NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As thinned out as the Titans were in New England, the backbone of who they are defensively was still on the field.

David Long and Rashaan Evans, the presumed starting inside linebackers were out. So was interior defensive lineman Teair Tart. Outside linebacker Bud Dupree was missing as was his replacement, Ola Adeniyi. Rotational corner Chris Jackson was also unable to play.

Jeffery Simmons

But Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry and Harold Landry started, and it was reasonable to expect them to impact and influence rookie quarterback Mac Jones. A dejected Simmons said after the Titans’ 36-13 loss that dropped the team to 8-4 that the Titans’ defense failed to do its job because it failed to outplay the Patriots' defense.

Simmons made four tackles and Landry three, with Autry not registering anything to get on the game-day stat sheet. The three didn’t hit or sack the quarterback or knock down a pass.

For the last three games, they've been missing David Long (hamstring) at inside linebacker behind them.

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