Year 5: The Clock Strikes Twelve
As the 2023 offseason began, all we had heard about was that the Titans were getting ready to blow up their team and start over. Aside from the rumors about Tannehill, Henry, and Byard potentially being on the way out, certain stalwarts like Ben Jones and Taylor Lewan were cut early on.
The signals were well out there, but ultimately, Tannehill, Henry, and Byard would stay, thus temporarily stopping the talk of a full-on rebuild. The Titans would even go out and sign DeAndre Hopkins, whose talent level and career accomplishments speak for themselves.
Even if he was on the wrong side of 30 and not quite his old self, Hopkins was still playing high-level football and someone whose presence alone would elevate the team. The Titans were ready to give it one last go with their current core plus a shiny new weapon for Tannehill, but the offense still had a tall task ahead of them.
And the biggest reason for that was because of the situation on the offensive line. The Titans were replacing almost every starter from 2022, with the only returner being Aaron Brewer, who would play at a different position.
Plus, Tannehill and Henry were continuing to age, as well as a proven good but new offensive coordinator in Tim Kelly taking over play calling. There was plenty of reason to hope that this unit could bounce back, but it would once again take everything to go right, which of course has not happened.
The offensive line has been even worse than most people anticipated. Andre Dillard has been an outright disaster at left tackle, first-round pick Peter Skoronski has only played three games due to an appendectomy, and the other three guys overall have been inconsistent at best.
Really the only things that have gone right are the run game with Henry and electric rookie Tyjae Spears, and Hopkins himself. Kelly has had several creative play calls and gotten good results from them, and the Titans have actually moved the ball downfield on several occasions.
But they have struggled in the red zone, and overall, Kelly just has not been able to elevate the subpar talent on the field like would be needed. And for Tannehill himself, it sucks to admit but the dude is just finished.
In the first game of the year in New Orleans, he was unwatchable, throwing zero touchdowns to three interceptions, and posting a 28.8 passer rating. His only actual good games have been in the two at home, but overall, it has just been a terrible season for Tannehill.
His mobility is not good anymore, and he has thrown just 1128 yards, two touchdowns, six interceptions, and a 71.9 passer rating. No matter how you slice and dice it, those numbers are nearly impossible to defend.
And now, he is dealing with a high-ankle sprain that left him on crutches after the game in London. He almost certainly will be unavailable for the coming game, and given the team's record, plus the fact that they just traded Byard, there is just no point in trying to salvage the season.
Who knows if this is the last snap Tannehill has played for the Titans, as there is a lot of season left and time for him to get healthy. But once again, that matter is inconsequential given that the organization has all but given up on the season.
It is unfortunately with much conviction that we can now say that the Ryan Tannehill era, for all intents and purposes, is over for the Tennessee Titans.