Cardinals blow out Titans in 2021 season-opener, Kyler Murray 5 TDs, Chandler Jones 5 sacks

Sports 12 September, 2021 - 03:18pm 8 views

How many sacks did Chandler Jones have?

Jones has been one of the NFL's best pass rushers since entering the league in 2012. He has 97 sacks during his career, and has hit double digits in six of his nine seasons. Jones only had one last year due to an injury that forced him to miss the last 11 games. CalBearsMavenChandler Jones Ties Cardinals Single Game Sack Record

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Chandler Jones heard the whispers in the offseason. He silenced them Sunday.

Jones equaled the Cardinals' franchise record for the most sacks in a single game, taking down Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill five times in Arizona's 38-13 win. He got busy early, getting a free rush at Tannehill and meeting him on the backside of a play-action fake from the right end, forcing a fumble that led to a Cardinals touchdown.

Then, he turned his attention to left tackle Taylor Lewan.

Jones rushed toward Lewan, engaging and ripping through Lewan's extended arms to a sack of Tannehill. Four minutes later, he smoked Lewan, rushing right around him for another takedown of the Titans passer.

Three sacks in the first half. Five in three quarters. Two forced fumbles, both recovered by Arizona. Jones could not be stopped.

"Got my ass kicked today, no way around that," Lewan tweeted after the game. "I let the team and the fans down. Thank you @chanjones55 for exposing me. It will only force me to get better."

Entering Sunday, there was a theory that Jones might explode in 2021 thanks to the arrival of a legitimate running mate in J.J. Watt. Although it was Watt who first made an impact -- pressuring Tannehill early and recording a tackle for loss on Derrick Henry to set Arizona's defensive tone -- it was Jones who ultimately proved that theory correct, at least for Week 1.

The end result was one for the record books. Jones became the first player to have three sacks in the first quarter of his team's first game of the regular season, since individual sacks became an official stat in 1982. He finished with his second career game with four or more sacks and two or more forced fumbles, becoming the only player to accomplish the feat in the last 20 years, per NFL Research.

"It was one for the ages," safety Budda Baker said, via the team's official site.

Jones was in a bit of a contract dispute in the offseason, missing mandatory minicamp and avoiding discussing the matter publicly throughout the offseason. He arrived to training camp with what Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said was "a chip on his shoulder, no doubt." Cardinals receiver Christian Kirk referenced a team-sized chip on Sunday following the win.

That chip powered Jones to five sacks, a dream-like statistical start for a player in a contract year. The Cardinals hope it's just the beginning for the 31-year-old.

Russell Wilson dominates, defense gets timely stops in Seahawks’ 28-16 win over Colts

ESPN 12 September, 2021 - 03:08pm

Russell Wilson threw four touchdown passes, including a pair to Tyler Lockett, and the defense repeatedly harassed Carson Wentz and got timely stops on their way to a 28-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts (0-1) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Wentz remains winless against Seattle and after a bright start, him and the rest of the Colts offense really could not sustain drives on a consistent basis.

Seattle unfortunately did suffer several injuries, which you’ll read in the injury report below. Otherwise it’s hard not to be encouraged by how the Seahawks performed. The run defense held up, the rushing offense looked good, the passing offense looked as great as advertised under new OC Shane Waldron, and special teams did its job.

The Colts got the ball first and were on the cusp of a three-and-out, but a Jamal Adams sack was negated because he was offside on 3rd and 9. Carson Wentz made simple passes and running backs Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines punished Seattle’s defense on a 14-play, 9-minute drive. However, Indy could only get a field goal. Keep that in mind. 3-0 Colts.

Seattle converted three 3rd downs on its opening drive of the season. The first one was a scramble by Russell Wilson, the second one was a 33-yard run by Chris Carson, and the third was this beauty of a pass from Wilson to Tyler Lockett. 7-3 Seahawks.

Indy went three-and-out with Rasheem Green and Carlos Dunlap sharing a sack. Seattle had great field position at its own 40 and Wilson carved up a compromised Colts secondary with throws to Gerald Everett and Will Dissly getting chunk plays. Fittingly, it was Everett who was the recipient of this touchdown pass. 14-3 Seahawks.

I think you know this Seahawks defense isn’t to be trusted, and Wentz got the Colts back in it with his first Indianapolis touchdown on a short strike to Zach Pascal. It was a pass-heavy series and Seattle could not cope or really get close to Wentz with their pass rush. 14-10 Seahawks.

After an exchange of punts, the Seahawks got the ball back looking to close out the opening half by extending the lead. An illegal formation penalty and a sack nearly derailed things as Seattle faced 2nd and 20 at their own 31. No problem, as Russell Wilson found Tyler Lockett deep downfield for 69 yards. Touchdown! 21-10 Seahawks.

The two teams exchanged punts on their first four 2nd half possessions. Then the first turnover of the game went the Colts’ way, as Darius Leonard punched the ball out of Chris Carson’s grasp. Indy ball in great field position. It didn’t matter because on 4th and 1 just inside the Seahawks’ 35, a Wentz sneak never got going because he fumbled the snap and D.J. Reed recovered it. Seattle punted it away, continuing the trend of defense dominating the 3rd quarter.

The Colts had their best 2nd half drive to end the 3rd and go into the 4th quarter. Wentz was able to lead Indy into Seattle’s red zone, but Darrell Taylor picked one hell of a time to record his first NFL sack. That poor right tackle got bulldozed and Wentz was down before he got the pass off, which would’ve been incomplete anyway. Yet another 14-play drive for the Colts that doesn’t end up with a touchdown. In fact, this one gets no points.

Costly for the Colts, then the dagger happened. Here’s a DK Metcalf touchdown to send Colts fans to the exits. 28-10 Seahawks.

The Colts got a consolation touchdown while burning off a solid five minutes off the clock. Zach Pascal beat Tre Flowers as the blitz didn’t get there and Flowers was burned 1-on-1 in the red zone. 28-16 Seahawks FINAL.

WR Penny Hart suffered a concussion in the 1st half and did not return.

RB Rashaad Penny had a 1st half calf injury and did not return.

WR Dee Eskridge suffered a concussion in the 2nd half and did not return.

C Ethan Pocic had a leg injury in the 4th quarter and did not return.

Seattle has its home opener against the Tennessee Titans (0-1) on September 19th at 1:25 PM PT on CBS.

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