NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The look on the faces of quarterback Ryan Tannehill and different Tennessee Titans gamers stated all of it as they walked off the sphere after a crushing house loss to the Cincinnati Bengals within the divisional spherical of the playoffs final season.
Having completed the common season with the highest seed within the AFC and incomes a first-round bye, the Titans had a golden alternative to do one thing particular, however it was swept from below their ft.
With three interceptions within the 19-16 loss, Tannehill bore the majority of the criticism. He known as the loss “brutal,” saying it will take a very long time to recover from it.
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“It is a deep scar,” Tannehill stated of the loss. “Each time I closed my eyes I form of rewatched the sport. I did not get an entire lot of sleep for weeks. I used to be in a darkish place, and it took me some time, lots of work to get out of it.”
Tannehill revealed that he went to remedy within the offseason to assist him escape the darkish place.
“Psychological restoration is a giant factor for all of us,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel stated. “Our potential to deal with issues positively and sadly negatively which have occurred to us. Attempt to preserve issues in perspective and ensure we perceive the place we’re proper now.”
The bounce again from such a devastating finish to final season was compounded by a draft day commerce through which the Titans jettisoned Tannehill’s favourite go catcher (and Tennessee’s main go catcher since he got here within the league in 2019) when A.J. Brown was dealt to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 18th and one hundred and first general picks.
Tannehill vowed to method the season with a ardour for profitable in contrast to any time earlier than. There have not been drastic modifications in his management type or preparation. Remaining in line with what he is executed earlier than has benefited each Tannehill and his teammates, in response to Titans quarterbacks coach Pat O’Hara.
“As a quarterback, a pacesetter, you gotta be the identical man every single day,” O’Hara stated. “That method individuals know what to anticipate. That is the one factor that pops out with Ryan. He is been actually constant together with his demeanor and observe habits, the best way he prepares.”
Tannehill and the Titans (7-3) are attempting to run it again, with the Bengals (6-4) up subsequent Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS) in Nashville at Nissan Stadium.
Getting one other crack on the Bengals, albeit with much less at stake this time round, would appear like a redemption alternative to Tannehill. Nonetheless, he is not going that route.
“That was final 12 months, and half this staff wasn’t even right here,” Tannehill stated concerning the matchup. “This can be a new staff dealing with one other new staff. Clearly, it is a sport that we wish to win. Nevertheless it has nothing to do with final 12 months.”
Tannehill is true. The Titans solely returned 29 gamers from final season.
However by means of eight video games this season — he missed two video games with an ankle damage — Tannehill has proven shades of his previous self. Tannehill has thrown 4 interceptions (1.9% of his passes), which resembles the 2019 and 2020 seasons when he solely threw six (2.1% of his passes) and 7 (1.5% of his passes) respectively.
Tannehill’s 14 interceptions (2.6% of his passes) final season surpassed his earlier two-year complete with the Titans.
The timing for a rematch in opposition to Cincinnati is good for the Titans as a result of Tannehill is coming off his finest passing sport this season.
Tannehill threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns in final week’s 27-17 win over the Inexperienced Bay Packers. It was his most passing yards in a sport since Week 2 of final season when he threw for 347 yards in opposition to the Seattle Seahawks.
Rookie receiver Treylon Burks got here alive within the Packers sport, posting seven receptions for 111 yards. Burks went by means of his share of trials and tribulations throughout minicamp when he confronted questions on his conditioning and bronchial asthma which stored him from taking part.
Via all of it, Tannehill was a steadying pressure for Burks and confirmed confidence within the rookie from the beginning.
“He has been actually encouraging,” Burks stated. “He’s at all times ensuring that I’m in the best spots. He simply has at all times had confidence in me.”
Burks clearly did not play in final season’s postseason sport, however his presence the final two video games after lacking the earlier 4 with a turf toe damage has possibly sparked two of Tannehill’s finest two performances of the season.
That is the boldness they hope to construct on in opposition to the Bengals, whether or not it is a redemption sport or not.