The Tennessee Titans are making the QB1 change from Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill.
Barring an extraordinary resurgence from Ryan Tannehill, The Tennessee Titans will likely be looking for their next franchise quarterback in the 2020 offseason.
As unlikely as it may be that Tannehill will be the long-term answer, he deserves his opportunity for a second chance just like Marcus Mariota undoubtedly will eventually get his somewhere else. If you genuinely still believe in Mariota, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t give the former eighth-overall pick the benefit of the doubt as well.
One thing that derailed Tannehill’s time in Miami was the fact that he struggled to stay on the field towards the latter part of his tenure. However, Tannehill opened his career with four consecutive 16-game seasons, something Mariota has yet to do in his career.
As a Dolphin, Tannehill completed 62.8 percent of his passes for 20,434 yards, 123 touchdowns, and 73 interceptions during the six years he started for them. Not exactly terrible numbers considering the talent, or lack thereof, that consistently surrounded him in Miami.
For comparison, Mariota has completed 62.9 percent of his passes, 13,183 yards, 76 touchdowns, and 44 interceptions during his five-year career in Tennessee.
During that time span, Mariota has only thrown for 20-plus touchdowns once (26 in 2016). In fact, combining Mariota’s passing touchdown total from 2017 and 2018 (24) is still inferior to his career year from 2016. Since then, he has consistently regressed aside from a few bright moments here and there.
As for Tannehill, he has thrown for at least 24 touchdowns in a single season on three separate occasions (2013, 2014, 2015). His career-high is 27, one more than Mariota’s. He has not thrown more than 12 interceptions in a single season since 2013.
In 2016, Ryan Tannehill had the Dolphins in position to be legitimate contenders come January with a very respectable record of 8-5. However, 13 weeks into the season the former Texas A&M star tore his ACL, putting an end to his 2016 campaign.
Prior to the injury, Tannehill was completing 67.1 percent of his passes, while throwing 19 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. His play prior to the injury allowed his team to sneak into the playoffs where it was extremely evident that he was severely missed.
This injury affected him for the next two seasons, as he subsequently missed the next 19 games of his career. He made his comeback to the football field in 2018 and was playing decent football until the injury bug once again got a hold of him and derailed his season.
The injury bug is one of the main things that has held back both Mariota and Tannehill from reaching their full potential in the NFL. But the talent is unquestionably there for both of these quarterbacks when they are able to stay healthy.
Both Mariota and Tannehill were top-10 picks in their respective drafts, both have had their fair share of individual success, and both have helped lead their teams to at least eight victories on three separate occasions.
Both of these quarterbacks have played big in key moments throughout their career as well. In his five year career, Mariota has nine fourth quarter comebacks, and 11 game-winning drives — including the road playoff victory over the Chiefs. Tannehill, on the other hand, had 15 fourth quarter comebacks and 13 game-winning drives during his six years as the starter in Miami.
Don’t get me wrong, Ryan Tannehill wasn’t exactly lighting the stat sheet on fire during his time in Miami. He did have his fair share of struggles as well. There are multiple reasons as to why the Dolphins decided to move on from him. But throughout his NFL career, Tannehill has shown the ability to successfully manage a game when he has legitimate talent around him – something Mariota hasn’t been able to do consistently in 2019.
In fact, You could make a valid argument that Ryan Tannehill has never been complimented by the type of defense that currently resides in Tennessee.
Not to mention, he has multiple weapons to work with out wide as well. A.J. Brown and Corey Davis have proven to be explosive when they have the ball in their hands. Getting the ball to them on a consistent basis has been the real problem, in large part due to the inept play from the offensive line this season. That’s something that has to get cleaned up if any quarterback is going to have even the slightest success back there.
In conclusion: No one is confusing Ryan Tannehill for Patrick Mahomes or anything, but to act like going from Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill is some sort of major downgrade is simply false.
Also, similarly to Mariota, Tannehill is probably not going to be the long-term solution at QB for Tennessee. But if he can simply manage a game, move the ball down the field while challenging opposing defenses on a consistent basis – he will be an upgrade from the type of QB play that this team is currently getting.