By John Glennon
With the Titans trying to put distance between themselves and the Lions in the second quarter last Sunday, quarterback Ryan Tannehill executed a play-action bootleg, spinning toward his left and seeing all kinds of open space in front of him.
He flew down the sideline at an impressive 20-mile per hour clip – according to NextGen Stats – and launched himself forward from the four-yard line, stretching the football just inside the pylon for a touchdown.
But instead of jumping into a waiting chest-bump from Titans coach Mike Vrabel afterward, Tannehill found himself face-to-face with a frown.
“I got to the sidelines and there wasn’t a ‘Congratulations,’ or ‘Good job,’” Tannehill said. “It was a scowl. I knew that was coming. As soon as I reached (with) the ball, I knew that was coming.”
Part of Vrabel’s concern was practical, as stretching with the ball around the goalline can lead to fumbles, turnovers or touchbacks.
But there was a bigger picture to the scowl as well: The last thing the Titans want to see is Tannehill – one of the twin engines in the NFL’s highest-scoring offense – sidelined due to injury.
The good news for the Titans in that regard is that Tannehill has shown impressive durability during his Tennessee tenure.