Tennessee Titans have an elite quarterback in Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: The Tennessean) /

The Tennessee Titans elite QB

The Tennessee Titans offense has rotated through a record number of players this season due to injuries and COVID.

Throughout the season, the offense has really only had one constant, and that is quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

In his tenure with the Titans, Tannehill has been questioned by the national media after every accomplishment the Titans have made. People say he simply piggybacks off the talent of Derrick Henry or that he is unable to win games himself.

Yet, the Titans finish the season 12-5 and earn the top seed in the AFC despite losing Derrick Henry in Week 8 (not to mention the injuries at wide receiver). All of a sudden Mike Vrabel is a Coach of the Year favorite, but no one is talking about the guy playing the most important position on the field.

So, something is not adding up.

The problem is that statistics that are traditionally used to indicate successful quarterbacks are used out of context to support the narrative that Tannehill is, at best, an average quarterback not capable of winning games himself.

This is despite the fact that Ryan Tannehill posts a ridiculous 30-13 record as the starter for the Titans.

For example, the notion of what an “elite” quarterback is can be seen in the MVP race of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Brady supporters point to his league-leading total yards or touchdowns. For Rodgers, people have highlighted his quarterback rating or interceptions.

All of those statistics are fair measures of quarterback play to a certain extent. However, if you use any of those statistics to evaluate Tannehill’s season and you would assume the Titans are a middle-of-the-pack team.

Clearly, the traditional measures of “elite” quarterbacks do not fairly evaluate Ryan Tannehill’s success as seen in his win/loss record over three years. And without a doubt, the pattern of unfair scrutiny on Tannehill’s unique and effective skill set has contributed to the continued perception that the Titans are an imposter of a first seed.

So if not measured in yards or touchdowns thrown, quarterback rating, or other typical measures, how should Tennessee Titan’s fans evaluate their signal-caller?