- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) - Ryan Tannehill stood before the Miami Dolphins’ daily media throng Wednesday with a three-inch scratch on his neck, a large bandage over his knee and an audible bruise to his ego.

“I’m upset with myself at the way I’ve played,” he said. “The first two weeks were both bad. That’s not a good start. It’s huge to be able to bounce back and perform well.”

Tannehill will try to do so Sunday when the Dolphins (1-1) play host to Kansas City (0-2). He came into his third NFL season expecting to make big strides toward becoming a franchise quarterback, but instead he continues to be inaccurate, indecisive and inconsistent.

Tannehill ranks 29th in the league with a passer rating of 76.1, and the Dolphins rank last at 4.4 yards per pass play, sacks included.

“I haven’t been at my best,” Tannehill said. “It has got to change, and it has got to change fast. I look forward to going out Sunday and changing it.”

The Dolphins overcame a shaky performance by Tannehill in the opener, thanks in part to Knowshon Moreno’s 134 yards rushing. Tannehill was even worse Sunday in a 29-10 loss at Buffalo.

And with Moreno sidelined for at least a month because of an elbow injury, the Dolphins know they must get their passing game going.

There should be opportunities against the Chiefs (0-2), whose opponents have a passer rating of 126.9, highest in the league. Kansas City has allowed five touchdown passes and made no interceptions.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid had little to say Wednesday about the Dolphins’ passing game.

“I think they’ve got players and good coaches,” he said, “and I’ll just leave it at that.”

Tannehill acknowledged his accuracy has been an issue. His completion percentage of 60.5 is slightly above his career rate, but ranks only 28th in the league.

“I just haven’t been putting the ball in the right spot,” Tannehill said. “It boils down to being consistent with footwork.”

His inability to connect deep with Mike Wallace has carried over from last year, and Tannehill has missed his speedy teammate open deep four times. He has misfired on short passes too, resulting in incompletions or shorter-than-expected gains because the receiver couldn’t make the catch in stride.

“There’s no doubt Ryan would tell you it needs to improve,” offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said. “It’s what separates the great ones from the good ones from the barely there ones. It’s going to improve your run-after-the-catch as well as your completion percentage.”

Tannehill said he’s frustrated but not discouraged, and he remains confident.

“When you don’t make the play, you’re not happy with yourself. You look at it on tape and it doesn’t make you feel good inside,” he said. “But we’ve got a long season ahead of us. You flip it around and play well, and you start stringing good games together.”


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL


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