For the final month leading up to the regular season, I will be featuring two “Over/Under” pieces per week. I’ll take a New England Patriots or AFC East topic and give you my opinion of whether we will see more (over) or less (under) than the number provided.
This is the 6th piece in my 8-part “Over/Under” series. The Miami Dolphins have improved this offseason in most areas of their roster. One position that has not changed for the ‘Phins is quarterback. Miami feels confident with Ryan Tannehill under center, and after last season it is easy to see why. With more offensive weapons, Tannehill’s numbers will be more impressive than they were in the 2012 season.
Ryan Tannehill: Over or Under 20 TD Passes
Miami finished the 2012 regular season with a 7-9 record. That’s not terrible for a team with a rookie QB, but the Dolphins were clearly not satisfied after missing the playoffs for the fourth year in a row.
Aug 24, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) throws a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense during the second quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
This could be the year Miami breaks that streak. They went after several top-level free agents this offseason, including Mike Wallace, Dustin Keller, and Dannell Ellerbe. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, Keller won’t be playing football for a long time after tearing his ACL, MCL, PCL and dislocating his kneecap. But Mike Wallace brings talent that Miami hasn’t seen in a while.
The veteran Wallace averages over 17 yards per catch for his career, and is one of the best deep threats in the game. Through this point in preseason, the Tannehill-Wallace experiment is a good pairing. We have only seen limited action from the Dolphins’ starters, but these two seem to be on the same page.
Ryan Tannehill only attempted 484 passes as a rookie, and I expect that number to increase a decent amount this season. With first-year starter Lamar Miller running the ball, the Dolphins will rely on their veteran WRs to make big plays. Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline are probably the most talented wide receiving duo in the AFC East. This should be a big year for both of them. Hartline only had one TD catch last season, but with the focus on Wallace he could sneak right through the defensive scheme.
I wouldn’t expect Tannehill to go screaming by the 20 TD mark I’ve assigned here, but I do think he will enjoy the luxury of a dangerous outside threat. We have seen Big Ben and Mike Wallace flip the momentum of a game in just a couple of plays, and Tannehill has enough talent to emerge this season as one of the better QBs in the game. One thing that may keep him from 20 TDs is his marginal offensive line (as I have mentioned a few times in the last month).
I think Ryan Tannehill will have 22-24 touchdown passes this season.