Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill must win more in 2015

DAVIE, Fla. -- Few non-elite quarterbacks received more offseason buzz among analysts and fans than Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The fourth-year quarterback is a popular pick to have a breakout season, but there is one key statistic that continues to cast doubt.

For all of Tannehill’s improvements and a gaudy $96 million contract extension, he has a 23-25 record as a starter and has yet to post a winning season. In fact, Tannehill is only fourth among quarterbacks in his own draft class in win percentage.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (.750), Andrew Luck (.687) of the Indianapolis Colts and Nick Foles (.625) of the St. Louis Rams all have higher win percentages than Tannehill (.479) -- and the winning comparisons aren't close.

OnlyRobert Griffin III (.400), who was benched by the Washington Redskins this season, and Brandon Weeden (.238) have lower winning percentages than Tannehill among 2012 quarterbacks with at least 10 starts. Tannehill and Weeden are the only quarterbacks among the 2012 group who didn't make the playoffs.

Expectations are high for Miami this year. The roster is stacked on both sides of the football, highlighted by the addition of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Tannehill knows a lot rests on his shoulders and it starts with Sunday’s regular-season opener against the rebuilding Washington Redskins.

“I’m not curious; I’m confident in the way that we’re going to respond,” Tannehill said. “But I want to see it happen. I want to see us play a full game, push through, have a great fourth quarter no matter what the score is and find a way to win. That’s what it comes down to, being able to overcome adverse situations and finding ways to win.”

If the Dolphins and Tannehill are to make the next step this year, these are the kind of games they must win. Miami plays seven of its first nine games away from Sun Life Stadium, and Washington is a team coming off a 4-12 season with quarterback instability.

The Dolphins are favorites. However, Week 1 can be unpredictable, especially on the road with a fired-up crowd at FedEx Field.

Make no mistake, the 2015 Dolphins are Tannehill’s team. He has taken on an increased leadership role with them on and off the field.

“I think it’s just kind of the course of growing in a career,” Tannehill said. “I’m not a super young guy anymore. I’m not old, either, but I’ve been around a little bit. I think that just kind of happens over the course of a career.”

Putting up numbers is no longer good enough for Tannehill. He must string together enough wins to produce the Dolphins' first winning season and playoff berth since 2008.