Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace, who has five touchdown receptions in the team's first seven games, is enjoying a breakout 2014 NFL season.
Mike Wallace is quietly having a breakthrough season for the Miami Dolphins.
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Wallace has caught for five touchdowns in Miami's first six games of the 2014 NFL season, per Alain Poupart of the team's official website:
"As quickly as he can run by an opposing cornerback, Mike Wallace will tell you his favorite way to score a touchdown.
"I really want to go 80 yards, honestly,' Wallace said. 'But you take them any way you can.'
"Wallace sure has been getting touchdowns in different ways so far this season, and he’s been getting them on a consistent basis.
"With five touchdowns in the first six games, Wallace already has matched his total for all of 2013. He is well on his way to becoming the first Dolphins player to reach double digits in receiving touchdowns since 2005 when wide receiver Chris Chambers finished with 11 on his way to the Pro Bowl.
"Going back to last season, Wallace has touchdowns in six of the Dolphins’ last seven regular season games, the best stretch for a Miami receiver since Mark Clayton did it all the way back in 1984.
"Wallace, who is on pace to beat his career high of 10 touchdowns in 2010 as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, says the key to his early success is simple.
“'Work, man,' Wallace said. '(You) just keep working. I’ve known Ryan (Tannehill) for like a year and a half now. Naturally, over time you’ll know how your quarterback wants to play and how the wide receiver wants to play. Just practicing every single day, just working hard at it, things will pay off. You’ve just got to stay consistent with working.'
"Wallace has scored one touchdown in every game this season except for the home loss against the Kansas City Chiefs, and just about every single one of them has been memorable.
"In the opener against the New England Patriots, he beat Darrelle Revis in single coverage in the end zone and caught the ball after it was deflected and bounced off his knee.
"Against Buffalo in Week 2, he made a spectacular one-handed catch in the corner of the end zone on a back-shoulder throw.
"Against the Raiders in London, he caught a quick pass at the line of scrimmage and bulled his way into the end zone after being met by a couple of Oakland defenders around the 2-yard line.
"Finally, there was his touchdown at Soldier Field on Sunday where his in-and-out route in the back of the end zone drew praise from both offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and Tannehill."
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Wallace did not haul in a touchdown during the 27-13 Week 8 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, but his two long receptions off passes from Tannehill were key, per The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Chris Perkins:
"Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw two deep passes to speedy wide receiver Mike Wallace on consecutive plays in Sunday's 27-13 victory over Jacksonville. That's an accomplishment by itself.
"And the fact they actually connected on one for a 50-yard gain, well, that's almost unbelievable. But it happened in the third quarter.
"You know the deal on this play. Tannehill has lacked confidence in throwing the deep ball and did not even try to throw one in the last two games.
"On Sunday, Tannehill threw an almost perfect pass down the sideline and Wallace did a great job finding the ball, catching it, and staying inbounds. Wallace expertly touched his right (inside) foot and knee on the ground before his elbow went out of bounds.
"Tannehill went deep to Wallace in the middle of the field in the end zone on the following play but overthrew him.
"'We had a couple of downfield throws called,' Tannehill said. '(I) actually did a pretty good job of sinking underneath with it and trying to go with my check down and got sacked.'
"The offensive line was having protection issues Sunday. They allowed three sacks and have now allowed 17 sacks fo the season. But if they can protect next week against San Diego, expect Tannehill to go deep to Wallace a couple of times."
Wallace has caught for 5,390 yards and 42 touchdowns in 86 career regular-season games for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins, per ESPN stats.
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