The Tennessee Titans will have a tough task in Week 1. They’ll look to contain quarterback Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals offense on Sunday. It sounds like they know the type of athlete that they will be up against at QB, too.

Statistical Comparison

Murray passed for 3,971 yards and 26 touchdowns with only 12 interceptions last season. A dynamic runner as well, he added 819 yards and 11 TDs on the ground. in 2020, Lamar Jackson threw for 2,757 yards and 26 touchdowns along with only 9 interceptions. As a runner, Jackson accumulated 1,005 yards and 7 TDs.

Keep in mind that the Ravens’ offense is more of a run-heavy scheme than the Cardinals’ attack.

Playstyle & Containment

Regardless, it is clear that Kyler’s playstyle is quite the thorn in the side of defenses. When plays break down, they’re only just beginning for the Arizona QB. He thrives on escaping tough situations to pick up gains on the ground or to unleash deep throws to his receivers.

Linebackers Rashaan Evans, David Long Jr., and Jayon Brown will play big roles on Sunday against him. They have to do their best to contain him, but they also have to avoid being over-zealous. If they get caught being too aggressive, Murray isn’t afraid to take off. Safety Kevin Byard and the secondary have to be prepared for a lot of read-option plays as well.

Titans Head Coach Mike Vrabel understands the kind of assignment Murray presents to a defense. It isn’t just with his legs either, especially when DeAndre Hopkins is on the roster. Arizona also added veteran WR A.J. Green this off-season. Christian Kirk and rookie Rondale Moore are dynamic athletes at pass-catcher, too.

While Lamar Jackson may cause more of a scare as a runner than Kyler, Murray is more willing to push the ball down the field. That is, if Arizona HC Kliff Kingsbury allows him to – at least.

The Titans have done well in the past against Lamar’s rushing abilities, sacking him five times in last year’s playoff game and four times in 2019’s postseason matchup. They’ll need similar sack production on Sunday to slow down Murray.

Although, he did get the best of them on the ground in the fourth quarter last postseason. That made the difference in the game. Tennessee cannot allow that to be the case this weekend against Arizona.

Every level of the Titans’ defense has to be ready for an array of outcomes when it comes to Kyler and the Cardinals’ offense. Will they be up to the task? We’ll find out on Sunday.

 

Featured Image via USA TODAY-Sports