NASHVILLE – This time last month, Ryan Tannehill was a back-up quarterback for the Titans.
His role on gamedays was to support starter Marcus Mariota -- and be ready if needed.
The Titans ended up calling on Tannehill four weeks ago, and he's delivered.
On Sunday, Tannehill guided the Titans to a 35-32 comeback win over the Chiefs.
"It's been fun -- I love playing football," Tannehill said. "I love going out and competing. I love practicing with the guys. I love the whole thing, everything it brings to the table. I'm having a lot of fun. I love preparing, just trying to push these guys to get the most out of them. Game days are a lot of fun, especially when you win. I'm having a lot of fun right now. We've just got to keep grinding, keep putting the work in and getting ourselves ready to play every Sunday."
Tannehill is now 3-1 as a starter since replacing Mariota prior to the team's game against the Chargers.
Against the Chiefs, Tannehill completed 13-of-19 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns, with a 133.9 rating. He also ran for 37 yards and scored on a two-point conversion.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel applauded Tannehill for his poise in guiding the team down the field in the hectic final moments. Tannehill connected with receiver Adam Humphries for a 23-yard touchdown pass with just 23 seconds left, capping a four-play, 61-yard drive that took just 58 seconds.
"Well, I think that's what it comes down to – the quarterback," Vrabel said of Tannehill. "That's what we see every week in this league, is those guys managing that drill, that two-minute drill, that tempo procedure. Getting guys where they want them to be. Making guys believe if they do their job, we're going to score. If we protect, and if we run great routes, and that's the quarterback's job – they raise everybody's level of performance."
Titans players praised Tannehill after the game,
"He was big time," Humphries said. "He made plays with his legs, and he was just being poised. He stepped up in the pocket and make great throws and it was great to see that."
"Ryan is a dog," tight end Jonnu Smith said. "We have got so many dogs on this team. Every single person is this locker room helped us get a win today."
Teammate Derrick Henry said Tannehill showed great confidence when the Titans got the ball back at their own 39-yard line with just 1:21 left.
"I think he knew that we would go down there and score," Henry said of Tannehill. "Receivers get open, he'd get it to them, and that's what we did. I had a lot of confidence that we would, you know. And we did so I'm happy we were able to get the win."
Tannehill said he's just happy to get the chance.
On the season, Tannehill is now 97-of-136 for 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns, with only four interceptions.
"Everyone is pumped," Tannehill said. "It's fun to win a game like that. To battle back in the fourth quarter at home and find a way to win is a ton of fun. Just the excitement – that's why we love playing the game. Competing, finding ways to win, and just that bond you create in moments like that. Definitely a big win for us. We'll use this Bye Week to get healthy, rest up and just try to build on what we've been doing here the last few weeks, and continue that the rest of the season."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 10 of the 2019 season at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donald Page)