NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Logan Woodside scrambled for a 9-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal with 52 seconds left and the Tennessee Titans wrapped up the preseason Saturday night by rallying to beat the Arizona Cardinals 26-23.
Woodside’s rally likely won’t be enough to remain veteran Ryan Tannehill’s backup despite helping the Titans (2-1) finish the preseason with a second straight home win. Woodside was 5 of 9 for 43 yards on his lone drive, but rookie Malik Willis turned in his best performance this preseason in his third start.
Rookie Jarrett Guarantano tried to rally the Cardinals (1-2), but he was flagged for intentional grounding when being grabbed by Titans linebacker Rashad Weaver for a loss of down and a 10-second runoff. Sam Okuayinonu sacked Guarantano to end the game.
Willis ran four times for a game-high 79 yards, including scampering 50 yards to set up a 3-yard TD run by Julius Chestnut. He also capped a drive just before halftime with a sidearm throw around Arizona linebacker Myjai Sanders to Treylon Burks across the middle. The first-round pick finished off a 14-yard TD for a 13-7 lead.
The quarterback drafted at No. 86 overall in the third round was sacked four times and was 15 of 23 for 131 yards despite being sacked twice in the first quarter by Cardinals rookie Cameron Thomas. Willis also was intercepted by James Wiggins on a pass deflected by Ben Niemann.
Even better was how the third quarterback drafted in April showed patience staying in the pocket looking for wide receivers.
The Cardinals nearly pulled out the win with Matt Prater kicking three field goals, and Guarantano hit Greg Dortch for a 2-yard TD pass late in the third quarter.
Kyler Murray watched his third straight preseason game as Trace McSorley started by hitting his first seven passes for 71 yards to set up a 1-yard run by Darrel Williams on the opening drive. Then he hit a skid completing only 1 of 11 for 10 yards. Andy Isabella finished with five catches for a game-high 115 yards, including a 74-yard catch-and-run.
The Titans and Cardinals both went with protection for the regular season over needing to give most starters a last tune-up before the regular season. Veteran wide receiver Robert Woods caught a pass in his first action this preseason.
TENNESSEE JOBS’ COMPETITION
Undrafted free agent Ryan Stonehouse punted for the Titans, and the rookie from Colorado State took a big step toward winning the job held by three-time Pro Bowler Brett Kern. Stonehouse boomed a 64-yarder with his impressive hangtime on a ball downed at the Arizona 7. He averaged 49.4 yards on seven punts with three downed inside the Cardinals 20.
Kern is Tennessee’s longest-tenured player and ranks third all time with 197 regular-season games played since being claimed off waivers from Denver in 2009.
Rookie Nicholas Petit-Frere started at right tackle for the Titans, a job the third-round pick out of Ohio State seems to have won this preseason over Dillon Radunz, a second-round pick in 2021.
Burks went to the locker room with an injured right wrist late in the first quarter. He finished with his best game yet with three catches on three targets for 33 yards. Safety Lonnie Johnson, claimed off waivers Aug. 16, hurt a shoulder but returned.
Cardinals offensive tackle Rashaad Coward hurt his chest early in the second quarter and didn’t return. Arizona safety Tae Daley went down but walked off after the Woodside TD run.
The Cardinals open the season Sept. 11 by hosting Kansas City.
Tennessee hosts the New York Giants in its season opener Sept. 11.
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