Reid applauds Tannehill comeback: He can sling it

Print
  • By Grant Gordon
More Columns >

A berth in the Super Bowl is at stake when the Chiefs host the Titans on Sunday.

Just a day prior to the Super Bowl will be the annual NFL Honors and Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill is a leading candidate to bring home NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

It's quite a tale Tannehill is telling this season.

Andy Reid's Chiefs already have one chapter in the Tannehill comeback story. And appreciative as the veteran coach is, he certainly isn't all that excited about the prospects of once more being on the wrong end of an uplifting Tannehill account.

"You're really into those stories, as long as you don't have to play them," Reid said Friday, via team transcript. "But he's done a nice job."

In the teams' dramatic first meeting back in Week 10, Tannehill had a pair of touchdown passes in the Titans' thrilling 35-32 win. In retrospect, it was a seminal moment in Tennessee's season, as it proved the Titans could best a legitimate opponent, it began a 5-2 run to end the season and solidified Tannehill as the team's starting QB going forward.

With the franchise's most important game in roughly 20 years this Sunday, Tannehill has simply been synonymous with success since taking the Titans' starting reins.

Including playoff games -- in which he's emerged as the winning quarterback opposite Tom Brady and Lamar Jackson -- Tannehill is 9-3. He also boasts a 114.8 quarterback rating, a 68.2 completion percentage and 25 touchdowns passes to just seven interceptions.

As the Titans' narrative has gone in the postseason, Tannehill has very much taken on a supporting role to Derrick Henry. However, the first two playoff games in Tannehill's career have seen him make key contributions and above all else he's won. Thus, if some are looking past the quarterback, the Chiefs aren't in that camp.

"You got Ryan Tannehill, I don't know where people got off saying he was falling off, but great quarterback," Chiefs pass rusher Frank Clark said Friday, via team transcript. "Got 4.6 speed still running as a quarterback when he's extending downs with his feet."

With Tannehill starting, the Titans are 9-3 and averaging 29.3 points per game (including the playoffs), just north of 386 yards of offense, a sensational 88.6 red zone touchdown percentage and a 45.5 third-down percentage (per NFL Research). How good are those numbers? They're right on part with the Chiefs with Patrick Mahomes starting: 30.1 points, 385.8 yards, 61.1 red zone TD percentage and 47.4 third-down percentage.

"One of the top offenses in the National Football League since he's been in there," Reid said. "Everybody talks about the run game, but this guy can sling it. He's got some good guys to do it, too. He's playing good football. Smart kid."

Ryan Tannehill's comeback tale will craft another Chiefs chapter on Sunday.

It's a comeback story Reid and his squad, appreciative as they may be, are looking to conclude.

Print