The Tennessee Titans are elite. There, I said it. That NFL team in Nashville, Tennessee is finally an elite NFL team.
It’s been a long time coming. The last time the Titans were considered elite was way back in 2008. That was the last time the team found themselves constantly in the media and national spotlight.
The other time before 2008, was when Steve McNair and Eddie George was leading the way in Tennessee.
Now that the two-toned blue are back in that fold, fans are starting to compare this team to previous teams. One of the comparisons is if Ryan Tannehill is the greatest Tennessee Titans quarterback of all time. Absurd, right? Well, let’s take a look.
Let’s note that he’s only played in 15 regular season games so far in Tennessee, making his 16th start this Sunday versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Taking just the 2020 season into account, Tannehill has been nothing but excellent. He’s already on pace for numbers this franchise has never seen in a QB since moving to Nashville.
Ryan Tannehill’s 16-game pace right now?
IS THIS THE REGRESSION YOU WERE LOOKING FOR?
— Mike Herndon (@MikeMiracles) October 18, 2020
If you don’t like “on pace” stats, then take into account that in his tenure with Tennessee, including playoffs, he has put up similar numbers to Kansas City Chiefs’ star Patrick Mahomes.
Note that this tweet is a little outdated because it was before the Houston Texans game last week, but it’s still pretty eye-opening.
How good has Ryan Tannehill been since becoming Titans starter?
*14 starts w/Ten *Last 14 starts
11-3 Record 11-3
3,602 Pass Yds 3,674
31/6 TD/INT 28/6
116.7 Rating 102.3 pic.twitter.com/5Lzuz2deec
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) October 14, 2020
Now, if we were to just take into account Tennessee Titans history, not Houston Oilers, the only quarterback worth comparing is Steve McNair. McNair’s best season passing yard wise was 3,387 yards in 2002.
His career-high in passing touchdowns single season is 24 in 2003. That season is also when he had his best touchdown-interception ratio of 24-7 and won co-MVP.
Admittingly, I am not very comfortable comparing the two quarterbacks. Mainly because I respect both, and feel like they are two different quarterbacks in two different eras.
However, those who say Tannehill could end up the best quarterback in franchise history aren’t delusional. At the pace he is on now, he will set some franchise records this season, and if he can continue this level of play over the life of his contract, he will end up among the very best this franchise has seen.
Now, even if he finishes what he’s on pace for (4,372 yards) he still wouldn’t have the most passing yards in Titans-Oilers history in a single season, which is 4,690 passing yards set by Warren Moon in 1991.
His touchdown pace (42) would beat the franchise record (36) by six touchdowns. That said, Ryan Tannehill is definitely on a pace to making a statement for one of the franchise’s greatest quarterbacks.
However, he still has a lot more work to do to officially solidify himself ahead of guys like Warren Moon and Steve McNair. If Tannehill can give the Tennessee Titans organization its first Super Bowl ring, then he will have a very, very strong case. His MVP-caliber season continues on Sunday versus the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers.
Featured image by Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports