The Arizona Cardinals will face the Tennessee Titans in Nashville on Sunday. They are not common opponents as they only face them once in four seasons.
To help preview the game, Titans Wire managing Editor Mike Moraitis asked some questions to provide more information about the Cardinals’ first opponent.
The questions and answers to his questions are listed below.
Moraitis: The Titans likely stayed in-house with their offensive coordinator in order to ensure that much wouldn’t change offensively, so expect the offense to still lead with Derrick Henry and work off play-action. However, I expect to see more action on the air this season with Julio Jones.
I would say that the Titans’ one-stop spot is right tackle, where David Quessenberry has been promoted to the starting line up. Although the four returning starters have proven to be solid in pass protection and run-blocking, it is unclear if Quessenberry will be a starting-caliber right tackle in either side of the ball. The Cardinals should be challenging him early and often in Week 1.
Well, the defense was pretty awful last season, especially on third downs, so things couldn’t get much worse in 2021. This unit has a lot talent, and it was very impressive during the preseason, especially on the defensive line. However, talent on paper does not always translate to the field. There are many question marks (Bud Dupree returning from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, unproven secondary players like Kristian Fulton, Elijah Molden), so I am taking a wait and see approach. For now, I hesitantly project this defense to finish in the top half of the league, which would be a fairly sizable improvement from 2020.
I already mentioned Quessenberry as right tackle. It is concerning that he will have to deal with Arizona’s talented edge rushers. Also, anytime DeAndre Hopkins is on the field you have to be concerned about him, and I’m not sure either Janoris Jenkins or Kristian Fulton will be up for the task. Tennessee struggled against an athletic quarterback in preseason Week 1, so the Titans keeping Kyler Murray contained is a major worry.
I have this one as a high-scoring affair, with both teams dropping 30-plus points. In the end, I tend to believe the Titans’ defense is slightly better than the Cardinals‘, so I’m giving the home team the edge in this one. Titans 34, Cardinals 31.