The second-year man out of Mississippi State has now made the play of the game in back-to-back weeks for the Titans. On Sunday, Simmons tipped Gardner Minshew’s pass late in the fourth quarter, leading to an interception that sealed the victory for Tennessee. The Jacksonville Jaguars were having their way on offense, consistently driving up and down the field against the Titans defense. Minshew threw for over 300 yards and the Jaguars combined for 165 rushing yards. It was an abysmal display defensively for Tennessee. Nevertheless, the Titans managed to secure a victory in Week 2, led by Ryan Tannehill’s performance and Simmons’ crucial pass deflection.
Did I Mention Ryan Tannehill Was Going to Regress?
After an incredible season last year from Tannehill, I predicted he would eventually regress this year, and it would be unlikely he would be just as efficient. Now granted, it has only been two games in the season, but Tannehill appears to be building off his 2019 campaign and progressing. So far, Tannehill has a 70% completion percentage and has six touchdowns to zero interceptions. Against the Jags, he threw for four touchdowns and completed 75% of his passes. Derrick Henry did not terrorize the Jaguars defense as he had done in the past; instead, the Jags defense bottled him up to only 84 yards on 3.4 yards per carry. Without A.J. Brown, the Titans wide receivers and Jonnu Smith had to shoulder the burden.
On the second play of the game, Tannehill found Jonnu Smith wide open for a 63-yard catch and run. Smith capped off that same drive with an incredible red zone touchdown. Corey Davis also got in on the action, beating rookie cornerback C.J. Henderson on a slant route for a nine-yard touchdown later in the quarter. Adam Humphries was also very effective in the slot, finishing the day with five catches and a crucial touchdown on third down late in the third quarter to increase the Titans’ lead to 13. Tannehill completed four passes in the red zone, which were all for touchdowns. You can argue this offense is now led by Ryan Tannehill rather than Derrick Henry. If the Titans offense continues their success in the red zone, they will be difficult to beat this year.
With Adoree’ Jackson on IR, the Titans cornerbacks struggled mightily against the Jaguars. Minshew was torching the Titans secondary, throwing for 339 yards and completing 66% of his passes. Malcolm Butler and Johnathan Joseph struggled all afternoon. The Titans linebackers were particularly great in pass defense as well, allowing 76 yards and a touchdown against the Jaguars tight ends. Not only did the secondary struggle, but the Titans run defense was also uninspiring. They gave up 165 rushing yards, included 104 yards to undrafted rookie running back James Robinson. The Titans are in desperate need for their number-one cornerback Jackson to return from injury. Although they are 2-0, it will be interesting to see how long the secondary can hold up without Jackson.