“I think we have an opportunity to really dominate the game,” Barrett told media members at the time. “We got an opportunity to really impose our will as pass rushers, edge rushers in this game and really have like a coming out party.”
Well, Tennessee Titans star defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons must have missed the memo on that one — which was another Sunday Night Football affair — considering the fighting words he chose to use during an interview this week.
Titans’ Jeffery Simmons ‘Confident’ About Dominating Chiefs in Week 9
“They have a good team. We know them. They know us,” Simmons began, keeping things cordial at first. “They haven’t changed. And honestly, we might be missing a couple pieces but we haven’t changed [either]… They still got [Patrick] Mahomes, they still got Travis Kelce. They want to get the ball to Travis Kelce a lot, and I mean, they got Mahomes back there, who is really a good player. Man, I live for games like this where no one expects us to go in and get a big win. I’m juiced up every game, but games like this just mean a little more to me, because I know what type of team I have, we have here in Tennessee.”
All of that was the acceptable pregame banter, but then Simmons went a little further in providing some quality bulletin board material for a Chiefs O-line that generally loves when they’re questioned by the opposition.
“I know especially that our front four, when we go out there… I watch tape. So I’m looking at the offensive linemen that we have to play against, and I’m very confident that we can go out there and dominate them,” the D-tackle continued later. “Like I said, they know us, we know them. I’m looking forward to the matchup up front. Whoever it may be. [Joe] Thuney or Trey Smith at the guard position. But I’m very confident in our defense going out there and having a great day.”
There’s nothing wrong with some pregame smack talk, let’s just hope Simmons and the Titans back theirs up better than Barrett and the Bucs. The 25-year-old has game-wrecker potential with 5.5 sacks and six tackles for a loss up the gut so far in 2022. He was named to the Pro Bowl last year as a second-team All-Pro and third-year breakout.
ESPN Analysts Believe Titans Could ‘Upset’ Chiefs
The Chiefs were given a huge number by the Las Vegas oddsmakers ahead of Week 9 — one that started at 12.5 points. That does seem a bit high considering the two AFC franchises have the same record at 5-2, which led ESPN’s “Get Up” panel to debate whether or not KC is on “upset alert.”
“Yes, yes they are,” responded ex-NFL linebacker Rob Ninkovich. “The Titans are built in that physical manner — they can run the football and I think they’re heating up right now. When you see the way that they’re playing, it’s confidence-inspiring for this offense and when you have a guy like [Derrick] Henry that’s that physical, and he can run your team over, I really think that this is a set-up where you look at a 12.5-point spread [and] you’d walk into the staff room and say this is insulting [if you were Tennessee].”
Ex-NFL safety Ryan Clark then joined the conversation, voicing that the oddsmakers are focusing on the Titans team that lost to the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills when they should be looking at the surging Tennessee roster that’s “found its identity again.”
“[They’re] running behind Derrick Henry and getting big stops defensively with a great [pass] rush by Simmons in the middle,” Clark continued, concluding: “I think that team has a chance to win this week. I think that’s the team Kansas City will be nervous shows up in their stadium.”
Keep it coming! All of this doubt combined with the extra-motivated Mahomes we witnessed a couple of days ago makes for a big-time showdown under the bright lights this weekend.