Tannehill Scores Big in Pro Bowl
As was the case during the regular season, Ryan Tannehill made the most of his limited time in the Pro Bowl. And his impact was immediate.
The Tennessee Titans quarterback’s first pass – on his second snap of the afternoon – went for to Jacksonville wide receiver DJ Chark or 60 yards and a touchdown. It was the longest play of the day for either team and it put the AFC ahead to stay in its 38-33 victory Sunday.
The next longest play by the AFC covered 34 yards. The NFC’s longest went for 59 yards.
"I threw a little pass out there, and DJ took it to the house," Tannehill said, according to the Titans’ website.
Tannehill was the last of three quarterbacks to play for the AFC on Sunday. He entered the contest with just a little less than three minutes to play in the third quarter and guided the offense for just three possessions.
Running back Derrick Henry, defensive lineman Jurrell Casey and punter Brett Kern also represented the Titans in the annual all-star affair. Henry carried four times for 17 yards and caught two passes for 22 yards. Casey was credited with one tackle and one quarterback hit. Kern punted once for 42 yards.
Casey forced an interception when he pressured Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott, who attempted a pass after he took a toss going to his right. It happened on the first play after Tannehill’s touchdown throw.
"I played minimal snaps, had a good day,” Casey, a Pro Bowler for the fifth straight time, told the team’s website. “… This never gets old," Casey said. "And I appreciate it every year. I'm a guy who always wants to go to the Super Bowl. But it's great to be here with the best players in the game."
Tannehill was in the Pro Bowl for the first time by virtue of his breakout performance over the final 10 games of the regular season. He led the NFL in passer rating and yards per attempt and was added to the AFC roster as a replacement for Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes after the Chiefs defeated the Titans in the AFC Championship.
Tannehill’s second – and last – pass was intercepted after his arm got hit during the delivery. The next time the AFC got the ball, with 4:12 to play and a five-point lead, he ran it once (for three yards), handed off four times (twice to Henry) and then took a knee four times in order to exhaust the final two minutes and ensure the AFC’s victory.
Each member of the winning team took home $70,000, twice as much as the players on the losing side.
"It kind of sucks being the guy taking the knees at the end, because everyone wants to see some action – no one wants to see you taking knees in the Pro Bowl," Tannehill said. "But I know these guys wanted to go out and get the win and the bonus that came with it.
"… It was fun, just to be able to spend time around guys that I respect.”