By John Glennon
Opponents probably feel like they're seeing entirely too much of Jeffery Simmons these days.
The Titans? They can't get enough.
Through the first five games of his second season, the 6-4, 305-pound Simmons is putting on a clinic in the trenches, even if it hasn't been enough to single-handedly solve all the problems of the Titans' shaky defense.
Just how dominant has Simmons been in the hand-to-hand combat zone? A couple of numbers offer a pretty good illustration:
- ESPN uses a figure called run-stop win rate to track how well defensive linemen are faring against their beefy offensive counterparts. Simmons is not only the the top-ranked defensive tackle in that category, but his 58 percent win rate ranks a full 10 percent ahead of the runner-up, Miami's Christian Wilkins (48 percent).
- Pro Football Focus lists Simmons with eight run stops – tackles that constitute a “failure” for the offense – which is tops in the NFL among defensive tackles who've played four games or fewer. Simmons has also piled up 14 quarterback pressures, according to the analytics website, which is once again the most among defensive tackles who've played four games or less.
“I mean, it's evident when you turn on the tape, '98' stands out right . . .
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