NASHVILLE – When quarterback Ryan Tannehill joined the Titans earlier this offseason, he arrived with an uncertain future.
At the time, Marcus Mariota was locked in as the team's starting quarterback and Tannehill, who'd spent his previous seven seasons with the Dolphins before being traded, was considered a one-year insurance policy.
Plenty has changed since March, and especially since October.
Tannehill's success has the fan base asking questions not only about how the 2019 season plays out, but also about what happens in the future.
Tannehill, however, isn't looking ahead just three months before his one-year contract with the team expires. He's locked in on the next opponent, the Oakland Raiders.
"For me, it's a head-down process of taking advantage of the week," Tannehill said. "I've seen how this thing goes, the waves, the ins and outs of the season. So if you start taking a step back at this point, then you're doing a disservice to your teammates and to yourself of opportunities you could take advantage of this week. So, really just trying to lock in on the Oakland Raiders and do everything I can to prepare for them."
Since taking over the starting job in Week 7, Tannehill has passed for 1,458 yards, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions with a passer rating of 117.1 in six starts. The Titans are 5-1 in those contests.
Tannehill's 2019 season passer rating of 113.9 ranks first in the NFL, ahead of Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins' 111.9 passer rating. In the team's win over the Colts, Tannehill completed 17 of 22 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns for a passer rating of 131.2. His passer rating was the second-highest single-game rating of his career with a minimum of 20 attempts.
When asked about his personal streak of success on Wednesday, and then about being in a "zone," Tannehill twice changed the subject to the team's success.
"It's been a good streak for us," he said. "I think I said it a couple of times, we're on the right path. Just have to keep taking it one game at a time, improving every day at practice and get ready for the next one.
"Like I said, we're playing well, we're doing some good things. We have a lot to improve on. Still a lot of things that we have to clean up from the last game. Looking forward to this week so we can do that."
The Titans, now 7-5 and in the thick of a playoff race, need a win on Sunday in Oakland.
Tannehill has a chance to make some history, too.
With at least two touchdown passes and a passer rating of 125 or higher on Sunday, Tannehill would join Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (five games in 2015) as the only players with four consecutive games with at least two passing touchdowns and a passer rating of 125 or higher in NFL history.
Also, Tannehill has a chance to join Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (three games in 2011) as the only players to complete at least 75% of their passes with a passer rating of 130 or higher (min. 10 attempts) in three consecutive games in a single season in NFL history.
Those two stats were distributed by the NFL, not the Titans, on Wednesday.
Tannehill, of course, doesn't care about any of that.
In his first game ever at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, he's looking for a win and nothing else.
The success he's had an any statistical category is a result of the guys playing well around him, he said.
"I just think it speaks to the guys around me, they're playing well," Tannehill said. "The offensive line giving me time, and guys are catching the ball and getting open downfield. I think it all kind of works together – putting the ball in a catchable spot, and then guys making a play on it. I have a lot of confidence that if I throw a ball, that our guys are going to go get it right now. We just need to keep on that track, building that confidence out here on the practice field and carrying it over to games."