Tannehill’s surprising success this season for the Titans means that another reassessment of the memorable draft class of the 2012 quarterback is in order. It adds intrigue to the speculation surrounding the potential movements of the quarterbacks that will be available during the coming offseason. Such heavy problems can be solved later. For now, it’s Tannehill against Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs in a duel of unlikely quarterbacks, with a trip to the Super Bowl in Miami at stake.
That would be the most triumphant return to South Florida for Tannehill.
“In general, yes, you dream of playing in the Super Bowl,” Tannehill said in Baltimore after the trouble of the Titans last Saturday night of the Ravens. “But as the season progresses, it is one week at a time, do what you can each week to get a victory.”
For much of the season, Tannehill had to do a lot for the Titans to win. He had 22 touchdown passes, only six interceptions and a best passer rating in the league of 117.5 while playing in 12 games during the regular season. He made 10 starts and helped the Titans recover from a 2-4 start when coach Mike Vrabel turned to him and caught starter Marcus Mariota.
During the postseason, Tannehill has been asked much less. He provided a pair of touchdown passes in a 28-12 win over the Ravens. But he has thrown only 29 passes in two games while totaling 160 aerial yards in the victories of the Titans in New England and Baltimore. The Titans hit the Patriots and Ravens with the contusion of the Derrick Henry runner, which totaled 377 yards on the ground.
“It’s definitely unusual,” Tannehill said of consecutive wins in the playoffs with less than 100 yards. “I can’t say I’ve seen it before. But that’s the way the games have developed. We don’t back up much, we don’t throw the ball much. But we are moving the ball … on the ground and Derrick has made a great I’m doing great plays, running physical races and finishing. The offensive line is doing a great job moving the scrimmage line and giving it wrinkles. So, at this point in the season, it’s about doing whatever it takes to win, be throw it 30 [times] or throw it 10 “.
When the Titans exchanged fourth and seventh round draft picks to the Dolphins in March for Tannehill and a sixth round election, they were getting an insurance policy for Mariota. This season was supposed to be a referendum on whether to re-sign it. Instead, the Titans now face a new quarterback dilemma: Should Tannehill, also a possible free agent, sign a lucrative long-term agreement to stay?
He is 31 years old and has a history of injuries, since he lost 24 games in his last three seasons with the Dolphins. He had some productive seasons in Miami, but never fulfilled the promise of being the eighth overall pick in that 2012 draft.
It will be a low season in which quarterbacks Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater and Dak Prescott are also potential free agents. Teams will have options. But some in the league suspect that Tannehill has found a home and the Titans have found a quarterback.
“I don’t know if he will want a higher dollar, and I doubt they are willing to pay him a lot of money,” said a senior office executive with another NFL team, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the field marshal of another franchise. situation. “But in that case one would think they would find a way to solve it because it was a good year.”
If Tannehill continues to thrive in Tennessee in the second act of his NFL career, that would add to the tumult of the 2012 draft class. That draft was supposed to be memorably good for the quarterbacks due to his two headliners, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Things looked promising when Griffin was the NFL offensive rookie of the year for the Washington Redskins and Luck quickly established himself as a professional bowler in Indianapolis.
But now luck is withdrawn. Griffin is a backup in Baltimore. The strength of that draft class comes from the fact that Russell Wilson, a third assailant, was a Super Bowl winner and a MVP contender in Seattle, Nick Foles, a third assailant, was a former Super Bowl MVP for the Philadelphia Eagles, and Kirk Cousins, a fourth assailant. $ 84 million in Minnesota after taking Griffin’s job in Washington.
Is it Tannehill’s turn? The sixth-seeded Titans have already expelled the third-seeded Patriots and the Ravens from the AFC playoffs. The next is the heads of second seed.
“I just try to make sure we all stay level, lower our heads and work,” Henry said in Baltimore. “As I told you there, as I said at the end of [training] camp, “Why not us?” Let’s keep that same mentality. “
However, Vrabel rejected the helpless label for being exaggerated.
“It’s professional football,” he said. “Everyone is paid. Everyone has a job to do. We knew we were going to get on a plane a few weeks ago. And as long as we kept winning, we would continue to get on that plane. And we will do the same this week. We will continue to improve, not let complacency settle down and not be excited to win whatever this is. I don’t even know. We are going to play in the AFC championship. But we have to keep improving. You’ve heard me say it: the teams that do that, keep playing. And those who do not make plans out of season. “
Tannehill playing a Super Bowl in Miami would be an unexpectedly adequate culmination for this unexpected race.
“That is obviously the goal,” Tannehill said. “But as it progresses during the week … I focus on what’s in front of me, as I said, doing everything I can every week to get a victory … It will be a great challenge for us. But I like our team and I like our possibilities. “