If this was quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s test drive, he hit a few potholes, but was generally able to get the car back to the dealership in one piece.
The Dolphins rookie, in his first opportunity with the starting offense had a mixed bag of a debut, but didn’t necessarily embarrass himself in a half of work. Mostly, he looked like a guy who could use some help.
He went three-and-out on his first two possessions, before gaining a first down just before the end of the first quarter.
And this is against a Carolina defense that struggled mightily a year ago, and didn’t add significant parts to look as dominant as they were Friday night. But the energy the Panthers played with and a few drops kept Tannehill’s night from looking better.
In the second quarter, there was something resembling rhythm. The Dolphins were rolling him out, using some no-huddle to try to keep the Panthers on their heels.
He got a touchdown drive out of the deal, and a 11-of-23 passing for 100 yards at the half seems like an accurate representation of his performance.
But the Panthers actually had a pass rush (which they didn’t last year), and were able to move him off his spot when he did intend to pass from the pocket.
It wasn’t a lot to look at, but the absence of abject failure might have been enough to win him a job.