Ryan Tannehill a mixed bag in first start

Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill's first NFL start got off to a sluggish start. The offense struggled early and Miami's first-team defense gave up 17 first-quarter points.

But the No. 8 overall pick showed poise by hanging in and warming up in the second quarter. Tannehill started the game completing just 3 of 10 passes. But Tannehill completed five of his next six on Miami's only touchdown drive in the second quarter.

Tannehill finished the half 11-for-23 with 100 yards and was sacked three times. Carolina leads Miami, 20-7, at intermission.

Tannehill by no means lit it up, but he did make a few nice plays. His best throw was a 20-yard completion to former college teammate Jeff Fuller on third down. That set up Miami's 71-yard scoring drive.

But there was a big difference between Tannehill carving up Tampa Bay's backups at home last week and playing against Carolina's first-team defense on the road. Tannehill still has plenty of areas to grow, and there were some throws Tannehill would like to have back. But he didn't make bad decisions and didn't turn over the football.

We probably won't see much of Tannehill until next week's third preseason game. Dolphins veteran quarterback Matt Moore and backup Pat Devlin are expected to get most of the reps in the second half.