NASHVILLE – Ryan Tannehill played his 100th career game on Sunday, and he made it a memorable one.
The Titans quarterback helped guide his team into the playoffs on a day when he secured his spot as the NFL's top-rated passer in 2019.
Now, he's headed into unchartered territory.
Tannehill will play in his first playoff game on Saturday night against the New England Patriots.
"It is exciting," Tannehill said on Tuesday. "It's obviously a big opportunity for us, a huge challenge on the road. … I (always) wanted to be playing in January and competing for a championship.
"It is the playoffs, and everything amps up a little bit. There is no preparing for next week if you lose – it's win and move on or lose and go home. Obviously, everyone wants to keep playing. So, I definitely expect it to be an intense game and we are going to have to be just as intense if not more intense than the other team."
In Sunday's 35-14 win over the Texans, Tannehill completed 13 of 20 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns for a passer rating of 130.8. It was his sixth performance in the last seven games with a passer rating of 130 or better.
In leading the NFL in passer rating in 2019, Tannehill totals in the regular season included 201-of-286 passing for 2,742 yards, 22 touchdowns, six interceptions and a passer rating of 117.5. His 117.5 passer rating was the best in franchise history, surpassing Steve McNair's 100.4 passer rating in 2003.
After replacing Marcus Mariota in Week 7, Tannehill established the fourth-highest single-season passer rating in NFL history. His 117.5 passer rating is surpassed in league annals by only Aaron Rodgers' 122.5 passer rating in 2011, Peyton Manning's 121.1 in 2004 and Nick Foles' 119.2 in 2013.
He also became the third qualifying passer in NFL history to have a season with at least a 70.0 completion percentage and an average of at least 9.0 yards per attempt, joining Sammy Baugh and Joe Montana. He established new franchise single-season records for completion percentage (70.7) and yards per attempt (9.6) and ranked third in the NFL in 2019 in completion percentage, while his 9.6-yard passing average not only led the league but ranked fourth in the NFL since 1960.
Tannehill's mission for the playoffs, and his playoff debut against the Patriots?
"I think just sticking true to what has gotten me to this point: Going into the game being fully prepared for the situations that can arise, and make the adjustments within the game," said Tannehill, who has 19 touchdowns (16 pass, 3 rush) vs two interceptions for a 129.8 rating in his last seven games . "This is a team that plays at a very high level on defense and will always throw something at you that you haven't seen on tape or change something up on you, so you have to be able to adjust within the game.
"But at the end of the day it is football, and you just have to be able to play and execute. … I am just trying to find a way to win one game, and then we'll handle the next one after that. (We just) need to do everything we can do this week to beat the Patriots and then whatever happens after that happens."