Following perhaps the worst start of his Tennessee Titans career in a 38-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1, quarterback Ryan Tannehill knows exactly where the problem lies.
Well, the biggest problem, that is.
“We have great playmakers, but if we are not running plays, then we can’t give them opportunities,” Tannehill said. “It is key to get the drive going, move the chains, and get that first first down.
“We didn’t come out and get anything going [against Arizona]. We went three-and-out, had the turnover, then went three-and-out again, and it is tough to play fast and put pressure on the defense when you are not out on the field.”
The Titans’ first four drives against Arizona resulted in three punts and a fumble recovery for a Cardinals’ touchdown.
Arizona did a solid job of containing Tennessee’s top weapons. Derrick Henry had just 58 yards rushing on 17 carriers, while A.J. Brown and Julio Jones combined for just seven receptions and 78 yards.
Brown’s first reception didn’t come until 10:56 in the second quarter. Jones wasn’t targeted until 8:50 in the second quarter, and he didn’t record a reception until the final two minutes of the first half. The Titans also had the sixth-fewest yards after catch (79) of any team in Week 1.
Additionally, The Titans' tight ends produced just three receptions for 19 yards — all by Anthony Firkser — and as a group, the tight ends were only targeted five times.
“[Arizona was] getting after us pretty good and made it tough to get anything going down the field,” Tannehill said. “They were playing some coverage where the ball couldn’t come out quickly down the field, and they were able to get there by the time we were able to get open down there. Definitely made it tough.”
Tannehill himself struggled as well. He uncharacteristically turned the ball over three times, was sacked an NFL-high six times, and only 24 of his 35 pass attempts were on-target throws, according to Pro Football Reference.
The Titans offensive line — normally a strength of the team — didn’t exactly throw Tannehill any lifelines either. The 32-year-old QB had an average of just 2.4 seconds in the pocket, and he was blitzed 12 times, hit six times and pressured 13 times. In fact, Tannehill was under pressure on 31 percent of his drop backs — sixth-most of any quarterback in Week 1.
His 74.9 passer rating was the second-lowest of his Titans tenure, and his 17.4 QBR is his lowest since taking over as the Titans’ starter.
“At the end of the day, we have to dig back into what we believe in in this building and in this program, and come out swinging, come out fighting,” Tannehill said. “Looking forward to the opportunity this week for our guys to go finish, to play fast, to play aggressive, to push piles, to move people in the run game and get that momentum going.”
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