Is Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill playing the role of tease again or has he actually crossed over the threshold to being considered a legitimate franchise quarterback?

Time will tell, but the past six games indicate a different quarterback, one who can win late and make pinpoint throws and reads.

It's easy to say that it's all Tannehill, but there are several reasons for the improved play of the quarterback.

It starts with Miami coach Adam Gase who, in his first season as a head coach at any level has the Dolphins at 7-4 after ripping off six consecutive victories. Gase came over from the Chicago Bears, where he helped Jay Cutler have one of his best seasons in 2015.

Before that, Gase worked with Peyton Manning in Denver. That led to talk that he would quickly transform Tannehill into a good NFL starter. It didn't look that way early on this season, but it's looking that way now. Gase's reputation for being a quarterback whisperer grows every week Tannehill plays better.

Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins are on a six-game winning streak. USATSI

In the Dolphins' six-game winning steak, Tannehill has nine touchdown passes and one interception. He had one of the best games of his career last week against the 49ers, throwing for 285 yards and three touchdown passes. He completed 20 of his 30 passes and looked in control for much of the game. I know the 49ers aren't good on defense, but this performance was much more than just good numbers against a bad team.

This also came on the heels of his two fourth-quarter touchdown drives to beat the Los Angeles Rams the week before. A week before that, he made some of the best throws of his career against the San Diego Chargers.

The key to the six-game winning streak for the offense is a simple one: Blocking. When the season began, the Dolphins had injuries on the offensive line and instability at some spots. They struggled to run the ball. They struggled in pass protection.

That put pressure on Tannehill and that led to mistakes. But Gase sent a message when he cut two offensive linemen who had started, which got the line's attention. There was also talk that right tackle Ja'Wuan James was on his way to the bench with his poor play early, but he responded to tough love from Gase.

Then it all clicked. They got healthy. They put rookie first-round pick Laremy Tunsil in at left guard and they suddenly had a big, strong, powerful line. That led to the running game going wild to start the six-game streak. Jay Ajayi ran for 200-plus yards in two straight games and Miami had a good offense. That, in turn, took the pressure off Tannehill.

Even with recent injuries on the offensive line -- down three starters last week -- it is a unit that has played better than early in the season.

Here's a look at a run play from the Steelers game in Week 6, the first in the six-game winning streak. It gives you an idea of how good they were running it for a stretch when all the projected starters on the line were on the field.

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It was a strong-side zone run that was blocked perfectly, which was helped by the Steelers slanting to the weak side.

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That made the blocking easier for the offensive line, especially the right side. James (No. 70) got a great seal block, with both tight ends, Marquise Gray (No. 48) and Dominique Jones (No. 85) getting great blocks. Center Mike Pouncey (No. 51) did a great job getting out to the second level. The hole was gigantic. Jarvis Landry did a nice job blocking down field and Ajayi made Robert Golden miss and it was a 63-yard touchdown run.

What quarterback wouldn't be happy with that type of run game? Teams now had to focus on stopping the run first. That gives Tannehill more favorable matchups outside.

Here's how the 49ers decided to try and play Miami last week. They loaded up against the run. They weren't going to let Ajayi beat them. Here's a look at two run plays from early in the game. Who wasn't in the box?

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They essentially dared Tannehill to beat them. He did.

The great thing about that transition to the run was it goes against what Gase really wants to do, which is to be aggressive in the passing game. But he's smart enough to realize that it's the run game that got his offense going, so he has tried to stay with it. When the 49ers loaded up against his offense, he spread them out and ran from those formations and he let Tannehill take over

The Dolphins run a lot zone scheme plays and Ajayi is a nice runner in that scheme. He runs with power and some scouts say he's an "angry" runner. That's a good thing.

With the run game as the key, it has led to a much better Tannehill. He is much more poised in the pocket. His accuracy has improved, and he seems to have a much better feel of the Gase system now than early in the season.

He looks confident and he has the feel of a guy who knows what he's doing. In the past, Tannehill has looked the part in stretches. But he has never been a guy who had the look of a franchise passer, only one keeping the seat warm with some nice numbers at times, some of them empty.

But let's not forget he is playing in his third system in four-plus seasons. That's a lot of mental gymnastics for a guy who played wide receiver at Texas A&M until his senior season. That can slow growth.

In this Gase system, he looks far more comfortable than he did in any of the others. The deep ball, which was a weakness, has improved and his yards-per-attempt number is up to 7.82, by far the best of his career. That's almost a yard better than his first three seasons and significantly better than 2015.

In the process, his completion percentage is up as well. He is hitting on 66.0 percent of his passes, which is much better than the 61.9 pecent he had in 2015.

One of the biggest changes in Tannehill has been the anticipation. You can see when he comes to the line that he has an idea of where he's going with the football. That hasn't always been the case in his career. He is also doing a much better job of using his eyes to influence the defense.

The curse of any young passer is that he locks onto his target. In the NFL, they eat that alive. The game is so much faster in the league than in college, so things you get away with on that level could be taken to the house for a pick-six.

Moving players with your eyes is a must. Tannehill has taken real steps in that area -- which I think is the biggest improvement in his game.

Here's a look at a play from Week 10 against the Chargers. It was a play where his understanding of the defense, coupled with his ability to hold the safety with his eyes, helped lead to a big completion.

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The Chargers are in a Cover-3 look. That means safety Adrian Phillips has the deep middle. He has to get to the sideline to help on deep balls. The Dolphins ran DeVante Parker on a stutter-and-go route. Corner Craig Mager got beat on the route and he carried him down the sideline. The key, though, was Tannehill looking to the middle after the snap to hold Phillips for a brief second.

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That enabled Tannehill to drop a dime into Parker without the threat of the safety getting over to make a play. What was also impressive was Tannehill standing in to make the throw. Corey Liuget blasted him just as he threw and actually got a personal foul for roughing on the play.

Corey Liuget gets ready to unload on Ryan Tannehill. USATSI

Here's another play that shows Tannehill's ability to use his eyes to influence the defense.

This was a touchdown pass to Dion Sims.

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Tanneill took the snap and looked to his left, the strong side of the formation. When he did that, it moved linebacker Nick Bellore a step to the defensive right. That left a window open on the weak side to fire a shot into Sims for the score.

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If he doesn't get Bellore to move, there's a good chance the linebacker could get over to knock the ball down or take away that window.

Another thing that has impressed in this stretch for Tannehill is his patience. The game has slowed down for him. He isn't as frantic. When something isn't there, he will go elsewhere rather than staying on his read or forcing it.

Here's a look at a play from last week's game that shows that. It was a simple 14-yard pass completion to Kenny Stills, but it shows how Tannehill is using his patience, coupled with his reads, to make plays.

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On this play, Tannehill wanted to fake to Ajayi, turn quickly to his left and fire a shot to Parker in a one-on-one situation with the corner.

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But the corner did a nice job in coverage, and Tannehill passed. He quickly came back to his right and saw Stills beat his man.

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By looking to his left first, he was able to get safety Jaquiski Tartt to move in that direction, which opened up the window for an easy throw.

Now comes the big question: Is it sustainable? Tannehill has had flashes, but a lot of those came in losses or games when the Dolphins were long out of it. As we head to December, the Dolphins are playing meaningful games, with a big one this week at Baltimore.

Can Ryan Tannehill continue to improve and keep the Dolphins winning? USATSI

This is when quarterbacks get defined. Can he lead them to the playoffs?

The Ravens are first in run defense, which means it could be slow going for Ajayi, even if some of the injured linemen are back. That will put it on Tannehill and the passing game.

If he passes this test, then maybe Miami might have that franchise passer after all.

Either that, or Gase is the greatest quarterback guru in league history.