Dan Marino was sacked six times during the 1988 season. Ryan Tannehill was sacked seven times in a single game at Buffalo a couple of years ago.
That’s a stark reminder of how little help Tannehill has gotten from his constantly-changing offensive line these last three seasons, and how deserving he actually is of the $45 million in guaranteed contract-extension money that the Miami Dolphins gave him the other day.
As many times as he’s been sacked, it’s fairly amazing that Tannehill hasn’t missed a start, and even more so that his passing numbers have risen at such a rapid pace. He’ll never come close to Dan Marino in production, but if a guy can earn franchise-quarterback money for toughness alone, Tannehill has done it.
Here is a chart that shows the most passing yards ever thrown in the first three seasons of an NFL quarterback’s career. Match that with the number of times those quarterbacks were sacked over the same period.
Player Passing Yds Times sacked
Andrew Luck 12,957 100
Peyton Manning 12,287 56
Dan Marino 11,431 41
Andy Dalton 11,360 99
Cam Newton 11,299 114
Ryan Tannehill 11,252 139
Will Tannehill be around to collect all his contract-extension treasure if this kind of punishment continues? Is it realistic to expect him to lead the Dolphins anywhere important if his blockers can’t keep him from being crushed?
It’s an interesting debate, but I’m optimistic he has more to show us. For a guy who only started 19 games at the position in college, Tannehill’s first 48 starts as a pro have probably gone better than they should.