Ignore the box score scouts Tennessee Titans fans.
Ryan Tannehill was fantastic last night for the Tennessee Titans and if anyone tells you otherwise then they are either biased or blind. Although, I guess you could throw in laziness as an excuse too.
What I mean by that is, there are a lot of people who watched the game last night and were transfixed by Titans running back Derrick Henry, and rightfully so.
With Henry bulldozing his way to greatness, pundits and talking heads that laughed off the possibility of the Titans even covering in this game (they were 10 point underdogs) were left scrambling and grasping at reasons why they were so wrong.
Having not really paid attention to the game, you can almost see them pulling up box scores to defend their bad takes earlier. Like say…this one (NSFW language):
The thing is, the way this is all being framed it sure seems that a lot of people are trying to imply that Ryan Tannehill isn’t doing a good job and that the pass offense isn’t working. To back that up they are using passing yards as their measurement, but that really isn’t a great way to explain what is going on.
As most Titans fans know, the offense right now is incredibly easy to explain conceptually, but difficult to stop in actuality. It reads like a checklist:
1. Run the ball with Henry: Did this work? If not go to option 2.
3. Give Tannehill time to extend plays and make good throws to the other receivers on the roster. Did this work? If not go to option 4.
4. Wildcard! Run a strange personnel group out there or throw a bomb, dealer’s choice.
The problem is, team haven’t been able to stop Derrick Henry consistently so the Titans never even have to go to option 2 and on the rare occasion that they do, they can’t stop that.
If a team can’t stop Henry, then why force the pass at all? So then shouldn’t we judge the QB off of the few plays that he is asked to make?
We should all be able to agree on that, and if we do then Tannehill played fantastic last night. On just 14 throws, here is what Tannehill accomplished:
-45-yard touchdown to Khalif Raymond
-12-yard touchdown to Jonnu Smith
-A dropped touchdown from Darius Jennings that hit him in the hands
-A third down conversion to A.J. Brown inside the Ravens redzone late in the game.
-No interceptions, and a rushing touchdown.
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That is a pretty outstanding day against a defense like the Baltimore Ravens, but because he didn’t get two quarters of garbage time to compile stats people will tell you that Tannehill was outplayed by Lamar Jackson which was never the case at any point in the game.
In summary, don’t listen to people clearly trying to push the narrative that Tannehill is playing any less than great, because they only thing they have to back that data is a lack of volume from the passing game.
Tannehill has been aggressive and the perfect compliment to Derrick Henry when the Titans decide to abuse the special attention that Henry gets. He deserves more praise than he is getting right now, so here is his appreciation post.