Between a struggling offensive line and poor blitz pickup by the running backs, the 3-1 Dolphins cannot protect the quarterback.
Although Tannehill has shown tangible signs of progress in the form of game-winning drives, pre-snap reads and improved third-down play, he's also on pace for 20 interceptions, 24 fumbles and 72 sacks.
If Miami is serious about a playoff run this season, Tannehill has to cut down on the negative plays whether it's by getting rid of the ball faster or receiving tighter protection up front.
Here's what else we learned in Monday night's game:
- Saints coach Sean Payton gave a clinic on playing with the lead in today's NFL. Rather than take the air out of the ball and beg the clock to run out, Payton kept the pedal to the metal and buried the Dolphins in an avalanche of points. It's impossible to measure how much this team missed his in-game coaching last season.
- If the Saints have a weakness, it's an offensive line that too often loses the battle of the trenches in the ground attack. They haven't had a running back top 45 yards in a game and are averaging a paltry 3.35 yards per carry on the season. In the Saints' defense, the Dolphins' defensive line is nasty.
- Defensive end Cameron Jordan and outside linebacker Junior Galette are "making the leap" for the Saints, while rookie Kenny Vaccaro has drawn comparisons to a young Troy Polamalu and Rodney Harrison. Don't forget defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker, who has been a pocket pusher up the gut. Ryan's defense brings the heat.