Ryan Tannehill was excellent in his first start for the Titans. The numbers in the box score look great, 23-29 312 yards 2 touchdowns 1 interception 120.1 QB rating, but those numbers don’t come close to telling the story of how well he played. You all know I love Marcus Mariota, but the offense looked light years better with Tannehill under center. He was making tight window throws to wide receivers and throwing guys open all over the field. It was a really nice first start.
With all of that being said, that is probably pretty close to a ceiling game for Tannehill. His career numbers are really inline with Mariota’s career numbers. Now the gap between the two is pretty big right now, but Tannehill is very similar to the guy that Marcus was in the first 3 years of his career. That’s not a terrible thing, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking Tannehill is going to turn into an upper echelon quarterback the rest of the year.
With all of THAT being said, I do think we can see him put up similar numbers in 2 of the next 3 games. The match-up with Tampa Bay is a particularly good one for the Titans passing game. The Buccaneers currently rank 25th in Football Outsiders passing defense DVOA and 1st in rushing defense DVOA. They are giving up 304.5 yards per game through the air and only 68 yards per game on the ground. That, my friends, is what we call a pass funnel defense. Tannehill, Corey Davis, and AJ Brown should eat on Sunday.
So there is no doubt in my mind that the Titans offense will be better with Tannehill under center, but let’s wait and see what they do against a defense like Carolina’s on the road in 2 weeks before we declare everything is fixed.