MIAMI (AP) — Ryan Tannehill's career was in jeopardy after the 2018 season. His turnaround with the Tennessee Titans was so strong that he has won The Associated Press NFL Comeback Player of the Year award.
Tannehill spent the first six seasons as a mostly mediocre and sometimes injured quarterback in Miami. Though he helped the Dolphins get to the 2016 playoffs, he never lived up to being the eighth overall choice in the 2012 draft.
He landed in Nashville this season as a backup to Marcus Mariota. But with the Titans floundering on offense, he quickly replaced Mariota and led Tennessee to a wild-card playoff berth.
Tannehill topped the league in passer rating (117.5) and threw for 22 touchdowns with six interceptions. Such work gave him the slimmest of margins over San Francisco QB Jimmy Garoppolo in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league.
The first Titan to win the award and the 12th quarterback — Chad Pennington took it twice — Tannehill drew 16 votes to 15 for Garoppolo. Oakland tight end Darren Waller was next with eight votes, and Dallas center Travis Federick received six in balloting announced at NFL Honors.
Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater and Eagles QB Carson Wentz got one vote each, as did Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook, San Francisco cornerback Richard Sherman, and Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp.