Cardinals’ defense shuts down Titans’ offense for hard-fought win

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The Titans entered today as the favorites to win the AFC South, but they sure didn’t look like a playoff team in Arizona.

The Cardinals’ defense absolutely dominated the Titans’ offense in a 12-7 win that raises questions about whether the Titans can legitimately consider themselves contenders.

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 16 of 31 passes for just 159 yards, with no touchdowns and two interceptions. He didn’t get a lot of help from his running game, as DeMarco Murray totaled just 34 yards on 11 carries while Derrkick Henry had 20 yards on eight carries. The Titans also lost tackle Taylor Lewan to a back injury.

Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert wasn’t all that impressive either, with just 178 passing yards, but at least he didn’t throw an interception. The Cardinals got four field goals from Phil Dawson, and that was enough.

The Cardinals improve to 6-7, and although they won’t make the playoffs, they’re at least playing competitively down the stretch. The Titans, who fall to 8-5, didn’t compete on a day when they were playing an opponent that a playoff team should beat.