Don’t look now, but Tennessee Titans star defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons is slowly starting to establish himself as a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) candidate.
Last Sunday in Week 8, the Mississippi State product finished the game with a Pro Football Focus grade of 92.8 after wreaking havoc against the Texans on a day that Simmons was supposedly injured. Big Jeff’s grade ranked fourth among all players in the NFL.
The disruptive defender also finished with the second-highest pass-rush win-rate by any defensive lineman last weekend after winning on approximately 29.4 percent of his pass-rush reps.
Week 8 pass rush win rate at defensive tackle leaders.
Strong seasons from Zach Allen, Jeffery Simmons, Quinnen Williams continue.
(ESPN Analytics / NGS) pic.twitter.com/ZZrMXhyil8
— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) October 31, 2022
These numbers aren’t an anomaly, either. According to PFF, Simmons currently has an elite pass-rush grade of 90.7 after seven outings.
The All-Pro defensive tackle has recorded 5.5 sacks, nine quarterback hits, and 31 pressures through seven games.
Simmons also possesses the second-highest overall grade (90.9) by any defensive lineman in the league, while also being tied for the third-highest grade among all NFL defenders, per PFF.
Obviously, Simmons has impressive individual numbers by himself. However, you can make a very strong argument that he’s also the main reason for the defense’s collective success over the last five games.
During this five-game winning streak the Titans are currently on, the defense ranks in the top 10 in: points, rushing yards and rushing average allowed per game, third-down defense, takeaways per game, and red-zone defense.
— Shaun Calderon (@ShaunMichaels31) July 6, 2022
The Titans’ former first-round selection is not only the heart and emotional leader of the entire unit, but he frequently takes on multiple blockers, which allows the rest of the defensive front to get one-on-ones.
Simmons’ mere presence on the defensive line sets his teammates up for success, but the most impressive part is the fact that he’s consistently proven that he’s able to beat multiple blockers by himself on any given play.
.@Titans @GrindSimmons94 is the leader of one of the most dominant fronts in the NFL. They prefer to go through you than around you. The opposition needs a long ice bath when they play #Titansup #BaldtsBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/vO3yJjjI8M
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) October 31, 2022
In order for the Mississippi native to continue on an award-winning trajectory, he and the defense as a whole will have to continue this mesmerizing dominance.
Watching No. 98 play football truly is a sight to behold, and if he continues playing at this level, it’s only a matter of time before he gets the ultimate respect at the end of the year in the form of an NFL Honors award.