Tennessee Titans' Ryan Tannehill: Offense 'unacceptable' in Week 1 loss to Cardinals

Ben Arthur
Nashville Tennessean

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said Wednesday it was “unacceptable” how the team’s offense never responded after a slow start in Sunday's loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

The Titans went three-and-out on their first drive, turned the ball over after a sack fumble on the second one and then went three-and-out again on their third drive. Tennessee didn’t get a first down until its fourth drive and totaled minus-1 yards of offense in its first four series. 

The Titans’ hyped offense scored just 13 points in Sunday’s embarrassing loss. Tannehill was sacked six times, including five times by Cardinals edge rusher Chandler Jones.

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“We kind of got hit in the mouth early,” said Tannehill, who completed 21 of 35 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown with an interception. “We go out and didn’t get the start that we wanted. We didn’t respond well. It took us four drives before we moved the ball. That’s unacceptable. We have to be able to respond quickly.

“There’s going to be games where you come out and don’t get the start you want,” Tannehill added. “You go three-and-out. So what? You have to be able to reset and come out the next drive swinging and make a play. That’ll be a challenge for us moving forward. If things don’t go perfectly, if things don’t go well early or at some point in the game, OK. Go to the sideline and come out swinging the next drive.”

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) is sacked by Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones (55) during the third quarter at Nissan Stadium Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.

Much was made about the lack of practice time for the team’s starting offense heading into the opener. 

Tannehill doesn’t want to use that as an excuse for what happened in Week 1. 

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter,” Tannehill said of the lack of practice time conversation. “We didn't (play well). That’s on us. Moving forward, we have to be able to respond better, to come out and play our game no matter what’s going on. Even if things hadn’t gone well or if things did go really well, you can’t coast.

"You have to be able to come out each drive with a purpose, with a passion, play with energy and play our style of football.”

After a disappointing effort in all three phases of the game against the Cardinals, the Titans will look to bounce back against the Seahawks in Seattle. Lumen Field can be a hostile environment for opposing teams.

“I see it as just a regular fight," wide receiver Chester Rogers said of responding to a bad loss. "You got two options: you can back down or you can come back swinging.

"The type of team and coaching staff that we have, we’re going to come back swinging.”

Ben Arthur covers the Tennessee Titans for The USA TODAY Network. Contact him at barthur@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter at @benyarthur.