The Tennessee Titans brought back a key piece of their run to last season’s AFC championship game on Sunday, agreeing to a four-year, $118 million contract with free agent quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Traded to the Titans last offseason, he began the year as the backup and did not make his first start until Week 7, but led Tennessee to a 7-3 record over the next 10 weeks.
“I just tried to honor God through all of it and be the best I could be with the position He put me in,” Tannehill said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast last month. “Throughout the offseason and to start the season, that was being the backup, so I tried to take advantage of each day, getting better at football and building relationships with the guys and just being ready.”
The 31-year-old threw for 2,598 yards and 22 touchdowns in the 10 games he started during the regular season. In winning seven games after Tannehill took over, Tennessee finished 9-7 and clinched a playoff spot for the second time in three years.
“I tried to stay true to Him through the process, really lean into Him through all of that, through the tough times and stay positive and then go glorify Him once I got called on to play,” Tannehill said.
While things were going well on the football field, Tannehill’s father-in-law unexpectedly passed away the week after he made his first start of the season. He threw three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in a win over Tampa Bay just days later.
Tannehill led the Titans to upset wins over the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens to set up a meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC title game. Tennessee got out to an early 17-7 lead, but ultimately lost 35-24.
Through it all, Tannehill drew strength from Christ during an eventful 2019.
“Through that process, [I] just really had to trust in God that the path He had set before me is the perfect one for me and my family at that point,” he said. “Just fully trusting in Him, that He’s in control. I don’t understand why or what my purpose is in this, but He has a plan. He’s in control and He’s written it.”
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