Quotes of Note: Cardinals on Whipping Titans

Players and coach Kliff Kingsbury talk about corraling Derrick Henry, sacking Ryan Tannehill and other elements of their 38-18 victory at Nissan Stadium.
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NASHVILLE – The Arizona Cardinals saw to it Sunday that any talk about the Tennessee Titans as a Super Bowl contender would cease – at least for a week.

Tennessee fell behind 17-0 and never seriously threatened in a 38-13 loss at Nissan Stadium. The offense allowed six sacks and committed three turnovers. The defense allowed Arizona to score four of the first five times it had the ball and to convert nearly 54 percent of its third-down opportunities.

Here is a roundup of what Cardinals players and coach Kliff Kingsbury had to say about their performance and the manner in which they handled the Titans:

Safety Budda Baker, on the play of the defense: “With that team, once you get a lead on them you have to force them to throw. They can’t do their play-action. They can’t run the ball the way they want to, and then try to use those same running formation to throw the ball. You just couldn’t do it. You just couldn’t do it today. Our D-line did a heck of a job.”

Coach Kliff Kingsbury, on scoring two touchdowns after fumble recoveries: “We've talked about being one of the better teams in the league in turnover margin. We haven't been in (that category) our first two years here, and you look into the year, the top five teams are always the ones that go deep in the playoffs and win the Super Bowl, and so that was a huge for us.”

Quarterback Kyler Murray, on his interception, which led to the Titans’ second touchdown: “There’s adversity in every game. That was a little bit of ours, and we faced it. … At the end of the day, I think all of it is good for us to go through early in the season. That way, we clean it up, go back to work and understand what we have to do.”

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, on the defense getting six sacks (five from Chandler Jones): “We knew (Jones) and that D-line were going to do what they did today. Those guys practice like dogs, man. It’s sometimes hard for us to go out and have a successful practice against them just because you see what you’ve seen today. We knew what was going to happen.”

Linebacker Isaiah Simmons, on the effect of all the sacks: “Quarterbacks have clocks ticking in their head. I think having a (Jones) like that, it speeds the clock up. Just knowing he doesn’t have as much time, that’s something that’s important because all offense is on a timer. All his progressions, everything is on a timer, so just being able to speed that up I think throws their chemistry off. It’s very effective.”

Baker, on Jones’ play: “I think it was epic. I think it was one for the ages. … He’s a technician. He’s professional when it comes to pass rushing. He has that down. He knows what to do. Just to see that today bought smiles to my face for sure.”

Hopkins, on his first touchdown: “(Murray) put the ball where it needed to be. A quarterback like that is always trying to make a play. I just knew I had to be where he was going to throw the ball in. There was good coverage, but those balls aren’t easy to catch.”

Wide receiver Christian Kirk, on the Cardinals offense: “We handled adversity really well. I think at times when we did get behind the chains, and we had some early penalties and mistakes … guys responded well. We didn’t hang our heads. We didn’t start pointing fingers. We just started chipping away and making big plays and we stayed in the game. So, I was just really happy with how we responded to that.”

Hopkins, on playing with Murray: “The play is never over until he’s on the ground. For us, it’s just being where he needs us to be. Sometimes it’s freestyling with him and just getting open, finding the open spot. (Kingsbury) does a good job of preparing us for those scramble drills because we know a guy like (Murray), it’s hard for him to go down.”

Kingsbury, on the Cardinals defensive plan: “We knew if we could stop the run, we could shut down the play-action stuff and get them in third-and-long and make them try to block Chandler [Jones]. (Coordinator Vance Joseph) had a tremendous plan and executed it perfectly early.”

Simmons, on limiting the Titans’ run game: “I feel like that’s just taking away their main thing that they do and try to make them beat us in a way that is probably unorthodox.”

Murray, on the atmosphere at Nissan Stadium: “It was a fun thing to have everybody out there, have all of the fans back. They do so much for the game. The atmosphere, the environment is crazy. We fed off of our fans.”

Simmons, on Arizona’s performance: “We were able to learn a little bit about ourselves. Had a lot of pieces of the puzzle thrown in this year to make us the team that we will be. It just showed us how good we are going to be able to come together and be a unit.”

Baker, on the result: “It is definitely good to get a W on the road. Each and every year teams are different. Playoff teams last year may not be playoff teams this year. That’s how it works. … Today we just played Cardinals football and hopefully you guys got a good watch today.”