Now that the Cardinals have the means – J.J. Watt – to stop Titans RB Derrick Henry’s late-game bulldozing, take Arizona and the points and hope Julio doesn’t kill you.
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Last season, the .500 Arizona Cardinals could not stop the run, so they brought in star defensive end J.J. Watt and now he and his crew will do their best to handle Derrick Henry while QB Kyler Murray now gets A.J. Green and DeAndre Hopkins to target.
It doesn’t seem fair – not only do the Tennessee Titans have arguably the best running back in the league, now they also have perennial All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones on their roster, but they will still have to shut down some powerful Arizona playmakers in this exciting Week 1 matchup.
Dating back to the early seventies, these two teams have met each other 11 times so far, with the Tennessee Titans winning 4 of those games and the Arizona Cardinals winning the other 7 games.
Last season, the Cardinals were 22nd against the run, so against the Titans and Derrick Henry they are going to need to do better, something that the front office specifically tried to make happens by grabbing star defensive end, J.J. Watt.
But stopping Titans RB Derrick Henry is no easy feat regardless of who is playing against him, so the best the Cardinals can hope for is to keep his damage to a minimum and hope the secondary can do the same against Jones.
Also on the list of offseason defensive upgrades is cornerback Malcolm Butler, who they got on a one-year $6 million deal, as well as S Shawn Williams, two players that should add speed and depth to their secondary, which they’ll need against the speedy Jones.
Last season, the Titans’ rushing attack was second only to the Baltimore Ravens, but their passing game was ranked 23rd in the league and that enabled defenses to easily game plan against them.
Now that the team has Jones on the roster, they are most likely going to feature him as the counter punch to Henry’s run game, but only if Tannehill can get the ball to him, something that shouldn’t be a problem for the QB who threw for 33 touchdowns last season.
With all the hype about Jones, it’s easy to forget that the Titans also have playmaker receiver A.J. Brown and slot receiver Josh Reynolds in the mix, plus soft-handed tight end Geoff Swaim.
For much of the offseason, the big question in the NFL was where star defensive end free agent J.J. Watt would end up, and Arizona scored big in that department.
The Cardinals now have a pass rusher with an ever-churning motor who has over a hundred total sacks to his name as well as 172 total tackles in his career.
Last season with the Texans, Watt had 5 sacks and 52 total tackles along with 17 quarterback hits and an interception with a forced fumble thrown into the mix.
After ten glorious seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and the same QB Matt Ryan, 2x First-Team All-Pro, and 7x Pro Bowl receiver Julio Jones moved on and now makes his football home in Tennessee.
His numbers speak for themselves – 848 total receptions for almost 13,000 yards and 60 touchdowns, numbers that the 6’ 3”, 200 pound Alabama alum hopes to bring to the Titans.
What Jones does for Tennessee’s passing attack is bring all the defensive attention his way so that all the other Titans receivers now have lots of extra room to get open, something that Tannehill should have no trouble exploiting.
|Cardinals vs Titans Information|
|Team||Arizona Cardinals vs Tennessee Titans|
|Location||Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee|
|Time||Sunday, September 12, 2021; 1:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||CBS|
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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