Dolphins’ progress cause for hope

The past two weeks Dolphins fans have watched their team be oh so close, yet oh so far, failing to take advantage of two late game leads only to suffer two consecutive devastating overtime losses. With that being said, for the first time in a long time, there might be cause to have some hope in Miami.

While the Dolphins have managed to let two games slip through their fingers this team is much more competitive than most people would have given them credit for at the beginning on the season. Despite the second half of the Texans game, the Dolphins have been in every game including last week’s strong performance against the 4-0 Cardinals.

There are blatant holes on this roster including a number 1 WR, depth in the secondary, a complementary pass rusher and tight end, there are several young pieces in place that should provide Phins fans hope.

Starting from the most important position down, Ryan Tannehill has grown every game and has looked very strong in the early goings of the season. 

Tannehill now coming off a 400 yard performance has made a statement to the NFL with the 2nd best passing performance by a rookie ever (including breaking one of the Holy one Dan Marino’s record).

Tannehill has looked calm and cool and has been able to find success through the air despite his lack of talent on the outside. Tannehill has been especially good against the blitz. Tannehill has also been solid in the most important situations. What might have gone under the radar is that Tannehill lead two drives against the Jets, one to send the game to overtime and the second which should have set up the game winning field goal. (It was missed however)

Tannehill didn’t have as much success in overtime this week but it should be noted that Tannehill did have his team in the lead and position to win the game until a missed block set up the fumble that essentially sent the game to overtime.

Tannehill has a great arm and can make all the throws and has shown when sent on a roll out can be extremely effective.  The meager fact that the Dolphins currently have the league’s leader in receiving yards should say volume to the immediate impact Tannehill has made.

"I thought he played well enough to win," Philbin said of Tannehill, the coach has been pleased with what he has seen from the rookie and it led to a rookie of the week nomination for Tannehill. Tannehill has even proved some of his doubters wrong as Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller notes

‏@nfldraftscout: Ryan Tannehill right now is where I thought he could be in two years.#Dolphins

Tannehill isn’t the only reason for hope as the Dolphins have several players who are right now at the top of their game. Dolphin’s center Mike Pouncey is currently rated the number 1 center in the league by PFF. PFF also had similar praise for Cam Wake who is coming off a dominating 4.5 sack game.

@PFF: Cameron Wake is probably the best pure pass rusher in the NFL today.#Dolphins

Several other players have began to mature into their roles with Joe Philbin coming into town including the now famous Brian Hartline. It would be hard pressed to be impressed with how Hartline’s game has grown. While Hartline remains still a WR2 talent, there is no denying his early season production as he leads the NFL in receiving.

This Dolphins team is far from a finished product and there are many pieces to the puzzle still missing with that being said this team has a boat load of draft picks including a 1st rounder, two 2nd rounders and two 3rd rounders to help some of those holes next season. It might frustrate fans to here this yet again, but it is a process.

Be grateful because as ESPN’s Colin Cowherd said on his radio show about Ryan Tannehill "he’s a keeper."

The 1st step of any rebuild is to find your franchise QB; the Dolphins might have just done that.
Shane Clemons

About Shane Clemons

Shane Clemons came from humble beginnings creating his own Jaguars blog before moving on to SBNation as a featured writer for the Jaguars. He then moved to Bloguin where he briefly covered the AFC South before taking over Bloguin's Jaguars blog. Since the inception of This Given Sunday, Shane has served as an editor for the site, doing his best not to mess up a good thing.