Titans’ Jeffery Simmons on grinding out win vs. Saints: ‘I don’t care how it comes’

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The Tennessee Titans’ defense wasn’t quite as sharp as it has been over the last several weeks. Mike Vrabel’s defense allowed 373 total yards of offense to the New Orleans Saints, the most since Week 6 against the Buffalo Bills.

Of course, expecting the defense to be perfect every week is not realistic, but after making it through the most difficult stretch of their schedule with a perfect record, the standard was set.

On Sunday, the Titans grinded their way to a 23-21 victory over the Saints, whose two missed extra points proved the difference in the outcome.

“I love winning. I don’t care how it comes,” defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons said. “(There’s) always room to improve, but come in when we come back on Wednesday, watch film or whatever it may be, of course each and every week you have to be better in this league. We have to come in and play.”

After taking a 13-6 lead with 1:38 remaining in the first half, the Saints’ offense looked poised to strike before the Titans’ defense came up with back-to-back sacks.

Simmons and Harold Landry were the culprits, accounting for three of the team’s four sacks on the day. Big Jeff had two sacks in Sunday’s win and has five over his last two games.

Furthermore, he leads all interior defensive linemen with 7.5 sacks on the year.

“I figure out the gameplan for the week. I eventually got the one-on-one on the first sack tonight and that’s something we talk about,” Simmons said after the game “Guys have to win to win their one-on-one matchup. Things like that in that nature, guys on the back end covering guys, that’s helping us get sacks.”

Getting after the quarterback has been one of the reasons the Titans have had so much success this season. Landry now has 10 sacks on the year, breaking his previous season-high of nine sacks set in 2019.

Simmons’ previous high was three sacks, set last year, and he’s well on his way to establishing double digits with seven games remaining in the 2021 season.

The former No. 19 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft is one of several key pillars on the Titans’ defense. With his continued stellar play, Simmons has to be entering the Defensive Player of the Year conversation.

“Each year, each game, each day, I want to get better,” he concluded. “I want to play better each and every week. Hopefully next week I play at a higher standard. I hold myself to higher standards. I love what I do, so each and every week, I know my teammates hold me to a high standard.”

Simmons and the Titans host the Texans at Nissan Stadium next Sunday.

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