Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill has gone from ‘Clark Kent to Superman’, according to Pro Football Talk‘s Mike Florio, as he led his team to a 4-0 start on the season.
Tannehill completed 21 of 28 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns (rushing for another score) in the Titans’ 42-16 win over the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday night.
- ‘Special Prescott not easy to replace’
- ‘Metcalf is NFL’s best receiver in 2020’
- ‘Atlanta should put Julio on trade block’
Drafted by the Miami Dolphins with the No 8 pick of the 2012 draft, Tannehill was traded to the Titans in 2018 and has been hugely impressive since taking over as starter midway through last season.
“The narrative around Ryan Tannehill has been so baked into the DNA of the football fan, that we resist what is before our very eyes: and that is a guy who is becoming, or has become an elite quarterback,” said Florio.
“He looks different. There’s something about him; maybe he has just filled out after eight years in the NFL, but his neck is thick and jaw is more protruding.
“It’s like he went from being Clark Kent to Superman at some point over the last eight years.
“It cuts against the trend in the NFL in recent years where you expect the guy to figure it out right away and, if you don’t, you’re thrown to the curb.
“This is a guy who was a receiver at Texas A&M and played quarterback for only one year before the Joe Philbin-led Dolphins made him a top-10 draft pick in 2012.
“He was starting to come into his own in 2016 with Adam Gase, until he took a low hit from Calais Campbell. And it’s amazing to think the Dolphins had to pay part of his salary to unload him onto the Titans.”
Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms echoed Florio’s praise of Tannehill on PFT, adding: “There’s just this confidence and calmness about him, ever since Week 12 of last year, where you just feel like he just has that look in his eye – he’s not the slightest bit bothered or flustered.
“He actually seems quite confident. There was a shot of him against the Bills during a second-down play and he was actually smiling under center. It looked like some linebacker was talking trash to him and he was giggling about it.
“That shows you how ‘in the moment’ he is, and how the game has slowed down.
“It’s like we always talk about, you can be a really good football player and just stuck in a bad situation or not have the support around you to accentuate the great things you have.”
“Tannehill has got put with the right support, the right game plan and now he is reaping the benefit and hopefully people are opening their eyes and thinking this guy is now a top-10 quarterback in football.
“It’s impossible to deny at this point, after the last year or so.”
Simms also heaped praise on the Titans team as a whole after blowing out the previously-undefeated Bills on Tuesday night, in their first game for 16 days after an outbreak of Covid-19 cases in their building that led to their facility being temporarily shut down.
“That was pretty unbelievable; to come out and play like that, without practising,” Simms said. “Football is not usually one of those sports where you can pull that off, play a game without mistakes, executing the way they did.
“It speaks to Mike Vrabel and how he kept the team together and the guys he’s got in that locker room.
“I think the score was a little misleading, but you knew who the boss of that football game was.
“I was mad at the Titans, we heard they were being careless and that bothered us. They knew they were going to be held accountable to what we saw on Tuesday night and it’s amazing that they found that motivation – and the fact they pulled it off. Buffalo looked like the team that hadn’t practiced.
“There’s an aura there of a big, tough, physical football team. Their head coach is mean and tough, they’ve got an attitude about them, they don’t blink ever, they’re always physical and they’re creative.
“They’re a team I probably undersold early in the year; they might be one of the best teams in the AFC. There’s no doubt.”
Watch Mike Florio and Chris Simms on Pro Football Talk, weekdays on Sky Sports NFL from 7pm.
‘Atlanta should put Julio on trade block’
The Atlanta Falcons should consider putting All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones on the trade block, former NFL quarterback Chris Simms said on Pro Football Talk.
“I understand it,” Simms said of Atlanta’s move to fire head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff. “I’ve got to think he [Quinn] lost the ear of the team a little bit, and the team was too top heavy.
“If I’m Atlanta, with the way their team looks, I’m putting Julio Jones on the trade block.
“It’s a lot of money, and they might have to pay part of that salary, but they might have to start looking to do what the Miami Dolphins did, trade away and get assets to rebuild the team. I’ll be interested to see if they take that route.”
‘Metcalf is NFL’s best receiver in 2020’
Seattle Seahawks receiver D.K. Metcalf is currently ‘the best in the NFL’, according to Good Morning Football‘s Kay Adams.
“Do you want me to say it? Sure, I’ll say it on Sky Sports; I think he’s the best wide receiver in the NFL in 2020,” Adams said as a guest on NFL Overtime.
“He is a true No 1, physically, anatomically, how fast he is, how big he is. He has gained the trust of Russell Wilson, who wheeling and dealing through the air and has to throw a ton because of the lack of defence they have there.
“Numbers-wise, Metcalf scores touchdowns – that’s what he does, he sets up camp in the endzone.”
‘Special Prescott not easy to replace’
Former NFL coach Rob Ryan says the Dallas Cowboys will struggle to replace their quarterback and leader Dak Prescott, following the devastating injury he suffered on Sunday that will keep him out of the season.
A visibly emotional Prescott was carted off the field during the third quarter of the Cowboys’ 37-34 win over the New York Giants after a gruesome compound fracture and dislocation to his right ankle.
Prescott had been playing brilliantly through the first four and a half games of the season, throwing for 1,856 yards and nine touchdowns (and scoring three on the ground), helping to keep the team competitive despite a leaky defence.
“You saw how much respect he had from both sidelines,” coach Ryan said on NFL Overtime (Tuesdays, 9pm, Sky Sports NFL). “On that Dallas team, this wasn’t a team-mate, this was a brother.
“This is their leader, and you can’t just replace him.”
Week Six gets underway on Sky Sports NFL with a triple header on Sunday, starting with an AFC North rivalry with the Cleveland Browns against the Pittsburgh Steelers – build up begins at 5pm, with kick-off at 6pm.
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