Nissan Stadium was buzzing with boos on Sunday as fans looked on in dread as the Arizona Cardinals stomped the Tennessee Titans, 38-13.
Offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, who was the main subject of the crowd’s anger, took to Twitter after the game to own up to the offensive line’s mistakes.
CARDINALS’ CHANDLER JONES GETS 3 SACKS IN FIRST QUARTER, LEBRON JAMES GETS FIRED UP
“Got my a– kicked today, no way around that. I let the team and the fans down. Thank you (Cardinals LB) Chandler Jones for exposing me. It will only force me to get better,” he tweeted.
Lewan, a three-time Pro Bowler, allowed two sacks and tied a game-high of five pressures allowed along with teammate Nate Davis, but it would be difficult to point the finger just at one player.
The Titans suffered a complete breakdown of their offensive line, allowing six sacks, five by Jones, and nine quarterback hits. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was constantly under pressure — a complete turnaround from last season.
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The Titans not only won the AFC South last year, they had one of the NFL’s best offenses in 2020 with Derrick Henry being named NFL Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for 2,027 yards. They tied Buffalo for the second-most yards per game and ranked fourth in scoring, then traded for wide receiver Julio Jones in June.
“This game is not played on paper,” safety Kevin Byard said after the game. “We have to perform every week. It’s not about what you said you were going to do; it’s about what you do, and we didn’t do enough today to win.”
He continued: “You’re going to get boos, and rightfully so. We didn’t play well, so I can’t expect anything less. Our fanbase wants us to be a great team. We want to be a great team.”
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By comparison, the Cardinals had one of their best season starts.
Jones became the 17th player in NFL history with 100 sacks in his first 10 seasons after needing three to reach that mark, which he did in the first quarter Sunday.
He also tied the franchise record, and his five sacks are the third-most by a player in a season opener.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.