Titans' Ryan Tannehill Sought Therapy, Was in 'Dark Place' After Bengals Playoff Loss

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 3, 2022

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JANUARY 22: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Tennessee Titans throws a first quarter pass against the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Nissan Stadium on January 22, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans were the No. 1 seed in the AFC this past season but lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in the divisional round in large part because Ryan Tannehill threw three interceptions.

It took the quarterback plenty of time and work to move past the defeat.

"It's a deep scar," Tannehill said, per Turron Davenport of ESPN. "Every time I closed my eyes I kind of re-watched the game. I didn't get a whole lot of sleep for weeks. I was in a dark place and it took me a while, a lot of work to get out of it.

"I've worked through it, but therapy, talking to people, time helped. It took a lot of work to get through it."

Tannehill's turnovers weren't the only problem for the Titans.

Cincinnati held star running back Derrick Henry to 62 yards on 20 carries, which prevented Tennessee's offense from generating much momentum. It also undercut the effort from the home team's defense, which held Joe Burrow and Co. to a mere 19 points.

Yet the Titans managed just 16 points with Tannehill throwing an interception on his first and final passes of the game. The last one came as he was attempting to lead his team into field-goal range in the final minute.

While it put him in a "dark place," the 33-year-old also said he now has a "desire to win like he never had before" after falling short of what could have been the first Super Bowl title of his career.

Winning in 2022 may be more difficult after the Titans traded wide receiver A.J Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFL draft, although Henry is back and rookie receiver Treylon Burks offers some upside. 

Tennessee selected Burks with one of the draft picks it got back in the Brown trade with the hope he can replicate his final season at Arkansas when he tallied 1,104 receiving yards and 11 touchdown catches.

That type of production as a rookie may be unrealistic, but he will have a motivated quarterback looking to put a playoff defeat in the past throwing him the ball.