Tennessee Titans fans miffed at Week 1 loss to Arizona Cardinals: 'Is this how we football?'
The 2021 Tennessee Titans look very familiar.
Just nine months ago, the 2020 Tennessee Titans had some of the same problems. A defense that gave up a lot of yards and points, inconsistent field goal kicking, at a minimum.
But a new problem emerged: the offensive line's protection of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Maybe it was an isolated incident – Chandler Jones compiled five of the Cardinals' six sacks – but Tannehill was under duress all day.
The defense is still struggling
From the jump (a DeAndre Hopkins 38-yard catch on the first drive), the Tennessee defense was playing catch-up. Think about last season, and the dynamic offenses (Houston twice, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Green Bay) that lit up the Titans throughout the year.
Unfortunately, that was the case again on Sunday. Kyler Murray had more than 200 passing yards in the first half as the Cardinals built a 24-6 lead.
And even in the second half after the Titans scored off a Murray interception, Arizona eased its way down the field for a touchdown to restore its advantage.
Field-goal kicking is struggling
Placekicker Michael Badgley was signed to the Titans' practice squad on Friday, then was on the active roster on Saturday with Sam Ficken placed on Injured Reserve.
Badgley didn't start well, missing an extra point and a 46-yard field goal in the first half. While he did make an extra point in the second half, the three-week audition (at minimum, per the NFL's IR rules) for Badgley to unseat Ficken did not get off to a good start.
Ryan Tannehill's protection
Chandler Jones was a problem on Sunday. Jones had three sacks of Ryan Tannehill in the first half, including a strip-sack that resulted in a Cardinals recovery deep in Titans territory and eventual touchdown. He finished with five sacks going up against Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan, who dealt with cramps in the second half, and backup tackle Kendall Lamm.