Cardinals’ Chandler Jones Has LeBron James Fired Up on Twitter: ‘My Goodness!!’

Getty Images Chandler Jones celebrates after a false start in 2020.

Someone definitely wants the bag.

In the first Arizona Cardinals game of the 2021 regular season against the Tennessee Titans, soon-to-be free agent edge rusher Chandler Jones accumulated three sacks in the first quarter.

That’s including a forced fumble that led to the Cardinals’ first touchdown.

The 17-time NBA All-Star LeBron James even had a chance to voice his excitement over the potential comeback player of the year and maybe even defensive player of the year.

Jones is now a part of the 100 sack club as well. He even finished ahead of teammate J.J. Watt, with 102 sacks compared to Watt’s 101.

The Cardinals’ defensive line took the game by storm, sacking Tannehill in the first quarter. But they also stopped the run in the first half against Derrick Henry, limiting him to nine carries for eight yards.

Even the Cards’ secondary had bright moments, including with third-year Byron Murphy’s play. The Titans scored a touchdown finally in the second quarter, but so many things needed to be right for that to happen, including a flea-flicker.

Jones finished with five sacks for the opener, which should undoubtedly make him the defensive player of the week in the NFL for Week 1. As for the Cardinals’ offense, Kyler Murray had himself an incredibly efficient first half. We’ll touch on that.

Jones Wants That Pay Day

Edge rusher Chandler Jones has wreaked havoc in the past and can continue to become a dominant force like he was in 2019. He has Watt on the defensive line for support now and while Watt’s sack numbers didn’t jump out in 2020 with just five sacks, he was eighth in tackles for loss and had 12 quarterback knockdowns.

Having the support of Jones and players like Corey Peters and eventually getting back Jordan Phillips from injury can make a difference. The Cardinals were fifth in sacks in 2020 without Jones for most of the year so imagine what the defensive line can do this season.

Jones, who signed a five-year deal with the Cardinals in March 2017, is in the final year of that contract and will earn $15.5 million this season. There was a point where Jones requested a trade on July 25 after disagreements with his contract and future with the team.

Finally, Chandler appeared at practice for the first time in weeks on August 30. This will be a major year for the veteran and general manager Steve Keim will have to make a tough choice after the season if Jones balls out.

Murray’s All-Time Day

You couldn’t have asked for a better day for Kyler and company. While the first couple of drives looked a little bleak with penalties, Murray stood out with his ability to escape the pocket and throw to his favorite receiver, DeAndre Hopkins.

He found him twice in the endzone.

Murray stopped by his old stomping ground in Nashville, the same place where he was drafted first overall in 2019. The Titans had no answer for his ability to throw in the intermediate game and throw down the sidelines.

Christian Kirk got a picture-esque bomb from Murray off his back-foot in the early third quarter.

If you went against Kyler Murray in fantasy football today, you are not having a good time. Murray went 21 for 32 in their first win of the season and threw for four touchdowns for a passer rating of 120.9. He also had a rushing touchdown to go along with that.

Many expected the Titans to have the type of day the Cardinals had. While we had the Cardinals losing in our schedule predictions last week, we did think there was reason to believe they were catching the Titans at the right time.

For now, Kyler and the rest of the team’s play against a playoff opponent is a welcome sign of things to come potentially for Arizona.

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