In the midst of the Tennessee Titans’ ugly 16-0 loss to Denver in Week 6, Ryan Tannehill took over at quarterback for the Titans. It was the first time he’d thrown a professional pass for anyone other than the Miami Dolphins, who drafted him with the eighth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
He got the start over Marcus Mariota the next week at home against the L.A. Chargers, and proceeded to lead the Titans to a 23-20 victory as he passed for 312 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 79.3 percent passing (23 of 29).
On Sunday, Tannehill notched his second win as a Titan, a 27-23 victory over Tampa Bay, as he tossed three TDs and no picks. He orchestrated a 90-yard, fourth-quarter scoring drive, which ended in a touchdown pass to wide receiver A.J. Brown. In all, Tannehill finished 21-of-33 for 193 yards.
It turns out Tannehill played a nice game, helping Tennessee to 4-4, after a tough week. He revealed after the game that his father-in-law unexpectedly passed away on Wednesday:
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This has been a tough week for our family. Lauren’s father John unexpectedly passed on Wednesday, one day after his 55th birthday. He was taken from us too soon. I never told him how great he was, how I looked up to his appreciation of the simple things in life, or how much I looked forward to every time he came in town. I know he’s in a better place now, but man we are really going to miss him down here. Marcus told me this week: “For some reason, sometimes God takes takes his best home early” and it couldn’t be truer in this case. Such a great man all the way around. He told me on Tuesday that he wanted a win this week for his bday. This one’s for you. Love you, John.
It was the man Tannehill replaced as starter, Marcus Mariota, that gave him some comforting words. “For some reason, sometimes God takes takes his best home early,” Mariota told Tannehill.
In the seventh year of his NFL career, Tannehill has long been an outspoken follower of Christ, previously discussing with Sports Spectrum the role his faith plays in his career.
“I pray before every game,” Tannehill said. “I spend time with God before I get to the stadium and then when I lace up my cleats, I thank God for the opportunity to go out there and attempt to glorify Him.”
Tannehill also said the Bible gives us the game plan of how to live, but prayer is the interaction with God that we all need.
“In my life, the times I’ve been really consistent, spending quality time on a daily basis with God in prayer, are the times I flourish the most,” Tannehill said. “The times I’m feeling the tightest with God. He’s such a giving, loving Father that we don’t deserve and when you get a taste of it, you just want more.”
Tannehill and the Titans travel to Carolina to face the Panthers this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
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