the Dolphins are only one game out of a playoff spot either. Yes both of those are pleasant surprises, but this season has always been about development, growth and preparing for the future.

Ryan Tannehill continued to grow up before our very eyes in his biggest clutch performance of the season and pro career. The first of his three impressive drives tied the game at 14. On this drive he caught a break because a roughing the passer penalty negated what looked to be a crippling interception. It was an ill-advised pass attempt. However, he shook it off and Daniel Thomas finished the drive with a 3 yard TD run. Within a few real life minutes, Tannehill watched on the sidelines as the Seahawks returned the ensuing kickoff to paydirt to recapture the lead 21-14 immediately. At this point, you thought this would be another punch in the gut and another loss that could have been a win, like the Jets and Cardinals games earlier in the year. However, this time, Tannehill got back to work, leading another game tying drive that culminated with a beautiful throw to Charles Clay for a 29 yard TD. Later on in the game, after a defensive stand by the Dolphins that can't be overlooked, Tannehill took the ball with 1:32 left and one timeout. With the poise of a veteran, he drove the Dolphins 65 yards culminating with a Dan Carpenter 43 yard field goal as the clock hit 0:00. Big time!! Clutch!! As Sun Sentinel's Omar Kelly would say, a KILL.

This type of performance was something we were waiting to see from Tannehill. We saw a few big number performances sure, but we hadn't seen THIS yet. We didn't see Tannehill take a team down the field to win a game that looked lost. He did it Sunday. He did it against a good defense and he did it in a big way in a must win game. This does not mean more growth isn't needed, because there is room for improvement. There is not one person who disputes that. However, this past Sunday afternoon in Miami, Dolphins fans were shown another example of the potential of this young quarterback. Potential that one day may have us expecting these performances instead of hoping for them.