2020 could be a very good year for Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill. That’s because 2019 turned out to be unexpectedly great for him.
Tannehill, who started 10 games in place of ineffective up-or-out former No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota, finished the season with the highest passer rating of all starting quarterbacks.
With 22 touchdown passes, six interceptions, an average gain per throw of 9.6 yards, and a 70.3 completion percentage, Tannehill generated a 117.5 on the NFL’s passing formula, which bases its calculation on those four categories. Incredibly, it’s the fourth-highest single-season passer rating of all time, behind only Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in 2011 (122.5), Colts quarterback Peyton Manning in 2004 (121.1), and Eagles quarterback Nick Foles in 2013 (119.2).
Next in 2019 was Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who missed five games with a thumb injury but still generated a passer rating of 116.3. That was the highest passer rating of his career.
Inevitable league MVP Lamar Jackson racked up a passer rating of 113.3, with a league-leading 36 touchdown passes and only six picks for the Ravens. Next was Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, with a career-high 107.4. Then came Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, at 106.3.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was limited to eight starts with a back injury, finished at 106.0. 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, who missed two-plus games with a knee injury, quietly landed at 105.3. 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo racked up a rating of 102.0, starting all 16 games a year after a torn ACL wiped out his season in Week Three.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr ended up on the right side of 100, at 100.8. (Whether that’s enough to get him another year with the team remains to be seen.)
The top 10 concludes with Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who had 30 touchdown passes, 11 interceptions, and a passer rating of 99.7.
The rest of the list of starters consists of Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (98.0), Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (95.4), Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (93.1), Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (92.1), Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (91.2), Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (89.7), Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (88.5), Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (88.0), Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (88.0), Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (87.7), Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (87.4), Rams quarterback Jared Goff (86.5), Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (85.5), Bills quarterback Josh Allen (85.3), Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (84.3), Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (84.3), Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (83.0), Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen (80.0), Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (78.8), Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (78.3), Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins (76.1), and Steelers quarterback Devlin Hodges (71.4).