This Sunday at 1 p.m. at Hard Rock Stadium, the Miami Dolphins will meet the Chicago Bears in what will undoubtedly be a fork in this season's road for the Dolphins. A loss to Chicago means the Dolphins would find themselves at 3-3 after an electric, undefeated 3-0 start, officially chasing the shot of hope that came with their unexpected early-season successes with a glass of midseason lemon juice. A win, however, would push the Dolphins to 4-2 with at least a share of first place in the AFC East after six games — a record everyone would have signed up for before the season began.
A lot of questions about this Dolphins team will be answered Sunday. But the granddaddy of all Dolphins questions will not be answered this Sunday. Unfortunately, the question that has been asked since 2012 will never be answered, so everyone should stop asking it.
That played-out question, of course, is quite simple: Who the hell is Ryan Tannehill? The answer is and always will be this: He is and forever will be an OK but not great quarterback. Deal with it or don't. If you're still waiting to see something new at this point, that's on you.
Tannehill has played in 82 NFL games and thrown nearly 3,000 passes. In Miami, he has played for three head coaches, nearly double-digit offensive coordinators, and hundreds of teammates who have put him in every situation imaginable to both succeed and fail in his seven seasons with the Fins. Since drafting Tannehill in 2012 with the eighth-overall pick, the team has gotten 114 touchdowns and 71 interceptions out of him.
Yet every week, the media and fans seem to still look at Tannehill as a blank slate, ready to change who they think he is based on how he performs. If he has a good game, he's suddenly turning the corner to greatness. Look at these stats that will SHOCK you! If Tannehill has a bad game, people inevitably say, "It's time to move on — he stinks!"
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After seven seasons of seesawing on Tannehill, it's time to come to the tough realization that we've always known who he is: just a so-so quarterback. If you're waiting for him to take the next giant step in a year most quarterbacks never make it to in their careers, that's on you.
Tannehill will never be who you, or the Dolphins, want him to be. So do you support him and stick with him (even as he is owed well over $20 million next season), or do you start over with a younger and unknown signal-caller next season?
That's the question at this point. It's 2018. Trying to calculate how Tannehill can become Drew Brees is an unsolvable equation. Give it up. Either the Dolphins put a Super Bowl team around the serviceable but not superstar quarterback or they need to decide they'd rather find a QB who can actually put a team on his back to get to a Super Bowl.
Stop banging your head against the wall on Tannehill. He is who he is. After this season, the Dolphins will decide if that's good enough for them.