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Ryan Tannehill

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by bbqpitlover, Oct 16, 2019.

Ryan Tannehill is...

  1. A terrible QB

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. A below average QB

    2 vote(s)
    4.2%
  3. An average QB

    6 vote(s)
    12.5%
  4. An above average QB

    22 vote(s)
    45.8%
  5. An elite QB

    14 vote(s)
    29.2%
  6. The GOAT.

    4 vote(s)
    8.3%
  1. The Guy

    The Guy Well-Known Member

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    Well there again, how can you consider expected completion percentage an accurate measure of degree of difficulty when his expected completion percentage in Miami wasn't significantly different than his expected completion percentage in Tennessee, despite that his surroundings in Miami were supposedly so much poorer?

    We don't see a difference between Miami and Tennessee in expected completion percentage. We see a difference only in actual completion percentage.
     
  2. FinFaninBuffalo

    FinFaninBuffalo Well-Known Member

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    From the Next Gen Site.... the source of the stat:

    Expected Completion Percentage (xComp) gives an indication of the level of difficulty of a quarterback's throws.
     
  3. The Guy

    The Guy Well-Known Member

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    And there was no significant difference in that between Miami and Tennessee, despite that his surroundings in Miami were supposedly so much poorer.

    Explain that if you would.
     
  4. Fin-O

    Fin-O Initiated Club Member

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    Ryan missed AJ Brown in the end zone Monday that cost me a cover and some cash. He's an A-hole.
     
  5. FinFaninBuffalo

    FinFaninBuffalo Well-Known Member

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    I was on a Titans forum.The consensus was that Brown should have caught it....
     
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  6. FinFaninBuffalo

    FinFaninBuffalo Well-Known Member

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    Many reasons could explain. I can think of a couple right off the top of my head.

    YOU claimed Tannehill had low difficulty throws in 2019. This proves you wrong, so stop saying it. Years before is completely irrelevant.
     
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  7. The Guy

    The Guy Well-Known Member

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    I never said his throws were of low difficulty (although they might've been, because it's become clear that there may be no reliable way of measuring that).

    What I said is that he was in a low difficulty situation in 2019. When your team 1) rides its running back offensively to the tune of nearly two standard deviations below league norm in number of pass dropbacks, 2) that running back plays very well even when facing a large number of stacked boxes defensively, 3) your performance is strongly correlated with his, more than two standard deviations above league norm, 4) a substantial portion of your best passing plays come against stacked boxes defensively and on play-action, and 5) there is a substantial drop-off in passing performance when boxes aren't stacked defensively...

    ...I'd say your situation with regard to passing the ball was highly favorable. When you can sit back and make a select few throws against defenses that are playing primarily with the intent to stop a running back, you're essentially functioning within a quaterback's paradise, and your degree of difficulty is therefore very low.
     
  8. resnor

    resnor Derp Sherpa

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    Being in a low difficulty situation doesn't mean that you're necessarily being asked to make easy throws. The longer the throw, the more difficult to complete. Tannehill was making longer throws, into tighter windows, than other QBs in the league in 2019, and costing more of them.

    You continue to act as though Tannehill was simply throwing passes to wide open receivers.
     
  9. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    I think the most important result of xCOMP% = expected completion probability is this quote from NFL Next Gen Stats:
    https://www.nfl.com/news/next-gen-stats-introduction-to-completion-probability-0ap3000000964655
    The highest possible r^2 = 1, and 0.98 is absurdly high. It's a measure of how closely aligned two stats are if you assume there is a linear relationship between them. What does that mean in practice? It means that the components that go into calculating xCOMP% nearly completely "explain" observed differences in completion percentage variation among QB's. In effect, they have a theory of completion percentage that works really well — the kind of result you want if you want to build a more accurate statistical model of football.

    In other words, these 6 components together are sufficient to explain almost all observed variation in completion %:

    [​IMG]

    (blurriness of the image is not my fault btw.. that's how it's uploaded)

    Note what's not in there: some measure of how good a receiver is at catching the ball. That r^2 = 0.98 suggests that any variation in the ability of certain receivers to catch difficult balls can only be important in a rare set of situations because almost no variation is left to explain, on average.

    The other important thing is that those individual stats quantify the effect of various aspects of the QB's surroundings that you don't have readily available stats for, like pass rusher separation from the QB at the time the ball is thrown (an example of an "OL stat"), or separation of receiver from a defender, etc. It's probably worth digitizing those data points and fitting curves to them for future use (I plan on doing that actually).


    Anyway, regarding xCOMP% and the concept of "difficulty", it's a bit tautological. They way they've set it up, their concept of the difficulty of a throw IS completion percentage. The only difference between xCOMP% and COMP% is difficulty on average vs. difficulty for a particular QB. In other words, COMP% - xCOMP% is telling you how much easier (if positive) or difficult (if negative) a particular set of throws was for a given QB, relative to average (i.e., a measure of that QB's skill).
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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  10. FinFaninBuffalo

    FinFaninBuffalo Well-Known Member

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    You are incorrect. Expected completion percentage takes into account pressure on the passer, depth of throw, and tightness of coverage. You are ASSUMING that the strength of the Titans running game led to passes that (at a minimum) were delivered with less pass pressure, to more open receivers to the degree that would make them easier passes. You are wrong. There is just no other way to put it. The numbers just don't add up.
     
  11. FinFaninBuffalo

    FinFaninBuffalo Well-Known Member

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    I would rephrase that.... it is a measure of how well the QB performed individually under those conditions relative to average. That way it does not tie to previous or future years. How well did he play in 2019. Tannehill played very very well. What he did in Miami, or Texas A&M or high school or in the womb is IRRELEVANT.
     
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  12. The Guy

    The Guy Well-Known Member

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    Hang on, so you’re saying that if completion percentage over expectation is positive, it indicates a quarterback’s throws were easier?
     
  13. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    It doesn't tie to previous or future years regardless of my phrasing or your phrasing. I just wanted to point out that if you take what they did literally — use completion percentage in each situation as a measure of difficulty — then the interpretation implied by their formula actually isn't "performance" relative to average, but "difficulty" relative to average.

    It indicates it's easier FOR that QB (i.e., he has more skill in those situations).
     
  14. Fin-O

    Fin-O Initiated Club Member

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    Naaa can't agree with that....Brown had the dude by 3 steps , a better throw is what was needed. Still expect that duo to do big things this year.
     
  15. FinFaninBuffalo

    FinFaninBuffalo Well-Known Member

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    I have been trying to convince the guy for months that he was wrong in his assumption that Tannehill made less difficult throws simply because of the strong running game and play action. I told him months ago that expected completion % already measured that much more directly.
     
  16. FinFaninBuffalo

    FinFaninBuffalo Well-Known Member

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    I was simply trying to avoid the inevitable "if it measures skill then what happened in Miami...........No, it must be something about the surroundings" nonsense
     
  17. The Guy

    The Guy Well-Known Member

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    The issue here is the degree to which Tannehill's performance in 2019 is a representation of his individual ability versus situational advantages.

    You're using a measure (CPOE) that for you, apparently, is indicative of his individual ability. However, if that were true, we would expect that he would've demonstrated the same pattern of performance with regard to it in Miami, i.e., a high completion percentage over expectation. If the surroundings in Miami were truly poorer, which is indeed possible, then his expected completion percentage would've merely been lower. He nonetheless would've similarly overshot that expected completion percentage with his actual completion percentage, owing to his individual ability.

    However, this was the case in Miami:

    CPOE 2012-2018.png

    Note that his completion percentage over expectation 2012-2018 was virtually zero.

    So, how can Tannehill's CPOE in 2019 reflect his individual ability when it's consistent with only one of the seven years of his career?

    It must instead reflect situational variables specific to 2019.
     
  18. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Why? Are you saying individual ability itself cannot change from year to year? That certainly can't apply to all players or all you'd have is random variation, which we don't observe. So it stands to reason that even for QB's you might see differences in individual ability from year to year. And that's what it looked like last year with Tannehill. Oh, and the most obvious example of an increase in QB ability itself is the average change in passer rating from a QB's rookie year to the next year.

    Not necessarily. xCOMP% depends on play calling. You can see that in my post above. Play calling can impact air distance, separation from sideline, and even time to throw. You're of course right that quality of surroundings affects xCOMP% too: mostly through target separation and pass rusher separation. But that's only part of the equation.

    CPOE is only one component of what affects EPA. So that graph isn't showing an "inconsistency". It's just showing CPOE is "incomplete" as a measure of skill (and I would agree with you there).

    xCOMP% however is a good measure of the difficulty of throws (and CPOE the relative ease/difficulty of those throws for an individual QB). You just have to parse out WHY it was easier or more difficult by looking at those 6 components.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
  19. The Guy

    The Guy Well-Known Member

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    No certainly it can change. But again we're dealing with six years at one level and one year (or 11 games) at another level. Like you've said repeatedly, Tannehill would be the first quarterback in NFL history to play that many years at one level and then vault to his 2019 level and stay there. So the odds at this point are with 2019's having reflected situational advantages as opposed to a change in individual ability. The CPOE data I illustrated above are merely consistent with that.

    No what I'm focusing on there are the CPOE data 2012-2018 exclusively, which show his CPOE 2012-2018 to have been virtually zero. The EPA data in that graph don't mean anything to me with regard to this specific topic.
     
  20. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    That CPOE data also suggests Brady is an anomaly.

    I'm not saying situational advantages did not exist. I totally agree they did. All I'm saying is that xCOMP% and CPOE are good stats, and that they arguably do measure average difficulty of throws and skill relative to average, respectively. My only issue here would be you dismissing the stats and their interpretation. It's not like ALL the evidence points to situational factors, and there's no reason not to acknowledge that.

    Regardless, as I said before, I don't see how statistically you can add any and all situational or "individual skill" stats and arrive as #1 in passer rating. Personally, I think there was a surprise factor last year that defenses might demonstrate they can adjust to this year as a key "missing" factor (can't measure that one statistically yet). We'll see.
     
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  21. The Guy

    The Guy Well-Known Member

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    Right but even the "#1 in passer rating" statistic has to be contextualized as having been comprised of only 11 games, which doesn't distinguish Tannehill from the Jim Harbaughs of the world. And that fits with your hypothesis in that it may take more games than that to "solve" an average QB who's benefiting strongly from situational advantages.

    Where I'll compromise in this is in acknowledging that Tannehill's actual individual ability may lie somewhere between his Miami and his Tennessee performances. He may be a guy who isn't at the 50th or the 99th percentile in individual ability, but rather the 70th.
     
  22. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Based just on what I remember seeing, I actually do think Tannehill's individual ability was greater in 2019 than during much of 2012-2018. All speculation of course. Anyway, realistic estimates of where he'll end up this year are anywhere between 0-1 z-score. Depending on what average passer rating is that's approximately 90-105. You're probably predicting the low end of that spectrum while FinFaninBuffalo is predicting the upper end, but both are realistic IMO.

    "The next Drew Brees" however is not. Either way, as long as Tannehill starts most of the games this year, I think a lot of the specific issues brought up will be (statistically, as in probabilistically) resolved. No question there will still be debate, but I really do think this year will lead to a narrower range of realistic estimates for Tannehill's "ability".
     
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  23. FinFaninBuffalo

    FinFaninBuffalo Well-Known Member

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    It is okay to acknowledge that Tannehill was the most efficient QB in the league last year, while attempting difficult throws AND also believe he will not approach that again. I would have no problem with that position. We'd disagree on our prediction for his 2020 performance/stats but I don't expect a 117 passer rating and a 9.6 YPA.

    My huge problem is your insistence on trying to figure out some way to invalidate the 2019 performance. Why is it so important for you to discredit Tannehill's 2019 performance? It's in the books. It's on film. Anyone who cares to look without bias can only conclude that he played as well as the stats say. Frankly, your posts look ridiculous.
     
  24. FinFaninBuffalo

    FinFaninBuffalo Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't argue anyone predicting the low end. I have a huge problem with repeated attempts to prove 2019 didn't really happen.
     
  25. The Guy

    The Guy Well-Known Member

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    Would it have looked ridiculous at the end of the 1995 season if someone spent time exploring exactly what it was situationally that enabled Jim Harbaugh to play 11 straight games that season at a similar level?
     
  26. The Guy

    The Guy Well-Known Member

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    2020 NFL season week 1:

    QBs Week 1.png
     
  27. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Ryan has an innately accurate arm, give him time and he will shred you, however as the playoffs arise and games get more intense, there will have to be individual plays that require instincts to escape the traffic in the pocket and have the ability to get outside the pocket, these instances is where championships are won by the qb..That is the question that remains..

    This thread should die until those games arise.
     
  28. Pauly

    Pauly Season Ticket Holder

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    I would say that graph says more about RT’s OCs in Miami than it does about Tannehill.
    Whether it is poor play design (Sherman), poor play calling (Lazor) or poor game planning (Gase) Tannehill was completing the plays as they were called. There isn’t much a QB can do to move the needle on 5 yard curl routes or WR screens because all QBs complete them at a high oercentage. Where a QB can move the needle a lot is on go, fly and post routes, and in Tennessee that was the first time in his career where he was given significant opportunities to make those long routes, especially off play action.

    It is significant that RT was completing the throws he made at around NFL QB average, but the plays he was executing were generating significantly less EPA than other QBs with similar CPOE.
    On the converse the other outlier, Tom Brady was being coached by a very astute coach who has a better grasp of game situation and play calling than almost any other coach in history.
     
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  29. FinFaninBuffalo

    FinFaninBuffalo Well-Known Member

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    Yes, especially if, in the course of that exploration, you needed to ignore overwhelming film and statistical evidence that it was HIS PLAY that was excellent. Searching for reasons to explain why a QB consistently made incredibly accurate throws, under duress, to tightly covered receivers, other than HE PLAYED REALLY WELL, is ridiculous.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
  30. The Guy

    The Guy Well-Known Member

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    Jim Harbaugh's play in 1995 was likewise excellent, for 11 games. Why wasn't he an excellent QB overall, however?

    Obviously there were things that occurred during those 11 games that weren't replicated throughout his career. It isn't ridiculous to simply explore those things and attempt to explain them.

    You're all about analyzing his environment in Miami and concluding that it suppressed his performance for six years, but when someone analyzes his environment in Tennessee for the purpose of determining its possible influence on his performance for 11 games, that's "ridiculous."
     
  31. The Guy

    The Guy Well-Known Member

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    It's a short step from there to conclude that Tannehill was simply being aided by a situation in which his running back played well against stacked boxes defensively, thus allowing his offensive coordinator to call a select few (comparatively speaking) passing plays designed to exploit those defensive formations, with an extremely high likelihood of success.

    In other words, his offensive coordinator was benefiting from the situation just as much as Tannehill, and in a way Sherman, Lazor, and Gase could not. There aren't many running backs on the planet who can run well against stacked boxes and thus open up all sorts of opportunities in the passing game. The 2012-2018 Dolphins certainly didn't have one, and when they came the closest to having one (Ajayi) -- voila! -- Tannehill and the offensive coordinator looked better.

    Is it any wonder that from game six on in 2016, during and after Jay Ajayi's breakout that year, Tannehill's average passer rating was 102.7, which was 12.8 points above the league average that year. Tannehill's lone poor game during that stretch was against Baltimore, where Ajayi was shut down and Tannehill had to shoulder the bulk of the offensive workload (65.6% pass dropbacks). Every other game during that period featured a below-average percentage of pass dropbacks. Remove that lone poor game and his average passer rating during that period was 108.3, nearly 20 points above the league average.

    Again, the variables of run game efficiency and run-pass balance, which were in full display in 2019. And Derrick Henry was no Jay Ajayi -- he was far more formidable.
     
  32. The Guy

    The Guy Well-Known Member

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    And whaddaya know, during the above-noted stretch of games in 2016 -- when Jay Ajayi was running wild and the Dolphins' run-pass balance made Tannehill's passing workload smaller -- Tannehill's CPOE skyrocketed from virtually zero to 6.37, behind only Drew Brees:

    Tann 2016.png
    Obviously CPOE is a product of situational variables as well as individual ability.
     
  33. FinFaninBuffalo

    FinFaninBuffalo Well-Known Member

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    That is not what you've been trying to argue for 6 months. You've been trying to argue that Tannehill was not responsible for his 2019 performance.

    You make giant assumptions like "the running game made the passes that Tannehill had to complete easier". WRONG. You insist on ignoring the statistical evidence of xComp% and CPOE which directly refute your assumption....... No, you've gone way beyond try to investigate what happened and have tried to refute what happened...... You tried ignoring data, making up new terms, cherry picking, etc, etc, etc, all in an attempt to refute what actually happened on the field. What happened in Miami and what will happen this season will not change what happened in 2019 at all. Nada. It is on film and in the books. Your pathologic need to bring up prior years and other players is simply an attempt to deflect.

    Tannehill led the league in many important measures of QB play. He did it by making excellent throws in all kinds of conditions and game situations. His depth of throws, high accuracy percentage, very low missed throw percentage, tight window throw percentage, excellence in the red zone, etc, are all direct indicators of his play. You ignore all of that and blather on about run/pass ratios......
     
  34. The Guy

    The Guy Well-Known Member

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    You just can't accept the fact that what Tannehill did in 2019 makes him no different from Jim Harbaugh et al. -- 11 consecutive games at that level of performance. Everything you said above is true about Jim Harbaugh et al. as well, and anybody who explored their 11 consecutive games of performance at that level in the effort to determine the situational variables responsible for them would be doing nothing different from what I've done here.

    The pathological need here is one you are demonstrating -- the need to make more meaning of Tannehill's 2019 performance than is warranted by the historical data in the league (i.e., Harbaugh et al.). When someone isn't willing to make as much meaning of it as you are, then for you they are the problem, when in reality the problem is you.
     
  35. The Guy

    The Guy Well-Known Member

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    Interestingly enough, here is Tannehill's CPOE during his second-best stretch of games in his career with the Dolphins -- weeks 4 through 16 of 2014:

    Tann 2014.png
    Third in the league at 6.30, behind only Romo and Roethlisberger, and in front of a slew of better QBs. During that stretch of games his average percent workload (percentage of offensive plays as pass dropbacks) was 57.7, below the league average, and there was a -0.44 correlation between his passer rating and his percent workload, game-by-game. The running game was gaining 107 yards per game on the ground and 4.25 yards per carry, featuring a combination of Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, and Damien Williams.

    Bill Lazor was managing Tannehill well during that period, and again we see the effect of run-pass balance and the running game on Tannehill's performance.
     
  36. resnor

    resnor Derp Sherpa

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    Using league average is kind bad isn't it, as you're looking at losing teams. Losing teams throw more, and skew the balance. Ideally you want your offense balanced. I don't get why you complain about balance.
     
  37. The Guy

    The Guy Well-Known Member

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    I don't have any problem with balance, but QBs differ in the degree to which their performance hinges on it.

    With about 7 and a half minutes left in the Super Bowl the Chiefs were down 20-10, with a little more than 5% probability of winning. The whole world knew they'd have to pass the ball to win the game. They were facing perhaps the league's best defense.

    The next 14 offensive plays for the Chiefs were all passes, after which they were up 24-20 with about 2 and a half minutes left. Zero balance, and 14 points, in about five minutes of play, against arguably the league's best defense.

    Few quarterbacks could've done that, obviously. Certainly we don't think Tannehill has the skill set that would allow him to flourish in that scenario. This is precisely why the variables of 1) running game efficiency, and 2) run-pass balance, are so influential for him. He isn't Patrick Mahomes (or Russell Wilson, or Drew Brees, etc.).

    And I'm not saying that anybody here is saying he is Patrick Mahomes or Drew Brees. Just making that distinction with a real-world example and its relationship with run-pass balance.
     
  38. resnor

    resnor Derp Sherpa

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    To be successful in that scenario, though, you have got to have good skill players. If Mahomes was throwing to Hartline/Bess/Naanee do you believe the results would have been the same?
     
  39. Dorfdad

    Dorfdad Well-Known Member

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    I hear you but why is it in the Miami Dolphins forum? He’s not even a player anymore. How’s this relative to the forum? Can’t it move to a proper forum??
     
  40. The Guy

    The Guy Well-Known Member

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    Certainly, though the linchpin in the scenario in my opinion is the ability of the QB to play well in the face of pass rush pressure.

    Mahomes with Hartline/Bess/Naanee may even be better than Tannehill (for example) with Hill/Watkins/Kelce. If the QB can't respond well to the heavy pass rush pressure that's likely to occur in that scenario (2019 Super Bowl fourth quarter), the other skilled position guys hardly matter. The ball won't be getting out of there to anybody effectively very often.

    Not saying Mahomes would've won the Super Bowl with Hartline/Bess/Naanee in the 2019 scenario, but that he would've done better than Tannehill with Hill/Watkins/Kelce in that same scenario. Tannehill in that scenario would've been a sack-fest in my opinion.
     

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