Putting Ryan Tannehill in Seahawks' sights

November, 24, 2012
11/24/12
3:45
PM ET
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has one touchdown pass, six interceptions, four sacks and a below-average 41.3 Total QBR score on third down this season.

The Seattle Seahawks defense, despite having some problems on third down this season, should like its chances against Tannehill in these critical situations Sunday.

One question is whether the Seahawks will come after Tannehill or sit back in coverage.

Tannehill has thrown five of his six third-down picks and has a 27.7 QBR score when opponents sent more than the standard four pass-rushers against him (43 QB action plays). He has zero touchdowns, one pick, three sacks and a 52.7 QBR score when opponents apply standard pressure against him on third down (43 plays).

Seattle's opponents have a 75.1 QBR score on third down when Seattle rushes four or fewer, compared to 46.9 when Seattle rushes five or more. That suggests, in general, that the Seahawks are better off when they play aggressively on third down. This has not always been the case.

Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith combined to complete 8 of 9 passes for 73 yards with no sacks and a 99.8 QBR score against Seattle's added pressure. Stafford was just as effective against Seattle's standard pressure. Rodgers was nearly as effective. Brady and Smith were not. They tossed two picks and took two sacks when Seattle rushed four or fewer.

Of course, the Seahawks aren't facing those quarterbacks Sunday. They're facing Tannehill.

The first chart shows third-down QBR scores against Seattle's defense based on how many pass-rushers the Seahawks deployed on those plays. The second chart shows third-down stats against Seattle regardless of how many pass-rushers the Seahawks deployed.

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