This Thanksgiving, I’m appreciative of the Miami Dolphins and for Ryan Tannehill. I mean why not? He’s the best thing to happen in Miami since Dan Marino. Tannehill has shown moxy, toughness, and has squeaked out some wins every season that if it weren’t for him would be losses.
There is a certain aura about Tannehill’s play that screams-average, but so good with some game defining moments and since 2016, he’s 11-6, even though he’s missed 21 games including 5 games this season.
As the Miami Dolphins hit the home stretch, they sport an overall record of 5-5, have some all too familiar issues stopping the run defensively (ranked 30th), and have not shown they can be a potent offense on a consistent basis (ranked 28th) .
In the red zone TD efficiency alone, according to team rankings, the Dolphins have a 40% redzone efficiency compared with 52.63% in 2017 and 55.10% in 2016 (Gase’s first season as coach).
Here comes Ryan Tannehill who presumably could suit up for the first time since week 5 at Cincinnati where he got hit too many times to count and the game turned when Laremy Tunsil left the game with a lower body injury and thrust Sam Young into the spotlight and on his back as Tannehill lay on the ground.
As the Dolphins hit this stretch of six winnable games, consider this, the Dolphins have a Jekyll and Hyde performance on the road versus home where the switch comes on for home games and for road games the proverbial switch turns off.
The Dolphins average 23.8 points in wins, the low being a 13-6 defensive win over the Jets whereas on the road the Dolphins are averaging 16 points in losses. At home, they are clearly better and have proven that playing at Hard Rock is an advantage for them with the heat, the rainy weather conditions, and sometimes the playing surface helps them.
This season, the Dolphins have one home loss. Just one. If the Dolphins had just home games through the first 10 weeks, they’d already be 9-1, but it doesn’t work that way in the NFL.
However, on the road has been a different story as the Dolphins have found ways to lose on the road four out of five times going 1-4.
As Ryan Tannehill gears up for his first start since week 5, consider this, under Adam Gase he’s 11-6. With Tannehill at QB, the Miami Dolphins are seemingly a better team offensively, not to mention in the red zone as referenced above.
Without Ryan Tannehill, Gase turned to Brock Osweiler who was good for keeping the Dolphins afloat, but going 2-3 with two exciting home wins versus the Bears and then the Jets, a game with no touchdowns offensively.
Heading into this week, the Dolphins can’t seemingly do worse, but they can certainly do better versus the Indianapolis Colts, Tannehill has a 1-2 record against the Colts with a split on the road and painful, literally, home loss in his career.
For Adam Gase who is constantly battling his pundits who wish this to be his last season in favor of a more seasoned coach-maybe John Harbaugh, this could be one of those times that Dolphins fans have to see how the 5-5 record plays out the rest of the way to make a decision on whether they believe in the Gase era or are ready to blow the whole thing up.
This week the Dolphins have to demonstrate that they belong in the playoff conversation, with the odds against them (16 percent chance to make the playoffs) and their embattled signal caller ready for a dogfight, one he has won in the past, only this time, the season hangs in the balance and quite possibly his Dolphins legacy.