After benching Marcus Mariota against the Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel named Ryan Tannehill the starter for Week 7’s tilt with the Los Angeles Chargers. Not only would the Titans win the game, but Tannehill’s 312 passing yards were the most by a Titans quarterback since Week 3 of 2018.
If you include the Broncos game, Tannehill completed 80% of his passes (36 of 45) for 456 yards in less than six quarters of play. His 105.2 passer rating over that span exceeds Mariota’s 91.7 for all of 2019. It’s safe to say the Titans offense found an immediate boost with Tannehill under center.
For this week’s edition of QB Hot Read, I take a closer look at how Tannehill went from Mariota’s backup to producing an elite 47.07 OSM for the 2-4 Titans. The only signal-caller on Sunday responsible for 40 or more percent of his offense’s production hit on a lot of timed throws designed to beat zone coverage.
Tannehill finished the contest 8 of 9 for 134 yards and a score on intermediate pass attempts (10-19 air yards). It was this kind of efficiency combined with tighter windows to throw into that lead to Tannehill’s staggering analytics.
Not that there weren’t any hiccups. Tannehill did throw a few ill-advised passes, including an interception, though he was hit as he released. There’s risk involved when throwing timing routes into zones that close just as fast as they open up. With that said, he’s thrown 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions since entering the Broncos game. He also fumbled the ball twice on Sunday.
Most importantly, Tannehill put his best foot forward in the 4th quarter. Entering the final frame with the game tied 10-10, Tannehill led consecutive touchdown drives to take a 23-13 lead with 6:39 remaining. He’d make some nice plays in the process.
While it’s a small sample size, the tape (as always) does not lie. Ryan Tannehill should remain the starting quarterback for the Titans. Not only is he the better option, but he’s capable of putting this team in a position to make the postseason. Now 3-4, the Titans have three favorable matchups before a Week 11 bye.
Tannehill will need to capitalize these next three weeks because the final stretch of games includes the Colts, Texans twice, and Saints. It will be interesting to see whether or not Week 7 was an anomaly or a taste of things to come. Either way, Tannehill has much to prove, and Tennessee Titans fans will take any quality quarterback play they can get.
Catch up: Week 6 edition of QB Hot Read.
Make sure you’re getting the latest installment of QB Hot Read as a new quarterback film study drops every Wednesday with Shane G. Tyler, the Content Director and contributor for Pro Football Network’s Film Room. You can follow him on Twitter @SugaShane15.