You don’t see this every day.
After the Arizona Cardinals annihilated the Tennessee Titans 38-13 in the 2021 season opener, a Titans player took to Twitter and admitted something of note.
Star left tackle Taylor Lewan was frequently destroyed by All-Pro edge rusher Chandler Jones, who tallied 5.0 sacks and two forced fumbles.
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Lewan told the masses on Twitter, “Got my a** kicked today, no way around that. I let the team and the fans down. Thank you @chanjones55 for exposing me. It will only force me to get better.”
Lewan is very charismatic and has a podcast called “Bussin With The Boys” presented by Barstool Sports. Lewan even pinned the tweet, which will show at the top of his social media page.
The Cardinals’ defensive line took the game by storm, sacking Titans QB Ryan Tannehill in the first quarter. But they also stopped the run in the first half against Derrick Henry, limiting the 2020 NFL rushing leader to nine carries for eight yards.
Lewan admits he had a lot to do with the poor performance, but there were many negative aspects from Tennesee that allowed the Cardinals to fly away with a dominant road win.
Jones Meets Familiar Faces
Towards the end of the Cardinals’ demolishing win of the Titans, owner Steve Michael Bidwill and general manager Steve Keim paid a visit to the two-time All-Pro.
Many are thinking they were handing him a blank check, with his impending free agency after the 2021 season.
You would’ve been deemed crazy if someone told you A.J. Brown and Julio Jones would combine for 7 receptions and 78 yards. The Titans offensive line had no answer for Jones, who ended up tying former teammate Haason Reddick for the most sacks in a game in franchise history.
Coach Kingsbury had a feeling he’d make an impact, but not at that magnitude.
“I didn’t know he’d have five, but I knew he’d have an impact,” said Kingsbury.
But he wasn’t the only contributor. According to NFL’s NextGen stats, Zach Allen and J.J. Watt had four quarterback pressures each. Ryan Tannehill had no time to get things going throughout the day and that gave the Cardinals plenty of time of possession.
One UnSung Hero
While the headlines might feature Chandler Jones, Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins, second-year linebacker Isaiah Simmons made a difference in this game. Simmons had a total of nine tackles and was all over the field, including catching an interception that was up in the air.
While the defensive line helped stop Derrick Henry throughout the day, Simmons stood tall and made key tackles on the All-Pro rusher.
Simmons even made a key tackle preventing Henry from scoring in the first half.
But Simmons with all of his humbleness, admits there were things that need to be adjusted for the next game.
“We came in with really high confidence, but we have so much to clean up.”
It was expected prior to the season that Simmons would make an impact everywhere on the field. But against a playoff-caliber team on the road in Week one? This is very encouraging to see for every Cardinals fan.