Coming into the first game of the 2021 NFL season with many questions, the Arizona Cardinals answered all the critics with a surprising dominant blowout of the highly favored Tennessee Titans in their home building.
Much was said about how the pre-season went for a first team unit that only had nine snaps with minimal yardage gained, the offense looked like the same inept unit that finished last year in disappointment.
The main question asked all off-season, was Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury on the hot seat for his job if the team under performed this year.
The coach and his team helped to get rid of those thoughts at least for one week, with a stunning performance that absolutely no one saw coming.
Cardinals have not had much success with early games on the road on the east coast, which is why most of the analyst and experts did not give them much of a chance in this game.
Yes, I myself had counted this as a loss on the schedule while making early predictions, and yes I too am eating crow.
The defense had one thing on their mind today in Nashville, and that was not to allow Titans Derrick Henry to control and dictate the game.
Henry finished with on 58 yards on 17 carries, most of which came in the second half of a game that was out of reach.
The Cardinals accomplished making the Titans a one demential team, by cutting off the head of the snake early and often and showing that quarterback Ryan Tannehill is not able to carry a team on his arm.
Tannehill spent most of the day on his back, after star end rusher Chandler Jones lived in his backfield all day recording five sacks of which two being strip fumbles.
The redbirds had a total of 6 sacks and many hurry’s and forced three total turnovers, and limited the Titans to 248 yards of total offense.
Quarterback Kyler Murray was in complete control of the game, after lighting into his offense for all the mental errors that stopped drives in the first half.
Penalties have been a great issue for the Cardinals coming into this year, self inflicted penalties that set the tone of losses in so many contests last year.
Four crucial penalties on the first drive that potentially stopped a touchdown scoring opportunity, looked much like the same team doing what it had done so many time shooting itself in the collective foot.
Another question mark from the critics was can Murray become a better leader? And after picking his offense up and getting them rolling as he did, showed he is on his way to being the leader this team needs at the helm.
Kyler accounted for five touchdowns on the day throwing 21 of 32 289 yards with four scores, and running for 20 yards on five attempts and a goal line touchdown run.
Murray and the offense after cleaning up the mistakes, look like the scary offense we have ben waiting for for three seasons.
This was only one win, but a critical statement done on the road against a playoff team from last year.
If the Cardinals are going to score points at this clip, it’s going to be very hard to say they would not be in the mix for competing for the division.
For now we as the critics have our mouths stuffed Redbird, and to be honest for me, loving it.