The Kansas City Chiefs spent the offseason revamping their receiver corps to thwart the coverages that have given Patrick Mahomes trouble in recent seasons. Thus far, the moves have worked out, with K.C. ranking first in the NFL in scoring and second in total yards and passing offense.
Ahead of a Sunday night showdown with the Chiefs, Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons told SiriusXM NFL Radio's Movin' The Chains that he sees the same type of offense from Kansas City, which starts with the Mahomes-Travis Kelce connection.
"They have a good team. We know them. They know us," Simmons said Thursday. "They haven't changed. And honestly, we might be missing a couple pieces, but we haven't changed, and the same with them. They still got 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."
The Titans defense has flown under the radar this season, as the defensive line has dominated behind Simmons' performances, including shutting down the Houston Texans' run game last week.
For Simmons, the key to Sunday night's battle starts up front.
"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," he said. "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."
Simmons' confidence is warranted after the Titans controlled the line of scrimmage last year in a blowout win over the Chiefs, a 27-3 shellacking in Nashville that included Simmons knocking Mahomes out in the fourth quarter after the QB took a knee to the head.
Mahomes would agree that the Chiefs have a big task ahead against an underrated Titans defensive line.
"Yeah, you got to be ready to play. Last year we weren't ready, and they beat our ass, so we got to make sure that we are ready to go and that it's going to be a physical matchup," Mahomes said Wednesday, per the team's transcript. "We're going to have to go out there and play our best football. This is a team that is a lot better than I think a lot of people out on social media and in media -- they don't really talk about them. But we know that it's a great football team coming to town. We have to play our best football."
We should note that Simmons missed practice early this week due to an ankle injury. Still, even at less than 100 percent, the big DT remains a problem for offensive linemen, as evidenced by him destroying the Texans last week, netting a sack, two tackles for loss and a season-high seven pressures.
The Titans must pressure Mahomes on Sunday to slow the QB from dicing up the secondary. If Simmons can rattle Mahomes in prime time, Tennessee could have a chance to pull the road upset.