NASHVILLE – It would be cliché to say that Ryan Tannehill picked up Sunday afternoon right where he left off on Monday night. Except that it was true.
The Tennessee Titans quarterback extended a streak of completions that began against the Buffalo Bills all the way into the second quarter of the 27-3 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs at Nissan Stadium. When it finally ended with a misfire on a short throw to Julio Jones six minutes into the second quarter, he had connected on 21 straight over all or parts of four quarters.
The 21 completions went for 274 yards, which was 56.4 `percent of his total yards in those games. Before it started, he was just 8-for-19 against the Bills. After it ended, he still hit on well more than he missed, 10 of his last 16 versus the Chiefs.
“I felt good,” Tannehill said. “I feel good a lot of games, you know. I can’t say I felt any different. I felt confident throwing the ball and guys were making play.”
Tannehill got help from one penalty along the way. He failed to connect with Marcus Johnson on his third throw against the Chiefs, but officials called pass interference on the play. A short time later, he had a 19-yard reception by Julio Jones wiped out by offensive pass interference. So, that was a wash.
He also got a boost from instant replay. When his throw deep down the left sideline to A.J. Brown was ruled incomplete with 3:50 remaining in the first quarter Sunday, coach Mike Vrabel threw the challenge flag. The review showed a completed pass for 46 yards, the longest of any of the 21.
“(Tannehill) literally dropped it in the bucket,” Brown said. “… That was a great throw for him. He always does a good job of giving me the ball, on target. Like I said, he couldn’t put it in a better place (on that) one.”
Without a doubt, Brown was the player most responsible for Tannehill’s continued ability to connect. Brown caught four passes for 61 yards down the stretch against Buffalo and four more for 83 yards in the early going against Kansas City. His 24-yard touchdown catch that made 14-0 against the Chiefs in the final minute of the first quarter was the only touchdown throw during the run.
Overall, more than half of Tannehill’s completions in the streak went for first downs, 13 of them, to be exact. And he spread the throws around to eight different receivers, including four wide receivers, two tight ends and two running backs.
A breakdown of Tannehill’s receivers during his streak of 21 straight completions against the Bills and Chiefs:
Through the first four games this season, Tannehill’s completion percentage was 63.6 and his passer rating was 86.9. After three straight victories and one lengthy completion streak, those numbers are now 65.1 and 89.0, respectively.
“We’re heading in the right direction,” he said. “We’ve done some good things. I felt like we built on what we started in the second quarter (Monday) and we were able to get going and finish that game, win the game against a good opponent and build on that (Sunday), coming out (Sunday) and getting a fast start and scoring a lot of points early.
“Hopefully, we can just keep the course, keep working and keep getting better.”