Kyler Murray and the Cardinals’ offense cruised through the Titans’ defense throughout their 38-13 win over the Tennessee at Nissan Stadium.
Murray, who last season became the second player in NFL history to throw at least 25 touchdown passes and rush for at least 10, completed 21 of 32 passes for 289 yards and four touchdowns against Tennessee, along with five rushes for 20 yards and a score. He completed 15 of 22 passes 201 yards and two touchdowns in the first half alone.
Six of Murray’s completions went to three-time first-team All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who had 83 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the game. One of those connections was an acrobatic 5-yard touchdown in the second quarter, when Murray scrambled to his right and found Hopkins, who tip-toed his feet in for the score.
Outside of Murray’s efforts on the ground, Arizona starting running back Chase Edmonds had 12 carries for 63 yards, and backup James Conner had 16 rushes for 53 yards. Several viewers were impressed with Arizona’s offensive performance, including former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler.
Here were some of the other notable moments from the Cardinals’ victory.
Hopkins gets Arizona off to a strong start
Arizona was hot throughout Sunday’s game, finishing with 416 offensive yards compared to Tennessee’s 248.
The Cardinals started the game with an eight-play, 45-yard drive that ended with a 34-yard field goal from kicker Matt Prater. The series included a 38-yard pass from Murray to Hopkins on Arizona’s first offensive play, moving it inside the 25-yard line.
Following Hopkins’ acrobatic score that gave the Cardinals a 10-0 lead with 8:11 left in the first quarter, he recorded a 17-yard touchdown after spinning away Tennessee safety Kevin Byard on a second-and-9 play.
Murray works his magic
During Arizona’s final drive of the half, Murray completed 4 of 6 passes, including third-and-10 completion in which he darted from one side of the field to the other before locating wideout Rondale Moore for an 18-yard completion. Murray closed that drive with a two-yard rushing touchdown, giving Arizona a 24-6 lead at halftime.
Murray’s lone blunder
Murray’s only big mistake of the game came during the Cardinals’ first drive of the third quarter, in which he tried to find tight end Demetrius Harris for what appeared to be a 30-yard pass on third-and-3. However, the pass was picked off by Byard, who returned the football to Arizona’s 32-yard line and set up the Titans’ lone touchdown of the second half.
Murray, who was rolling to his left on the play, underthrew Harris, leading to the pick. Murray had 12 interceptions each during his first two seasons of his career, and this was his only blunder in an otherwise stellar outing.
Christian Kirk finishes the Titans off
Outside of Murray’s pick in the third quarter, he completed 6-of-9 passes through the remainder of the game, preventing Tennesee from making any sort of comeback.
After Murray’s pick, Arizona went on a six-play, 75-yard drive early in the third quarter, which ended in its third touchdown pass to wide receiver Christian Kirk.
Check out how Murray fell back on his heels and Kirk located the football while trotting into the end zone.
The Cardinals went three-and-out on their next series, but Kirk scored his second touchdown with 3:06 left in the third quarter, making a back-shoulder catch against Byard.
Arizona missed a field goal early in the fourth quarter and milked its final drive, going 25 yards over eight plays in a 6:19 span.
Chandler Jones’ big day
Outside of Arizona’s offensive onslaught, defensive end Chandler Jones had an incredible individual performance.
He recorded five sacks — three of which came in the first quarter — including four tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. It helped the Cardinals’ offense get rolling and earned attention from notable viewers on Twitter.
I’ll say it again. CHANDLER JONES is going for DPOY!!!! My GOODNESS
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 12, 2021
Here were some of Jones’ best highlights from Sunday afternoon.