Why the Tennessee Titans Biggest Concern Might be a Good Thing

Tennessee Titans v New Orleans Saints
Tennessee Titans v New Orleans Saints / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

Despite the misconceptions that a big chunk of the fan base seems to have, over the last four seasons, Ryan Tannehill has been a huge part of the success that the Tennessee Titans have had.

All you have to do is go back to 2021 when he dragged an offense that missed Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, and Julio Jones for huge stretches of the season, to the 1-seed in the AFC. During that regular season, the Tennessee Titans beat more playoff teams than anyone in history, and they did that with Ryan Tannehill leading an offense that was using players like Chester Rogers, Anthony Firkser, Jeremy McNichols, Dez Fitzpatrick, Cameron Batson, and Cody Hollister.

Strictly talking about the regular season, Ryan Tannehill has been one of the most effective quarterbacks in franchise history and there isn't even an argument against that.

When it comes to the playoffs, he had a terrible game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but even when you factor that in, his playoff stats have been solid, but obviously unspectacular: 69 of 110 (62.7%), 754 yards, 6.9 yards per attempt, 8 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions.

On Sunday, the Tennessee Titans lost that game because of Ryan Tannehill and his mistakes.

In that game, there were wide-open receivers, running backs with space in front of them, solid blocking from the offensive line, and the defense was on fire. Sure there were some bad calls including a call that was a 10-point swing in favor of the New Orleans Saints, but the Titans had chances to win that game.

For whatever reason, Ryan Tannehill was trying to do way too much and he was trying to force explosive plays instead of being a game manager.

The Tennessee Titans were only going to go as far as Ryan Tannehill would let them go, and on Sunday he just didn't do anything to help the team win. The good news is, if that continues to be the case, history says that this will be a very good Tennessee Titans team.

An alternative look for Tennessee Titans fans

Think about it, if the running game is working and if wide receivers are running free, has there ever been a time in Tannehill's time with the Tennessee Titans that suggests that he won't start making plays?

For years Tannehill has been making plays to receivers that haven't been able to create space for themselves and there have been large stretches where the running game was three yards and a cloud of dust for three quarters until Derrick Henry could make something happen.

If from here on out the team goes as far as Ryan Tannehill can take them, then we shouldn't see another game like Week 1 all season long.

Look back at 2020 when the Tennessee Titans scored 30+ points per game. The reason why that offense worked so well was because they didn't have to force plays, they trusted that the players and the scheme would put them in a position to win games.

Sure, Derrick Henry was incredible with 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns, but don't forget that Ryan Tannehill also accounted for nearly 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns.

Those touchdowns came from some explosive plays if they happened to be there, but if the Titans needed to grind out a 13-play drive taking what the defense gave them, they could do that too.

If Week 1 was a sign of what is coming for the rest of the season from Ryan Tannehill, then we could be talking about a quarterback change as soon as Week 7. However, if Tannehill does what he has done throughout his entire career, settles down, and plays smart football, then this team still has all of the hallmarks of a playoff team.

Remember, even in 2020 when the Titans were one of the elite offenses in the NFL, they only scored 16 points to start the season against the Denver Broncos. Take a deep breath, be patient, and let's see whether this is the Ryan Tannehill that helped turn the Tennessee Titans into an annual playoff team, or if this is a clear regression from a quarterback who isn't seeing the field like he used to.