QBs in Focus: Ryan Tannehill

| July 24, 2014

qb-month-tannehillThough we certainly miss football during the offseason, it’s always a good time to take a step back and analyze our plethora of data.

We’re often so busy grading and collecting data during the season that we’re unable to put a lot of the information to good use. With that said, we’ve decided to declare June as “QB Month” as we break down NFL quarterbacks every which way.

We’re going to examine quarterbacks from a number of situations before looking at each of them individually. The grades and numbers should reveal each quarterback’s strengths and weaknesses from the 2013 season.

As we go through this series, it’s important to understand the relationship between QB Rating (NFL’s version) and PFF Grade.

While QB Rating is obviously supposed to be a QB statistic, it’s actually a better gauge of what the entire offense did in a given situation. This is the type of information that is actually extremely valuable to our NFL team customers as their game planning efforts must go towards stopping an entire passing offense, not just the quarterback.

If the quarterback throws an easy dump off pass to the RB who then weaves through the defense for the touchdown, it’s certainly not a great indicator of quarterbacking skill as it is the running back and defense accounting for the majority of the work on the play. Of course the QB Rating will look quite shiny in that situation.

On the other hand, PFF Grade is a good indicator of how well the quarterback actually performed in a given situation. Whether they throw an accurate pass that was dropped, or perhaps an inaccurate one that should have been intercepted and the defense dropped, the PFF grade will account for those situations with a positive and a negative grade respectively while QB Rating will simply reflect the 0-for-1 passing.

It’s important to distinguish between QB Rating and PFF grade, though there’s a good chance they’ll match up in most situations.

After taking a look at the entire league in various situations, it’s time to break down each quarterback individually.

Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill (2)

Ryan Tannehill (3)

All categories with a * are normalized so that the league average is 0.0.


•  Graded at +12.1 on second down.
•  Ranked third with +8.0 grade on passes thrown in 11-to-20-yard range.
•  Despite perception, graded at +2.7 on passes thrown at least 30 yards in the air.
•  Showed good improvement throwing the ball in between the numbers (+15.0).
•  Graded at +9.1 on passes outside the numbers to the right.
•  Among the league’s best when throwing from a clean pocket (+20.5).
•  Graded at +7.7 against third-down blitzes.
•  Ranked fourth with a +16.3 on 7-to-8-yard drop-backs.
•  Ranked second with a +15.6 grade on drop-backs lasting 2.1 to 2.5 seconds.
•  Among the league’s best when throwing to outside wide receivers (by alignment) at +16.0.
•  Graded at +8.0 when throwing to tight ends, including a +4.6 grade when throwing to tight ends in the slot.
•  Graded at +8.1 on hitches and +7.9 on go routes.


•  Graded at -0.5 on 3rd-and-10+ and -1.3 on 3rd-and-long.
•  Below average on passes in the 21-to-30-yard range (-2.8).
•  Graded at -3.6 when pressured.
•  Graded at -1.4 against third down non-blitzes.
•  Struggled to a -4.1 grade on 4-to-6-yard drop-backs.
•  Graded at -3.6 on drop-backs lasting 2.6 to 3.0 seconds.


•  Threw 3.1% of passes at least 40 yards in the air; seventh-highest in the league.
•  Threw 53.8% of passes outside the numbers; sixth-highest in the league.
•  Faced pressure on 33.6% of drop-backs; below the league average of 35.5%.
•  Faced third down blitzes 43.8% of the time; fifth-most in the league.
•  25.1% of drop-backs were in 4-6-yard range; fifth-most in the league.
•  Only 12.7% of drop-backs went at least nine yards; sixth-lowest in the league.
•  Above average percentage of drop-backs lasting two or less seconds (31.8%) and 2.1-2.5 seconds (28.0%).
•  Used play action only 14.8% of the time; eighth-lowest in the league.
•  Led the league with 81.9% of passes going to wide receivers (by alignment).
•  Only 11.7% of attempts went to running backs; lowest in the league.
•  14.1% of attempts were out routes; fourth-highest in the league.


For the entire set of “Quarterbacks in Focus” posts, click here.


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Comments (8)

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  1. sportsfan561 says:


  2. thebigdigger204 says:

    I believe he is going to surprise a lot of people this year. Lazor’s new tempo and timing precise offense should be very friendly to him.

    But once again, with Pounceys absence, its going to all come down to the play of the O-Line.

  3. Joe Willie says:

    its hard to excel at QB in the NFL when you have Bob Newhart as ur headcoach

  4. St Sangster says:

    He needs to learn to read traffic in the middle of the field and get the ball out without hesitation in that area. Until then he will continue to throw to the edge primarily and not be able to challenge on 3rd and long.

  5. laura23451 says:

    Those numbers are pretty accurate for the most part. The deep ball stats are still misleading. The sample size on deep balls is very small and the stats don’t take into consideration how wide open a receiver is. Throwing an incompletion to a guy who’s open by 5 yards counts the same as an incompletion where the QB is taking a shot on 3rd and very long, chucks it into double coverage, and has the ball batted down. Other QBs simply weren’t throwing to wide open deep guys as often as Tannehill was.
    Outside of the deep ball, Tannehill’s numbers look great. Every single one of the “negatives” can be attributed to a bad offensive line. Pouncey’s going to miss half the season, but it still should be better than last year.
    Lazer’s offense combined with 5 legitimately good WRs (Wallace, Hartline, Gibson, Matthews, and the rookie Landry) should put some points up this year. Getting Knowshon Marino can only help, too.
    Their only weakness heading into the season on offense are Pouncey’s injury, RG, and TE. Clay+Simms aren’t bad, but as the numbers above show, the Dolphins need more production from the TE spot.