Ryan Tannehill has done well to stabilize and, more importantly, advance the offense as the Tennessee Titans attempt to push their winning streak to three games Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.
When: Sunday, Nov. 3
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Ryan Tannehill, who replaced Marcus Mariota as Tennessee’s starting quarterback in Week 7, has helped the Titans (4-4) climb back to .500 and into the thick of the AFC South race. Tannehill threw for 193 yards and three touchdowns in last Sunday’s 27-23 victory over Tampa Bay, engineering a go-ahead 90-yard drive capped off with a 9-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Brown with 6:55 to play.
The two biggest differences for Tennessee with Tannehill under center has been its third down efficiency and overall scoring output. The Titans have gone 11-for-24 on third down in Tannehill’s two starts after converting at just a 25.6 percent clip (20-for-78) in the first six games.
The more important one, naturally, is points. Tennessee has scored 50 points in its back-to-back wins after totaling 55 combined in the previous five contests, losing four of those. The Titans, though, are still 26th in the league in scoring at 18.5 points per game.
Tannehill’s play has also helped running back Derrick Henry become more effective. While the 165 yards in back-to-back games are not his best rolling two-game total, it marked the first time he averaged more than four yards per carry since the first two weeks of the season. Henry is ninth in the league in rushing with 581 yards despite being the only one in the top 10 averaging less than four yards (3.85) per carry.
Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen lost for the first time in five starts since replacing the injured Cam Newton last week. Allen was hounded into the worst performance of his brief career in last Sunday’s 51-13 pounding administered by unbeaten San Francisco, throwing his first three interceptions of the season and getting sacked seven times, while completing 19-of-37 passes for a season-low 158 yards.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Panthers (4-3), who are still comfortably in second place in the NFC South but 2 ½ games behind the division-leading New Orleans Saints.
Christian McCaffrey ran for 117 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown run, but most of those yards came in the second half when the Panthers were fighting uphill. The third-year running back finished with 155 scrimmage yards, ranking him second to Dalvin Cook in that category with 1,078, despite playing one less game than the Vikings' running back.
Carolina’s defense continues to be a concern after giving up more than 50 points for just the fourth time in franchise history. The Panthers have yielded 20 or more points in all but one of their seven games and rank 27th against the run at 135.1 yards per game allowed.
This is just the sixth meeting between the teams, with the Panthers improving to 2-3 with a 27-10 victory in the most recent matchup in 2015. The Titans have won their two games in Charlotte by a combined 67-20.