When the Miami Dolphins selected Ryan Tannehill with the 8th pick of this year’s draft, they didn’t expect him to be their starting quarterback, at least not this year. The prevailing theory was that he would sit on the bench this year and start next year. Tannehill obviously didn’t get that memo; he went out and grabbed the starting job before the first game of the season. When the Seahawks selected Russell Wilson 67 picks later, they certainly didn’t expect him to be their starting quarterback. Wilson worked his way into the starting job and hasn’t relinquished it since. Now eleven weeks since these two quarterbacks made their first NFL starts, their teams face off on the field.
Both quarterbacks have led their teams to a better record through ten games than they had at this point last year. Tannehill’s Dolphins are one game improved from last year’s three and seven record; the Seahawks have seen a two game improvement from their record of four and six from the first ten games of last season. The Seahawks’ 6-4 record is currently good for second in their division. The Dolphins are also at second in their division, but they are locked in a three way tie. The Dolphins are coming off a three game losing streak, the Seahawks off of two straight wins and a bye week. If the Seahawks are going to continue their win streak, they are going to need a solid game from their quarterback against the NFL’s 27th ranked pass defense. If the Dolphins are going to end their streak of losses, their quarterback is going to need to play well against a significantly tougher defense. Tannehill is facing the NFL’s third ranked pass defense, a unit that is allowing only 142 yards a game, a full 122 yards less than his defense is allowing.
Fortunately for Tannehill, his defense is facing off against a quarterback who has thrown eight interceptions in five road games this season. Unfortunately for Tannehill, Wilson has yet to throw an interception against a team from the AFC East; he’s played two games against the division and thrown five touchdowns. Tannehill has played two games against the NFC West and thrown three touchdowns against two interceptions. What I’m trying to say is that Tannehill should struggle against the Seahawks. Tannehill struggling won’t be enough for the Seahawks to win. If they are going to win, they are going to need a good game from their rookie quarterback.
Russell Wilson is going to need to take advantage of the weakness of the Dolphins’ pass defense because the Seahawks should have a hard time running the ball on Sunday. The Dolphins boast a top ten rush defense and are allowing only 96.8 yards a game on the ground. If Wilson is able to play well against the Dolphins, he should be able to lead his team to a win on Sunday. If the Seahawks pull off the win on Sunday, they will improve their road record to 2-4 and will remain a half game behind the San Francisco 49ers in the race for the NFC West championship.