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Congemi's Takeaways: Dolphins Vs. Patriots

Posted Jan 4, 2016

Here are several of my key observations from yesterday's Dolphins-Patriots game.

The Miami Dolphins (6-10) saved their best for last on Sunday, grabbing their first divisional win of the year in a 20-10 defeat of the New England Patriots. Ryan Tannehill threw for 350 yards and two scores in the victory, while the defense suffocated Tom Brady and the New England offense for much of the afternoon.

Here are my takeaways from Sunday’s season finale against the Patriots.

1) Tannehill Shines - It’s no secret that it’s been an up and down season for Ryan Tannehill, but on Sunday he was at his best. Tannehill threw for 350 yards, two touchdowns and finished the day with a QB rating of 112.8. But it wasn’t just the stat line for Tannehill on Sunday, it was the little things that he did well that stuck out. He threw an accurate deep ball on more than one occasion. He was clutch on third down, something he’s struggled with all season long. He even used his feet in timely situations, like his third down run of 19 yards late in the game. During a season of highs and lows, Sunday was definitely a high for Ryan Tannehill.

2) Deadly Duo - We knew before the year that second year receiver Jarvis Landry was a star in the making, but we didn’t know much about rookie DeVante Parker. On Sunday, Parker capped off his rookie campaign with five catches, 106 yards and a touchdown. Combined with Landry, the two accounted for 11 catches, 178 yards and the score. In a season full of negatives, the emergence of Parker this season (26 receptions, 494 yards, 3 TD’s) should give fans something to be excited about heading into next season, especially when you consider he missed the first half of the season due to injury. With Parker and Tannehill establishing a really nice chemistry to go along with Jarvis Landry, something dynamic could come out of this offense next year if the right buttons are pressed.

3) Clutch Play - Third down conversions have been such an achilles heel for the Dolphins this season that it’s become repetitive at this point. On Sunday, the demons that have haunted this offense for so long were finally conquered. The Dolphins went 8-17 on third down yesterday, while holding the Patriots to an abysmal 4-14. When you have those two stats going for you you’re going to be tough to beat, and that’s exactly what happened on Sunday. Ryan Tannehill hit a couple big third down throws, including deep balls to Parker and Greg Jennings. Lamar Miller, Damien Williams and Jay Ajayi were big on the money down as well. When you have an offensive line that only gives up one sack, and you have consistent play on first and second down, you should always have success on third down, and that was exactly the case against the Patriots.

Other Takeaways

● Jarvis Landry broke the NFL record for most receptions in first two seasons with 194. Say what you want about the Dolphins draft picks over the years, but this one was a grand slam.
● Nice to see Greg Jennings play a prominent role in the offense on Sunday with four catches for 74 yards.
● Eight different players caught a pass from Ryan Tannehill. He was dealing.

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by our columnists and bloggers represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.