NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Taylor Lewan is one of the Titans’ very best players when he is right.

But it’s a probably mistake to think his opening-day effort against Chandler Jones and the Cardinals was simply a bad day by a very good player.

He’s still in the process of recovering from the torn ACL he suffered in his right knee on Oct. 18, 2020 against the Texans.

Taylor Lewan

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While ACL recovery is not the same for everyone, Dr. David Chao -- who is not familiar with the particulars of Lewan's case -- says the process is much more a gradual sunrise than a light switch and sees a lot of recovery still ahead.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – That dynamic, speedy offense didn’t show itself in the Titans’ season opener.

One game isn’t that big of a deal especially considering not that much has changed. But the depth of the trouble was alarming.

There was minimal separation from receivers, and A.J. Brown and Julio Jones are supposed to get away from people and provide Ryan Tannehill with options.

Ryan Tannehill

Donald Page/ Tennessee Titans

Tannehill pinned the lack of speed in the game on the lack of any flow for the offense

“We didn’t come out and get anything going, we went three-and-out we had the turnover, three-and-out again and it’s tough to play fast and put pressure on the defense when you’re not on the field,” he said. "Obviously, we need to get into drives. We need to get that first first down get the chains moving, that way we can call some more plays, give our guys some more opportunities.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It’s perfectly clear to me that offering criticism about people who behave like the smartest people in the room loses heft when it comes from someone who often acts as if he’s the smartest person in the room.

Also, Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel are, in fact, often the smartest people in the room.

Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel

Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel/ Poll photo by Mark Humphrey AP

The Titans have been just fine during most of the duo’s co-piloting of the franchise, and they may be again. The two are personable guys, relatable to regular Joes. Their records are solid. They are respected around the league. They are good football men, and good men. I like them a lot.

But Sunday’s terrible loss to the Cardinals offered a major view into how they factor into an organizational arrogance that can limit the franchise.

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Scouting review: Full dissection of Titans' failures against the Cardinals

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This was not the way the Titans wanted to start their new season.

The third-down defense did not improve off a historically bad 2020 season.

The new additions to the team were not as productive as the players they replaced.

Jeremy McNichols

Jeremy McNichols/ Donald Page, Tennessee Titans

The new offensive coordinator did not live up to the last one.

The 2021 draft class had minimal impact or production with only Elijah Molden playing significant snaps.

The 2020 draft class had only Kristian Fulton and Larrell Murchison active during the game.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Never mind fixed or better. The Titans looked nothing close to the same in a season-opening debacle. They looked a lot worse.

One game is a small sample size, and the Cardinals are unique.

Chandler Jones Ryan Tannehill

© The Tennessean-USA TODAY NETWORK

But in a 38-13 thrashing the Titans' stars they are counting on to do a great deal for them were overwhelmed. And didn’t play the complementary football their coaching staff talked about all offseason.

It’s not a sign of a great team when month-long messages get lost at a long-awaited kickoff.

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Scouting preview: All the keys to Cardinals at Titans

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Cardinals are an interesting club.

Former first overall draft choice quarterback Kyler Murray has star-type qualities to go along with perennial Pro Bowlers J.J. Watt, Chandler Jones, DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green.

The youth of Murray, Isaiah Simmons, Zaven Collins, Rondale Moore and Christian Kirk adds some intrigue and excitement to the team.Julio Jones

But coach Kliff Kingsbury has had his chances to shine and has yet to produce a winning record on either the college or professional levels. Kingsbury's reputation is as an offensive guru but he has yet to produce winning football teams.

General manager Steve Keim is the 10th longest-tenured GM in the NFL dating back to 2013. He continues to add names and star power but it hasn’t produced winning teams.

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NASHVILLE, TENN. – As he prepares for an opponent, Janoris Jenkins looks at the film for one precise situation of which to take advantage.

He’s more disciplined than the jackrabbit whose name he’s assumed. His path to the ball is not a zigzag to avoid prey, but a more direct route resulting from what he’s studied.
Janoris Jenkins

© Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

“Once you figure out that specific play, that you practiced on and figured all week, once they show you that formation, there’s your chance,” Jenkins said. “Take advantage of it….”

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