It's been a bumpy start to a career in the NFL for Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill but, luckily for him, he has a franchise that believes in him despite the outside criticism, and in a couple of seasons time, that faith could pay off. Especially if you look at how his numbers are matching up to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
Tannehill has played five seasons in the NFL since being drafted by the Dolphins with the eighth overall pick in the 2012 Draft, but he missed the entirety of the 2017 season after tearing his ACL last August.
Despite the criticism that has come his way due to his lack of productivity, head coach Adam Gase has stated that Tannehill would remain their starting quarterback for the Dolphins in 2018, passing on the team's potential out of the 29-year-old's contract this offseason.
If his stats are to be used as a measuring stick, however, Miami has every right to have faith in Tannehill, as he currently has very similar stat lines to one future Hall of Fame quarterback in Brees.
As you can see in the tweet below, Tannehill has very similar stats to Brees over the duration of his first 77 games in the NFL. Brees, who played his first 59 games with the San Diego Chargers, didn't exactly set the league alight until his move to the Saints in 2006.
He even had the looming prospect of Philip Rivers over his shoulder in San Diego, and following his injury which opened the door for Rivers to take the starting job, there were concerns even before Brees hit the 77 game mark that Brees wouldn't be a star in the NFL. Yet, as we all know, he proved them wrong.
Tannehill's numbers are very similar to Brees over their first 77 games, as they have the same amount of touchdowns, interceptions, and almost the same win-loss record, pass completion percentage, quarterback rating, and total passing yards.
Ever since Brees moved to New Orleans, he's never dipped under 4,000 passing yards in a single season and has averaged 34 touchdowns a season. Tannehill has already hit the 4,000-yard mark twice, but he has never thrown more than 27 touchdowns in a single season.
If he is to reach the same career heights as Brees, you would have to think Tannehill must become more productive at scoring touchdowns for the Dolphins. Nevertheless, though, the stats show he's on the right path towards having a great career in the NFL.