It is time for Tannehill to step up when it matters most
In the team’s surprise run to the AFC Championship in the 2019 playoffs, while he was efficient, he was not much of a factor during much of the stretch, as Henry was doing nearly all of the heavy lifting. And when the Chiefs bottled him up and forced the Titans to do damage through the air, it was not possible.
During last year’s Wildcard game against the Baltimore Ravens, they zoned in on Henry and held him to 40 yards on 18 carries. They knew that the Titans would keep running the ball meaning that Ryan Tannehill would have to beat them with A.J. Brown and a handful of skill position players who were cut in the offseason.
During this year’s game against the Bengals, besides play-calling, he had everything he could have asked for at his disposal. Brown and Jones were healthy and at full strength, Henry and D’Onta Foreman were a scary ground game duo (in theory), the offensive line held up, and the defense was an absolute menace to the opposition. Even with the plethora of weapons that Tannehill had, he shot himself in the foot with awful decision-making and turned in one of his worst three performances in the two-tone blue.
In conclusion, there are many problems with this offense, and many of them start and end with Todd Downing. But as for Tannehill himself, he needs to help his case by rising to the occasion and elevating his team at the most important times.
As mentioned before, bringing in Kelly should give fans much more faith that Tannehill and the Titans’ offense can be a force like it was in 2020. While he still is never going to be as elite as Patrick Mahomes, if you combine the Titans 2020 offense with their 2021 defense, they can beat any team in the NFL potentially win a Super Bowl.
Tannehill has stepped up many times during the regular season to put the Titans over the top, but he has to dig deep in order to convert that to the playoffs. If not, then Tennessee will have to look for a replacement sooner rather than later.