The No. 1 seeded Tennessee Titans bowed out of the postseason with a 19-16 last-second loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the Divisional Round.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill authored a rocky day, throwing three interceptions while completing 15 of 24 attempts (62.5 percent) with a TD, netting a 66.7 passer rating.
"This is brutal, you know," Tannehill said. "It's going to hurt for a long time. It's going to be on my mind for a long time. It's gonna take a long time to get over. You don't look forward to this situation, you don't look forward to being out when you had a great opportunity. And this is one of those things only time will heal."
Tannehill's day began and ended with interceptions.
The QB was picked off by safety Jessie Bates on the first play from scrimmage. Tannehill then threw an INT on his first pass attempt of the second half after the ground-game plowed the Titans inside the 10-yard-line. Tannehill became just the second QB since 1991 to throw an interception on his first pass attempt of both halves of a playoff game, joining HOFer Jim Kelly in Super Bowl XXVI.
After Tennessee tied the game up late and had the ball with a chance to win, Tannehill was picked off again on a tipped pass with 20 seconds left in the game. The Bengals drove the ball into field goal range for a game-winning, 52-yard Evan McPherson kick.
"We were trying to get a shot over the top," Tannehill said of the final backbreaking INT. "They ended up rolling to a form of Cover 3 zone, corners high on top of nick, held the inside back with my eyes and tried to get him in there as he came back to the quarterback, just to get us across the 50 there. We had two timeouts and would've had a couple shots to get into field goal range to kick the game-winner."
Tannehill became the third QB since 1991 to throw INTs on his first and last pass attempt of a playoff game, joining Tampa Bay's Chris Simms (2005 WC Rd. vs. WAS) and L.A.'s Todd Marinovich (1991 Wild Card Rd. at KC).
Despite the game-altering INTs, coach Mike Vrabel didn't hang the loss on Tannehill.
"Well, I don't think Ryan or myself or anybody did enough to win the game," Vrabel said. "That's how it goes. It's never going to be about one person, not as long as I'm the head coach, which will be a while. So, it'll never be about one person. We have to play better, to get open, not fall down. Defense gotta get some turnovers, we can't turn the ball over, we know that. We can't get stopped on downs. Those are all the things that we talk about and the reasons why you lose. Our third down conversion wasn't good enough, our ability to score touchdowns in the red zone. But we all have to play better, we have to coach better."
The Titans have now failed to win a playoff game in each of the three seasons they were the No. 1 seed in the AFC, losing in 2008 (went 13-3, lost 13-10 vs. six-seed Baltimore in Divisional Rd.), and 2000 (went 13-3, lost 24-10 to four-seed BAL in Divisional Rd.).