The biggest change from Ryan Tannehill‘s switch from Miami to Tennessee has been his dominant run game that has taken the burden off of him. Their run game was dominant and it was the stronghold of their offense. As long as he did not turn the ball over, he was doing his job. He has basically been their game manager (but a damn good one) for this offense in his two years as starter. This year, he needs to take command and be more than a game manager that protects the football.
Tannehill’s Fire Power
The Titans offense has the most fire power it has had in a long time. Julio Jones is still one of the best receivers in the NFL. He will be the best weapon Tannehill has had in his career. They still have A.J. Brown who can take any play to the house with his ability to make things happen after the catch. Oh, and let’s not forget about the King, Derrick Henry. They also drafted two receivers and brought in Josh Reynolds through free agency. Dez Fitzpatrick, a fourth round pick, is another guy that should help stretch the field for them. He averaged over 18 yards per catch in each of his last two seasons at Louisville. They are loaded up and should expect even more out of Tannehill in 2021 than they have had in his first two seasons.
The New-Look Offense
I discussed why the Titans needed to make a Julio Jones trade in my other article, but I expected it to cost a lot more than it did. That brings us to what the offense will look like after the Julio Jones trade. The Titans will still run the ball A LOT, but they will definitely open the offense up more. Arthur Smith is gone so they are sure to switch things up a bit. They ran a lot of 12 personnel in 2020 and I expect much more 11 personnel this season.
The tight end room is the weakest on the offense, so they’ll almost be forced to use more 11 personnel. They will try to take advantage of their deep receiving room and get more 3-receiver sets out there. Derrick Henry will still have plenty of holes to run through with their offensive line. The difference is opposing defenses will not be able to account for him and stack the box. They will have to worry about all of their weapons at the same time. I expect a career year out of Tannehill.
Tannehill’s Career with the Titans
Tannehill came out of nowhere to save the Titans. He had a career high 70.3% completion percentage, threw 22 TD’s to just 6 INT’s, but averaged just 228.5 yards per game. However, his QB rating was by far his career high to that point at 117.5. Pro Football Focus had Tannehill ranked the number three overall QB in 2019 as well. This was a coming out party for Tannehill.
It wasn’t quite as dominant of a season for him, but still a very good season. He completed 65.5% of his passes, threw 33 TD’s (career high) to just 7 interceptions, and improved his yards per game up to 238.7 yards per game. He had another really good QB rating of 106.5. Pro Football Focus graded him the number five overall QB in 2020 with an even higher grade than he had in 2019.
Tannehill’s Statistical Projection
Tannehill needs to find a way to combine the good from 2019 with the good from 2020. Expect him to complete somewhere around 68% of his passing attempts in 2021. I would expect a career high in TD’s (34+) as well. I definitely see him keeping his INT’s in the single digits. Don’t be surprised if we see him setting a career high QB rating (117.5+), too. He could average somewhere around 8.5-9 yards per attempt and around 250 yards per game. Expect another top 5 season by Pro Football Focus in 2021. This is going to be a massive year for him. They’ll need it to be for them to compete with the likes of the Chiefs and Bills in the AFC.
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