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Ryan Tannehill silences critics with commanding Miami Dolphins display at Wembley

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The first instalment of the 2014 NFL international Series arrived at Wembley Stadium last night, with the Oakland Raiders hosting the Miami Dolphins.

It was the first of three games scheduled this year and has attracted thousands of British fans, selling out in just a few days. 

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The Miami Dolphins went into week four on the back of two consecutive defeats and quarterback Ryan Tannehill was under increased pressure after a poor start to the season.

But the Dolphins, inspired by Tannehill, gave the sell-out crowd of 83,436 an evening to remember as they scored five touchdowns to crush the Raiders 38-14.

Winless Raiders

It leaves the Raiders without a win this season as they struggled both offensively and defensively, despite making the first score of the game, a touchdown after just six minutes.

After their awful home defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend, Tannehill was well aware that a big performance was needed at Wembley, and he spoke of his delight after the game.

"It was huge. Not only for me but for the team, as well. Just kind of shows the character we have as a team, being able to overcome everything that was going on and come out, travel through a long trip, and play well," he told reporters post-match.

Next Marino?

He has had many critics this season, with some saying he has not lived up to his billing as the most highly-rated quarterback for the Dolphins since Dan Marino, but Tannehill understands that it is still early in the season and he and his teammates can produce a lot more.

"You have to come out and play every week. I'm excited about the step that I took and that the offense took this week, but we have to build off of it. It's just a step. We have a lot of football in front of us still, and we have to keep building on it," he added.

With regards to his own personal game, he knows he needs to keep working hard in order to help his team progress, but admits he is doing what he's being doing all season.

Improved standards

"I felt like regardless if people were writing or talking about me in a certain way, personally, I still wanted to come out and play well. I'm a realist. I envision myself as a good player, and I know I wasn't playing up to those standards the first three weeks," mused Tannehill.

"I wanted to come out and personally play better, and my teammates need that from me. They expect me to play better, and to be able to come out and to finally do that, it felt good."

The 26-year-old also felt leaving the US to play in the UK was something that really benefitted both himself and the team, and despite poor performances in his first three games, he felt no pressure.

Wembley experience

"I think I've been more excited for this week, this game. As the week went on and everything, all the distractions, to finally leave the country, have a long flight, and come over here and get ready for the game. I think I was more excited for this game than I've been for a game in a long time," he concluded.

The Dolphins will be looking to follow up this good win when they return to action on the 12th October, hosting the Green Bay Packers at the Sun Life Stadium.

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Miami Dolphins
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