Ryan Tannehill Wins Matchup of Second Year Quarterbacks in Week 1

By Nicholas Crimarco
Ryan Tannehill
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins went into the 2013 season with much higher expectations than the Cleveland Browns. After spending over $200 million this offseason, the pressure is on them from day one to perform.

In the 2012 NFL Draft, Miami selected Ryan Tannehill as the third QB in the draft and Cleveland selected Brandon Weeden as the fourth. Both players started from the first game of the season last year and showed promise while also making a few rookie mistakes. Neither guy had a big weapon at the receiver position and each had to lead their teams on long drives to get them in the end zone.

Not much has changed for Cleveland on offense. They lost Joshua Cribbs to free agency and added Davone Bess in a draft day trade. The Dolphins signed Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Wallace, who has averaged eight scores a year and 17.2 yards per reception in his career. They also signed Brandon Gibson and Dustin Keller to aid in Tannehill’s growth.

Although Keller may never play a snap for the Dolphins after suffering a season ending knee injury, you can see the effort they have made to build around their young QB. They also re-signed his favorite target from a season ago in Brian Hartline to give him one of the best trios in the AFC.

On Sunday, both QBs started out slowly by turning the ball over and trying to get their respective running games going. The Browns don’t have a choice with Josh Gordon being suspended and Trent Richardson being the only legitimate threat on their offense. They were forced to throw short passes to Bess and Jordan Cameron the whole game, while Tannehill was able to get yards in chunks with Hartline and Gibson. Although Mike Wallace only caught one pass for 15 yards, his presence alone allowed those guys to roam free.

Tannehill ended up outdueling Weeden and looked much more comfortable in his offense. Both guys were constantly harassed by the opposing team’s defensive line, but Tannehill showed poise and Weeden started to crumble the last few possessions.

It is obvious that Cleveland won’t be contending this season, but if Tannehill continues this progress you could see the Dolphins winning the AFC East and perhaps making a run to the Super Bowl.

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