Ryan Tannehill sacked 5 times by Chandler Jones, Titans' rust shows vs. Arizona Cardinals

Paul Skrbina
Nashville Tennessean

Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill knew pain during the first quarter of his team's season opener Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

Tannehill didn't know gain, though, thanks to Chandler Jones.

Instead, Tannehill and the Titans knew loss, as in losing 28 yards courtesy of three sacks from Jones, who added a fourth and fifth during the third quarter was credited with 46 yards in losses. The Titans also lost the game 38-13. Tannehill was sacked three times in a game twice last season -- in a victory against the Bears and a loss to the Browns.

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Chester Rogers (80) runs from Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy (7) during the second quarter at Nissan Stadium Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.

Jones, an outside linebacker, blew by Taylor Lewan and acquainted himself with Tannehill on the Titan's second play of the season, causing a fumble that was recovered by Corey Peters. Peters looked to have scored a touchdown, but was ruled down inside the 1.

Jones reached Tannehill again on the first play of another Titans' drive. The Chiefs' Derrick Thomas sacked Seahawks quarterback Dave Krieg seven times on Nov. 11, 1990, the record for most sacks by one player 

The offensive struggles were punctuated by the fact that a safety's pass to a defensive back on a fake punt resulted in the team's first first down of the season

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But Matthias Farley found defensive back Amani Hooker, Jones sacked Tannehill again, resulting in a 6-yard loss and a subsequent punt. 

The early struggles on offense weren't a complete surprise, considering the lack of time the starters spent playing together during camp.

Fans booed the team as it made it way off the field for halftime.

Other lowlights of the first half, during which the Titans trailed 24-6, included:

  • Julio Jones, whose first stat as a Titan was a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty.
  • When the Titans finally managed to score on Tannehill's 1-yard run with 6:54 left in the second, Michael Badgley, a last-minute roster addition, missed the point-after attempt. Badgley also missed a 46-yard field goal attempt with 14 seconds left in the second quarter.
  • Derrick Henry found himself 2,004 yards shy of 2,000 after he was stopped for a loss on his first two carries. He had nine carries for eight yards in the first two quarters.

Reach Paul Skrbina at pskrbina@tennessean.com and follow him on Twitter @PaulSkrbina.