Upon Further Review: Dolphins Week 3

September, 23, 2013
9/23/13
2:00
PM ET
An examination of four hot issues from the Miami Dolphins' 27-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons:

Still undefeated: The Dolphins are one of six teams with a 3-0 record. Miami is arguably the biggest surprise in the NFL, especially considering its tough early schedule. The Dolphins beat two playoff teams from a season ago -- the Falcons and Colts -- in the past two weeks and have two road wins. The other 3-0 teams are Chicago, Kansas City, New England, New Orleans and Seattle. Denver can join them with a win Monday night against Oakland.

[+] EnlargeRyan Tannehill
AP Photo/Wilfredo LeeRyan Tannehill seems to be maturing with every week and every Dolphins victory.
Second-half dominance: Want to know how the Dolphins are 3-0? They are dominating the second half by outscoring opponents 41-16 in the third and fourth quarters. Miami coach Joe Philbin has given his players Thursdays off during the regular season, the thought being that his players will be fresh for Sunday and late in games. So far, it has worked to perfection. The Dolphins' offense and defense have finished strongly in all three games and carried them to victories. Many players are crediting Philbin's creative approach to the practice week.

Tannehill coming of age: There were questions coming in whether quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a killer instinct after his rookie season. But he is growing up and showing strides right in front of our eyes. Tannehill produced an important, fourth-quarter comeback at home against the Falcons, completing nine of 12 passes on Miami’s final touchdown drive. Tannehill even “suggested” the touchdown play call to Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, who agreed with the quarterback and called the play. Improved quarterback play is the biggest reason Miami is undefeated this season. Tannehill has a stellar 94.3 passer rating in three games. That is much better than last season's passer rating of 76.1.

Ready for the big stage: The Dolphins will be on the national stage next week against the Saints on “Monday Night Football.” Both teams are undefeated and will get plenty of hype entering this game. The Dolphins have certainly earned it, silencing their critics with three quality wins. According to ESPN Stats & Info, 75 percent of teams to start 3-0 since 1990 have made the playoffs. The Dolphins have set themselves up well with an undefeated September.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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