Ryan Tannehill had a rough day at the office Sunday, and his two turnovers were too much for the Tennessee Titans to overcome.
“The mistakes we made, and the start we had are just not going to be good enough,” coach Mike Vrabel said after the game. “Just too inconsistent.”
Tannehill’s two interceptions in the 40-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers marked just the second time since he became the Titans’ starter that he threw multiple picks in one game. The only other time was last season at Carolina, the third game after he replaced Marcus Mariota.
Those giveaways, one each in the second and fourth quarters, shut the door on any possible victory over the surging Packers at a snowy Lambeau Field.
“I got to be better,” Tannehill said after the game. “I got to be able to look at this and get it fixed.”
Tannehill’s first interception came with Green Bay leading 12-0 early in the second quarter. The game was well in reach at that point, but Tennessee needed to answer the Packers’ 10 play, 80-yard touchdown drive.
At the Titans’ 30-yard line, Tannehill dropped back to pass and attempted to force the ball to wide receiver A.J. Brown over the middle. Packers safety Darnell Savage Jr. jumped the route at the 42-yard line and returned it to the Titans’ 34.
Green Bay utilized the excellent field position and scored in six plays to take a 19-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
“I was looking to the right first,” Tannehill said. “I peeked over and saw (Brown) in space and tried to get it to him quickly. I didn’t get enough on the throw and they made a good play to run underneath it.”
His second interception came with the Titans attempting to overcome a 33-14 deficit.
On first-and-10 on the Packers’ 35-yard line, Tannehill tried to get the ball to tight end Jonnu Smith on the right side of the field. Green Bay linebacker Christian Kirksey picked off the pass at the Packers’ 33-yard line.
The Packers’ ensuing drive ended in a rare Aaron Rodgers interception, but Tennessee’s offense turned the ball over on downs in its following possession.
“We just couldn’t get going,” Tannehill said. “It was just inconsistent all over the board. And it definitely starts with me. I got to be better.”
The Titans’ inability to score when it needed it the most was indicative of an offense that struggled to find its groove all night. Tannehill’s interception late sealed the deal for the Packers, and the final touchdown they scored (their sixth of the night) was simply an insult to injury.
“Once you get down you have to be aggressive to make stuff happen,” Tannehill said. “At the end of the day, I wasn’t able to make those needed plays.”
He did have a 45-yard touchdown run that got the Titans to within five, 19-14, early in the second half, but that was as good as it got for him and his team.
The weather had to have played a part in the rough day, but Tannehill finished the game with 121 yards on 11-24 passes. Those are the fewest passing yards in a regular-season start for Tennessee, which is now one of five AFC teams at 10-5 fighting for four playoff spots. The Titans will decide their fate in week 17 at Houston and Tannehill won’t be the only one who wants to elevate his performance.
“I don’t think anyone should be confident in anything we did tonight,” Vrabel said. “We’ll all have to be better.”