JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Titans lost 34-14 to the Jaguars on Sunday at EverBank Stadium.
Here's a look at six things that stood out from the contest:
Simmons on Offense
Defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons scored his first career NFL touchdown on Sunday, even though he didn't feel like celebrating it after another defeat. Simmons lined up in the backfield and then caught a two-yard touchdown toss from quarterback Will Levis. The score came with 4:28 left in the contest, and it made it 34-14. Earlier in the contest, Simmons lined up at fullback and made a key block to spring running back Derrick Henry for a five-yard run on a 4th and one earlier in the game. Simmons said it was his first touchdown since scoring on defense in high school. "I'm going to for sure remember it," Simmons said. "But it's hard to celebrate it right now. I tried to celebrate it out there with the guys, but it's hard, man. We're losing. … It's hard to celebrate at that time, when we're getting beat like that. But that's a dream come true for me, and I am happy Tim (Kelly) finally called it for me. But it doesn't mean anything right now to this team because we didn't win."
Fourth Start for QB Will Levis
Levis had his moments, good and bad. Levis saved his best for last, with a pair of second half touchdown passes. One of the throws came at the end of a trick play, when he found DeAndre Hopkins streaking downfield for a 43-yard touchdown toss. Levis was 13-of-17 on the day, for 158 yards, and a 143.8 rating. Levis took an early sack that took the Titans out of field goal range, and his success was limited early. I think it's probably unfair to put the fumbled (high) snap on him. And, let's face it: The Titans also weren't very good around him. "Just not executing on the keys we talked about all week, which is being efficient on first and second (down) and coming out and starting strong," Levis said. "You have to look internally, what I can do myself better. But you also have to look at the guys next to us and do what we can to help the dudes next to us and come together as a team."
Nowhere to Run
Henry once again had little success running the football. Henry managed just 38 yards on 10 carries, but 16 of those yards came on a late run. Before that run, Henry was averaging just over two yards per carry. It could hardly all be pinned on Henry – on many plays, Henry was hit in the backfield. "It's not good enough," Henry said. "We're not playing good enough as a team, not good enough on offense. It's not good enough to win. And when you play like that, that is the result you are going to get. All I can say is we just have to try and improve; I know I am going to try and do that. I am going to keep working, do whatever I can to help us win in any possible way. I have to find a way to run a little harder, break tackles, try to figure it out the best way I can to be a better player for the team."
While the offensive struggles continued, the Titans defense didn't hold up its end of the deal on Sunday either. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns, with a 119.5 rating. Lawrence also ran for two touchdowns on a day when the Jaguars piled up 389 yards and 24 first downs. The Jaguars were 3-of-4 on fourth down, and they held the ball 36:26 of the game's 60 minutes. "We have to watch the film, make corrections and come back next week," cornerback Kristian Fulton said. "It's very difficult. We are working, we know how to win, but I don't really know (why we keep losing). I don't have the answer. Nobody has the answer, obviously, because we're not winning."
Too Many Mistakes
The Titans made mistakes across the board on Sunday. There was the fumbled snap early, when Levis couldn't handled a snap from center Aaron Brewer that was high and too far right. Cornerback Roger McCreary was flagged twice for defensive pass interference (one was questionable), and Eric Garror fumbled the ball on a punt return. There were missed tackles, missed blocks and execution problems on both sides of the football. The Titans were penalized seven times for 66 yards. The Titans had just 38 plays on offense, in large part because they couldn't sustain drives – the team was just 2-of-7 on third down. "It was one of those games where it was like nothing went right, in all three phases," safety Elijah Molden said. "In this situation, nothing was kind of going our way."
Titans coach Mike Vrabel was asked if he's worried about his job security near the end of the post-game press conference. Vrabel gave a thoughtful answer on his mindset, and his commitment. The Titans are now 3-7 on the season. "I don't try and concern myself with that," Vrabel said. "I really am focused on these players. I hurt for them. I played 14 years, won some games, won some championships. I am frustrated for the players. I am disappointed for the players. I want them to have success, I know how hard they work and what they put into it. So that is what my focus is on. My focus is on coaching this team." Vrabel said he'll keep working to get it right. "This sucks right now. Nobody wants to be where we're at, not me, not anybody, but we are. We put ourselves in this position, so we'll get ourselves out." Vrabel said his approach won't change. "I am going to come to work," he said. "I am going to get up, I am going to sleep five hours like I do, and I am going to come with a resolve. I am going to be thankful, this week, with Thanksgiving, I am going to be thankful for this opportunity that I have to coach, I am going to be thankful for my family, I am going to be thankful for this team, and I am going to coach the hell out of them like I do every week. I love Romeo Crennel, he was not only my position coach, I got to coach with him, and he always used to say: "It's a great life if you don't let it beat you down." And, we're not going to let it beat us down. We are going to get back to work. You can still be frustrated and upset and disappointed, but I am also going to be thankful and hopeful for the opportunity that I get to coach this football team."