FOXBOROUGH, Mass — He started six games at Gillette Stadium with the Miami Dolphins and lost all six by an average of 22 points.

The last time Ryan Tannehill came to New England, he completed 11 of 20 passes for just 100 yards in a 38-7 loss to the Patriots on Sept. 30, 2018.

Tannehill, 31, returns Saturday night in a Tennessee uniform, playing some of the best football of a career that began in 2012.

Traded by the Dolphins last March with a sixth-round draft pick for a seventh-round selection and a 2020 fourth-round choice, Tannehill has revived his career and helped lead the Titans into the playoffs.

After being acquired to back up Marcus Mariota, Tannehill became the starter in October and was part of a Tennessee turnaround that has resulted in an opening-round playoff game against the Patriots.

“He’s thrown the ball very accurately and (is) making great decisions,” said Patriots Coach Bill Belichick. “I think he’s been a good quarterback throughout his career. He’s an athletic guy. He’s very smart, can handle things at the line of scrimmage and make adjustments.

“He’s played well for the Titans, but played well in Miami, too.”

The Dolphins moved on from Tannehill after last season rather than pay him roughly $19 million for this year.

The Titans had him on the bench, but with Mariota struggling, Coach Mike Vrabel made the switch.

Tennessee opened 2-4, but after scoring seven points in a loss to the Buffalo Bills and getting shut out by the Denver Broncos in back-to-back games, the Titans turned to Tannehill as the starter and went 7-3 the rest of the way.

He ranked third in the NFL behind Drew Brees and David Carr in completion percentage (70.3) and was first in both yards per completion (9.6) and quarterback rating (117.5). Tannehill threw 22 touchdowns with just six interceptions and had 2,742 passing yards.

“Ryan’s done everything we’ve asked him to do since he’s gotten here,” said Vrabel, a former Patriots linebacker. “The leadership and his willingness to learn a new offensive as quickly as he did was impressive. He’s played well enough for us to win some games.”

The Titans took advantage of the Dolphins’ decision to cut ties with Tannehill.

“Jon (Robinson, the Titans’ general manager and the former director of scouting for the Patriots) did a great job of targeting him and trying to get a deal down in Miami, understanding how critical that position is, whether it be the starting quarterback (or) the backup quarterback,” said Vrabel.

“His preparation has been outstanding. For a player who came (to the Titans) in April and started out in a secondary role, he has really ascended in his leadership, and his command of the offense has been impressive.”

Tannehill has weapons to work with in running back Derrick Henry, who led the NFL with 1,540 rushing yards while scoring 16 TDs, and rookie wide receiver A.J. Brown, a second-round pick who had 52 catches for 1,051 yards and eight scores.

“It doesn’t seem like he’s been overwhelmed by much,” Vrabel said of Brown. “He’s come in and been able to stay focused and stay humble. He’s got strong hands, and I love his attitude and willingness to improve every day.”

AS TOM BRADY warmed up for practice Thursday, he was noticeably shaking his elbow out after throws. Still, he maintained that he was healthy earlier this week.

“It’s feeling good. I don’t have any problems,” Brady said. “I have no injuries. I’ve said it, like, a lot. I feel good. There’s no injury, no nothing. I wish I would’ve played better, and that’s about it.”

ACCORDING TO NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Josh McDaniels won’t be interviewing for vacant head coaching positions until next week. He’s expected to sit down with the Panthers, Browns and Giants next Friday.

Earlier this week, McDaniels was adamant that his priorities still lie with the Patriots.

“I’m 100 percent fully invested in getting ready for Tennessee and trying to put our best performance of the season out there on Saturday night,” McDaniels said. “We have a lot of work to do. That’s where my focus will be. That’s where it’s at now and it’ll stay there. That’s the best thing for our team. It’s the best thing for me. We’re one of 12 teams that have an opportunity to compete in the postseason. And that’s the only way I’ll ever do it.

“Honestly, it’s pretty easy for me in terms of my formula: I’m the offensive coordinator of the Patriots. We have a lot of work to do. We can improve in a lot of areas to try to get ready for this week. It’s our biggest game of the year against certainly the best team we’ve played. This is a postseason game, so our players deserve that, our coaches deserve that, and that’s what they’re going to get from me.”

STARTING RIGHT tackle Marcus Cannon, who has been hobbled by an ankle injury since the Bills game two weeks ago, was removed from the injured list.

Julian Edelman (shoulder, knee) was one of six Patriots listed as questionable, along with defensive backs Jonathan Jones, Jason McCourty and Terrence Brooks because of groin injuries, and linebackers Jamie Collins (shoulder) and Ja’Whaun Bentley (knee).

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