Chandler Jones records five sacks vs. Titans, tying Cardinals franchise record

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Chandler Jones is back. The torn bicep that limited him to five games a year ago has been repaired. So, apparently, are the hurt feelings over contract negotiations that led Jones to ask for a trade this off-season.

The Cardinals didn't grant his wish, which might be the best decision they made all off-season.

Sunday in Nashville, we saw what a healthy, happy Jones means to the Cardinals defense.

Darn near everything.

Jones finished with five sacks, tying the franchise's record single-game record set last season by Haason Reddick, and forced two fumbles in the process.

The next sack Jones gets should be full of money.

Jones sacked Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill three times in the first quarter and forced a fumble that led to a touchdown. He added another sack and another forced fumble in the third quarter, just as Titans running back Derrick Henry was starting to do some damage.

The Cardinals capitalized on that turnover, too, scoring a touchdown four plays later to clinch the game.

Sep 12, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters (98) recovers a fumble after a sack fumble forced by Arizona Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones (55) during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 12, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters (98) recovers a fumble after a sack fumble forced by Arizona Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones (55) during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals' 38-13 victory in the season opener at Nissan Stadium should go a long way in earning Jones a new contract, because pass rushers of his skill and consistency are rare.

A lot of Cardinals played well. Quarterback Kyler Murray was brilliant and did things no other player can do. Receivers Christian Kirk and DeAndre Hopkins each scored twice. A questionable secondary came through in the clutch, and Henry, who rushed for more than 2,000 yards last season, was kept in check.

No performance on Sunday, however, portends better for the Cardinals fortunes this season than Jones.

He looked younger than 31. He looked better than he did last season, when he recorded just one sack in five games. And he looked like a guy who one day soon will be making more much than the average of $16.5 million he's received under his current deal.

Jones began to answer a lot of questions on Sunday. A couple more games like that and Cardinals general manager Steve Keim will have one to answer himself:

When are you going to pay the man?

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Chandler Jones nets five sacks vs. Titans, tying Cardinals record