Winter 2022

Broncos safety Justin Simmons joins elite company with INTs as he plays for God's glory

Only one NFL player has recorded at least four interceptions in each of the last four seasons. That player is Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons, who picked off two passes from two different quarterbacks in his team’s 24-15 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

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Simmons’ first interception came from a Colt McCoy pass in the first quarter with Denver leading 3-0.

The seventh-year pro then jumped in front of a Trace McSorley pass with the Broncos holding onto a 17-9 fourth-quarter lead.

He finished the game with four total tackles and two passes defended. The interceptions were his fourth and fifth of the season, tying his career high and leaving him just one behind the league leaders despite missing five games.

According to the Denver Gazette, Simmons’ 26 career interceptions are the most by a safety and the second-most in the NFL since he entered the league in 2016.

“The best part about interceptions is that it is a complete defensive effort,” he said after the game. “I really truly and honestly believe that. Most of my interceptions come with great defensive execution and being in the right place at the right time. I do not believe in going to go search for plays. I do not think necessarily that plays come and find you, I just believe that the game is bigger than yourself.”

Denver snapped a five-game losing streak with the win, and Simmons credited his coaches in the postgame press conference for continuing to encourage the team despite a disappointing 4-10 record.

“It has been a weird year, but my confidence never waivers,” he said. “A big part of that is the coaches speaking life over me. I have a bunch of great guys in the locker room that are always confident in my abilities and what I can do. I have the utmost confidence in myself. It has been a tough season for us as a team. The most important thing is to find a way to win. I am just really happy, in front of our fans, we were able to pull together a nice team win today.”

Simmons has established himself as one of the NFL’s top safeties, making the Pro Bowl in 2020 and twice earning second-team All-Pro honors from the Associated Press. The 29-year-old has also grown in his faith throughout his pro career. He came on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in 2021 to talk about trusting in God and living as a believer in the NFL.

The former third-round pick shared that he has made sports an idol at times and didn’t realize he was doing so until he was in college.

“My story of coming to find Christ, a big part of that is sports was an idol in my life, and I didn’t really find that out until I got to college,” he said on the podcast. “I wrestled with that even still after confronting it, still wrestle with that to this day.”

Simmons actively shares his faith on social media and gave thanks to God in an Instagram post on his birthday in November.

 

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A post shared by Justin Simmons (@jsimms1119)

He also loves giving back to the community, and started the Justin Simmons Foundation with the goal of “mentoring young people, promoting the benefits of youth sports, supporting youth education and other charitable initiatives” in 2020.

“It really just came down to our youth in general and just wanting to help equip our youth in any way possible to help them reach whatever goals and aspirations they have, or they want to have,” Simmons said on the podcast.

Earlier this season, Simmons wore custom cleats supporting his foundation as part of the NFL’s “My Cause My Cleats” campaign.

 

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A post shared by Justin Simmons (@jsimms1119)

Simmons now has three games left to try to set a career high in interceptions, and possibly finish tops in the NFL, starting with a road game against the Los Angeles Rams on Christmas Day.

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