By John Glennon
It was just over a year ago that Ryan Tannehill stepped into the starter's role for the first time with the Titans, not so much because of what he'd done as opposed to what previous starter Marcus Mariota had not.
The Titans couldn't afford not to start Tannehill at the time, considering the team had scored just seven points in its last 10 quarters and fallen to 2-4 through six weeks – on the verge of early irrelevance.
What did the Titans have to lose by turning to Tannehill, who was one of the NFL's most intriguing back-ups at the time? He had, after all, thrown for more than 20,000 yards in six seasons at Miami before the Dolphins decided it was time to make a change.
Sixteen regular-season starts later, Tannehill has emerged as one of the league's best quarterbacks, guiding the Titans to within a victory of the Super Bowl last season and to five wins in six games so far this year.
He's posted the league's best quarterback rating (116.5) during that 16-game stretch, the second-most touchdown passes (37) behind Seattle's Russell Wilson, the fourth-best completion percentage (69.1 percent) and the fourth-most victories as a starter (12). Showing a flair for the dramatic, Tannehill has engineered seven game-winning drives in his 16-game . . .
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