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Ryan Tannehill helps power Titans into playoff picture

The Tennessee Titans blitzed the Jacksonville Jaguars for four touchdowns in a six-play stretch, turning a 7-3 tussle into a 35-3 whitewash in the blink of an eye.

Ryan Tannehill hit offensive tackle Dennis Kelly for a touchdown early in the third quarter. Following a Jacksonville three-and-out, Derrick Henry rumbled on the next snap for a 74-yard touchdown. Tennessee recovered a fumbled kickoff and scored on the next play with Henry blasting in again from seven yards out. After yet another Jags three-and-out, the Titans needed just three plays for Tannehill to nail A.J. Brown for a 65-yard score.

Four TDs. Six plays. 6:09 of game time. Game. Blouses.

"That was a fun stretch there, just guys executing," Tannehill said, via the team's official website. "You never know what can happen. We have playmakers on this field. That was a crazy stretch. The defense got us the ball back quickly right after that first touchdown, and obviously on the kickoff return. Guys made plays. We had opportunities, and we took advantage of them."

Henry rumbled over the Jags once again, but it's been Tannehill's play since entering the Titans' lineup that has turned around the trajectory in Tennessee.

Mike Vrabel's squad is 4-1 since he made the QB switch, pushing Tennessee into the thick of the AFC playoff picture at 6-5.

"You know, I couldn't even tell you how many we've won -- I know we've won one in a row," Vrabel said. "So we're able to just get a leg up in what we're trying to do. Try to find our next opponent, figure out where we play them and when we play them and start to prepare for them. This will be a huge week for us with the holiday season, with the holiday, Thanksgiving and a division opponent."

The Titans could bully their way into a playoff spot and have a chance to snatch the AFC South away from the Houston Texans or Indianapolis Colts.

Tennessee faces the Colts in Week 13 and jousts with the Texans twice in the final three weeks, sandwiched around a game against the New Orleans Saints. If the Titans sweep all their remaining division games, it could be Tennessee taking the AFC South.

After starting the season 2-4 under Marcus Mariota, it's been Vrabel's move to Tannehill that has jumpstarted a comatose offense.

The Titans are averaging 13.1 more points per game under Tannehill, 93.9 more yards, and are far better on third downs.

Tannehill has a passer rating of 100-plus in four of his starts this season. For the year, Tannehill's passer rating as a starter (114.9) is 23.2 points higher than Mariota's (91.7).

Remarkably, among quarterbacks with at least five starts, Tannehill's 114.9 passer rating leads the NFL among 34 qualifying QBs, entering Monday.

With Sunday's performance, Tannehill joined Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson as the only QBs with a passer rating of 100-plus against the Jags this season. Pretty good company.

After years of wasting away in Miami, Tannehill is displaying trust in receivers, ability to move the chains in big spots and willingness to use his legs when needed, and he's operating the Titans offense at max-capacity.

With the QB headed to free agency, if Tannehill keeps his hot streak alive to close the season, he'll be one of the more interesting signal-callers set to hit the open market in 2020.

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