Call it an extra birthday present for Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Tannheill, who turned 32 Monday, was recognized as one of the NFL’s Top 100 players by his peers for the first time in his career. He ranks No. 68 on the list, which is being revealed over four days (Sunday-Wednesday).
The accomplishment seemed unlikely for Tannehill at the outset of the 2019 season.
When he replaced Marcus Mariota at quarterback in the middle of the Titans’ Week 6 loss to the Denver Broncos, though, everything changed.
En route to Comeback Player of the Year honors, Tannehill threw for 2,742 yards and 22 touchdowns while only throwing six interceptions. Tannehill led the NFL last season in yards-per-attempt (9.6) and passer rating (117.5), both career-highs, and was third in 70.3 completion percentage (70.3), also a career-high.
He also ran the ball 43 times for 185 yards and four touchdowns, which was as many as he had in his previous six years combined.
Tannehill helped the Titans squeak into the playoffs with a record of 9-7. The Titans won seven of their final 10 games of the regular season and kept the ball rolling into the postseason. The Titans defeated the New England Patriots in the wild card round and the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round before they fell just short of the Super Bowl in the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
After signing Tannehill to a four-year extension worth $118 million, including $62 million in fully guaranteed money and $91 million in total guarantees in March, the Titans certainly hope Tannehill plays well enough to be considered as one of the NFL’s best a few more times.
The NFL Network will continue to release the Top 100 Players of 2020 with Nos. 40 through 11 on Tuesday (7 p.m., CDT) and the top. 10 on Wednesday (7 p.m., CDT).