Takeaways From Titans 33-30 Victory Over Jacksonville Jaguars

  • A.J. Brown
  • Derrick Henry
  • Gardner Minshew
  • Jonnu Smith
  • Kenny Vaccaro
  • Ryan Tannehill
  • Tennessee Titans
By Shaun Calderon September 24, 2020 0 Comment
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The Tennessee Titans outlasted the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-30. Here are the three biggest takeaways from Sunday’s AFC South matchup.

Takeaway 1: The real Ryan Tannehill has stood up

Prior to free agency back in March, there was a ton of speculation going on as to who would be under center for the Tennessee Titans in 2020.

Tom Brady intrigued many fans, for obvious reasons. He is undoubtedly the most successful quarterback to ever lace ‘em up. His work ethic and preparation that he does with the TB12 program has also always been amazing to someone who personally graduated with a Kinesiology degree. Everything about his resume speaks for itself.

But mostly, some of us were just scared of being the team that bet on the wrong guy and wanted the ‘safer’ choice. Regardless if you were someone who went all in on the Brady hype, or someone who played it relatively neutral. It’s time for all of us to apologize for how disrespectful it was to even question what we saw last season. In reality, the safer choice always has, was, and will be, Ryan Tannehill.

The former Miami Dolphin took over a 2-4 team that was all but dead and helped lead a drastic turnaround that landed the team in the AFC Championship Game. All while putting up one of the best individual statistical reasons for a quarterback in Titans history.

Pre-Titans Tannehill

If you didn’t know anything about Tannehill prior to 2019, you would think that guy is a slam dunk franchise quarterback. Unfortunately for the former Texas A&M star, there is a reputation of mediocrity that he developed during his time in Miami that he just can’t seem to shake. A lot of that negativity was built during the latter years of his Dolphins tenure due to a plethora of serious injuries. No one is pretending like Tannehill was elite at any point of his career, but there were many times that he showed that he was capable of being a franchise quarterback.

Prior to Adam Gase arriving, Ryan Tannehill was one of three quarterbacks in NFL History to throw for over 15,000 yards in his first four years.

After two torn ACL’s and a shoulder injury derailed his Dolphins career, Tannehill finished with just over 20,000 passing yards. These injuries occurred in large part because he never had an offensive line in Miami rank better than 25th. It’s often forgotten that Tannehill was sacked a whopping 248 times in a little over five seasons. Approximately an average of 45 sacks per year. Even with these protection issues, Ryan Tannehill signed a $95 million contract back in 2015 as he showed the potential to become what he is now.

Tennessee Tannehill

Ever since Tannehill strolled out for his first start against the Los Angeles Chargers, he has been nothing short of a bonafide franchise quarterback. In the 15 games that Ryan Tannehill has started for the Titans, he ranks 1st in completion percentage (68.3%), yards per attempt (8.7), and passing touchdowns (33). He also ranks fourth among quarterbacks with five rushing touchdowns. The Titans are 11-4 in those 15 starts.

Regardless of what the national media tries to tell you, this is the real Ryan Tannehill. And for whatever reason, it did not work for him in Miami. But in no way does that reflect the man who is under center in two-tone blue. Ryan Tannehill is, and will be the franchise quarterback for the Tennessee Titans for the foreseeable future. It’s time for every single Titans fan to rally behind No. 17 the way we ALL did for No. 9, the No. 10’s, and No. 8. All those quarterbacks had fantastic moments during their tenure in Tennessee. However, none of those unfortunately were ever able to take the Titans over the top.

Ryan Tannehill has all the capabilities of doing just that. It’s time to appreciate and acknowledge everything that he is doing right now in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Titans’ quarterback has thrown for 488 yards, six touchdowns, and zero interceptions. All while completing 70.1 % of his passes through his first two starts. Meanwhile the Titans are now 2-0 for the first time since 2008.

Takeaway 2: Kenny Vaccaro is an underrated star in this defense

On a day in what was a shaky performance by the defense, it was far from that for the teams’ starting strong safety. Kenny Vaccaro was a madman during the Titans’ 33-30 victory over the Jaguars. Vaccaro was the definition of ‘sideline to sideline’. Whether he was deflecting passes or coming off the edge, Vaccaro was wreaking havoc. At one point, the Titans’ safety approached the line of scrimmage like heat-seeking missile. Gardner Minshew recognized Vaccaro on the blitz and took his eyes off the ball leading to a fumbled snap.

The former Saint has quickly become one of the most consistent players on this defense following his arrival back in 2018. Kenny Vaccaro acknowledged that this was just his third season playing strictly safety. That familiarity and comfortability is showing up on tape as he is playing 100 MPH and trusting his instincts.

If he continues this level of play, the Titans will have the best safety tandem in 2020.

Kenny Vaccaro finished his monster 2020 home-debut with 11 tackles, one sack, and two pass-breakups.

Takeaway 3:  A.J. Brown, Corey Davis, and Adam Humphries are going to be a triple-threat of problems

Unfortunately for Titans fans everywhere, we have been forced to wait for the eventual A.J. Brown explosion. The Ole Miss product suffered a bone-bruise during the team’s 16-14 season opening win in Denver. It was relatively obvious that something was up with A.J. as he lacked his usual type of explosion throughout the game.

The team ultimately decided to sit him for at least their Week 2 matchup against Jacksonville. Despite the loss of a budding superstar, this Titans’ passing attack seems as potent as ever. Corey Davis has seemingly hit the stride we have all been waiting for. Davis has looked like a legitimate number one receiver through the first two weeks.

Adam Humphries has been the definition of a slot-machine. His crafty route running, and savvy football IQ allow him to separate effectively.

You can also include Tight End Jonnu Smith in the equation as another legitimate passing threat who can take the ball to the house anytime he touches the ball. The Titans’ offense is scary. And they don’t even have arguably their best receiver yet. Combine that with the inevitable monster second half that Derrick Henry will likely provide, and this Titans offense has all the potential to go toe to toe with anyone in the league.

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