NASHVILLE – When it comes to defeating NFL opponents, Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill is closing in on the complete set.
By the end of the 2022 season, he could be just one team away.
Over 10 years, the 33 year-old has earned a win over 28 of the NFL’s 32 teams, per Pro Football Reference, a feat that’s only been accomplished by 38 other quarterbacks in the history of the league.
But Tannehill could really differentiate himself from the pack with three victories in particular this season.
The only teams Tannehill has yet to post a win over as a starting quarterback are the Carolina Panthers (0-2), Green Bay Packers (0-2), Dallas Cowboys (0-1) and New York Giants (0-1).
It just so happens that three of them are on the Titans’ schedule this season. Tennessee opens at home against the Giants on Sept. 11, travels to Green Bay on Nov. 17 and hosts the Cowboys on Dec. 29.
Should Tannehill lead the Titans to wins in all three of those games, he can claim victories over 31 NFL teams – a feat that has only been accomplished by eight others: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith, Ben Roethlisberger and Kerry Collins.
When might Tannehill get a shot at beating the Panthers, the other team he hasn’t defeated?
Theoretically, it could happen in the Super Bowl this year since the Pro Football Reference list covers both regular-season and playoff games. But another possibility – if Tannehill is still the Titans’ starter a year from now – would be the 2023 season. Tennessee will host Carolina as part of playing all NFC South opponents that year.
Only four quarterbacks in NFL history – Brady, Brees, Manning and Favre – can say they’ve defeated all 32 NFL opponents.
Tannehill beat 22 during the six years he spent in Miami (he missed the 2017 season because of injury). He’s knocked another six opponents off his list since earning the Titans’ starting job in 2019: Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, Miami, New Orleans and Tampa Bay.
Tannehill will be looking to bounce back in 2022 after struggling last season, posting an 89.6 quarterback rating that was his lowest since 2015. He threw three interceptions in the Titans’ 19-16 playoff loss to Cincinnati.
He won’t have A.J. Brown or Julio Jones to throw to this year, as the Titans traded Brown to Philadelphia during the NFL Draft and cut Jones. But the team traded for veteran receiver Robert Woods, signed tight end Austin Hooper, and drafted three more pass-catchers – wide receivers Treylon Burks and Kyle Philips, as well as tight end Chig Okonkwo.
Will the Titans’ new talent help offset the loss of Brown, giving Tannehill enough support around him in 2022? Or will there be more moves to come?
“We'll see how it goes,” general manager Jon Robinson said following the NFL Draft. “That's what you set out (to do) in the offseason, is you try to bolster the roster in free agency to what degree you can do that with the monetary resources that you have. Then you go into the draft and try to attack that.
“We feel really good about where we're at with the football team. We'll continue to try to look and add. We don't play until September. I've said that several times. If there's a player out there that can help us and it makes sense for us financially and fit-wise, then we'll certainly look at it and entertain it.”