Ask Jim: Big Division Game on Sunday








NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** Hello, Titans fans.

As you can probably imagine, it's been a busy week sorting through all the mail. I appreciate all the feedback, whether it was positive or negative.

Some of you, I responded to personally. I want you to know I read all of the emails, and value the opinions of everyone out there.

But I'm keeping the topics to football here.

Without further delay, I'm diving in. I have a plane to catch, headed to Houston…

Cody LaDue from Rock Springs, Wyoming

Question: Even (when) Corey Davis can go, wouldn't it be a smarter idea to keep him out a week more just to be safe? It's a long season. And do you believe they continue to split up the carries between DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry the way they have been? It's been working very well and they are keeping both of them fresh going into the next game every week.

Jim: Hey Cody. Well, that's exactly what's going on with Corey. They're being safe with him, and coaches and trainers will continue to err on the side of caution. He's already been ruled out this week, and we'll have to wait and see how things go next week leading up to the Miami game. As for the running backs, the carries have been really close between Murray (35) and Henry (33). If Murray picks up where he left off last week, he'll start to pile up the carries, but Henry isn't going away. The more he plays, the more he's going to show he can get it done when he's out there.

Asa Fitzpatrick from Lutz, Florida

Question: Hello Jim. My question this week is about Marcus Mariota's red zone stat. In week 2 Marcus threw an interception. The Titans were around Jacksonville's 30 yard-line but the interception was caught in the red zone. Does that mean Marcus' stat of never throwing a red zone interception is over? Or did it count as just a regular interception because the Titans weren't technically in the red zone?

Jim: Hey Asa. Good question. The play has to originate in the red zone for it to count. On the play you're talking about, the pass was picked off at the 14, but the play began at the 26-yard line. So it doesn't count as a red zone interception. What that means is Mariota's red zone stats look like this: 64-of-105 or 475 yards, with 33 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. His passer rating in the red zone is 111.3. Not too shabby, huh?

Nicolas Delamare from Laval, France

Question: Hey Jim, congrats for your work on website or in Twitter !! Always a pleasure to read you... My question is about three guys in our roster that we don't speak enough while their works is very impressive...It's about Beau Brinkley, Brett Kern and Ryan Succop... When you see failures on NFL kickers or problems in punting, we feel Titans won't have this one thanks to the work and chemistry between these guys... Can you explain me how these guys works for having very impressive results in their game? Maybe they work together for a long time...Thanks for your answer...#TitanUp from France

Jim: Hey Nicolas. Always good to hear from you. You're right – those guys have been great. Succop was awarded with the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month award for September, and Kern is averaging 50.3 yards per game after three weeks. Brinkley has been money. The long snapper usually flies under the radar unless something goes wrong, and Beau does a good job of keeping a low profile. One of the big keys for the group is they have worked together for a long time. As you know, Kern holds for Succop on field goals, with Brinkley delivering the snap. They spend a lot of time together, and are good friends. What you might not know is Brinkley is the only one of the three with a hole-in-one to his name. Succop and Kern are close to scratch golfers, but it's Brinkley who has bragging rights because of his ace. I'm sure he wouldn't mind me spreading the word on that …

Tim C from Clarksville, Tennessee

Question: Hey Jim, that's a nice win right there this past Sunday. The o-line really stole the show, clearing running lanes, and not allowing a single QB hit on Marcus against a star-studded Seattle front. So I'm writing this watching the Cowboys, and I watched the whole Raiders game last night. And I can't help but wonder why the Lewan and company aren't getting the recognition as best line in the NFL. Jaguars and Seahawks were bullied by our big guys and everyone still wants to talk about Cowboys and raiders. Even backup Dennis Kelly came in and played outstanding this past week. I know you're typically professional and don't play favorites, but you've got to give me something on this. THEY'RE THE BEST UNIT IN THE NFL. SAY IT!! Haha thanks Jim

Jim: Hey Tim. Yeah, it was big-time. And the Titans o-line is playing well. I do think they've gotten some pretty good recognition of late. Pro Football Focus ranked them the top line in the NFL last season, and they're regarded as one of the best again this season. How about these stats, which come from the desk of Dwight Spradlin in Titans PR: Since Week 3 last season, the Titans offensive line has surrendered just 25 sacks, which is tied for second (Pittsburgh Steelers) in the NFL behind only the Oakland Raiders (23). The Titans also have rushed for 2,453 yards during that span, ranking third behind the Buffalo Bills (2,813) and the Dallas Cowboys (2,461). The Titans are the only team which appears in the top five of each list. Through three games in 2017, the Titans and Jaguars are the NFL co-leaders in fewest sacks allowed (two), and the Titans rank second in the league in rushing yards (469) behind only the Kansas City Chiefs (486).

Jamie Konitzer from Manitowoc, Wisconson

Question: Hi Jim. The Titans are 2-1 and pretty stoked about it!! My question is about Marcus Mariota. I saw a stat on ESPN and I thought it was a very interesting one to say the least. Tennessee plays 3 of their next 4 games on the road and Marcus Mariotas QBR is actually 14 points higher on the road in his career. It's a crazy stat but have you asked Marcus on his theory about why he thinks he plays better on the road?

Jim: Hey Jamie. It's a crazy stat, and you're right – he's performed well in the road, and that dates back to his very first game in the NFL, when he posted a perfect passer rating in a four-TD performance against Tampa Bay. I just think he's poised, and he doesn't let the crowd bother him. The guy just doesn't get flustered, and that's a great quality to have in a QB.

Chase Hornsby from Cedar Hill, Tennessee

Question: Hey Jim first time here I have 2 questions: 1, Our offense is slow to start these games out but second half take off and I understand trying to get the run game going but our defense stays in control for the first half but gives up a lot of yards especially in the secondary in the second half is there a reason for this do you think it will get better with time this season? Second, is this Texans game a statement game for us win or lose? Thank you for your time

Jim: Hey Chase. I think patience has been the key word the first part of the season. The Titans have worn teams down, and then taken over in the second half. That's a good sign if you ask me, which, I guess, you did. :)  As for it being a statement game, well, it's a big game. But I personally don't believe in "statement" games or "must-win" game in Week 4. It sure would be nice to win it, though.

Braulio Cardenas from Saltillo, Mexico

Question: Hola Jim!! Thank you very much for the excellent work of keeping us well informed. This time I do not write to ask a question but, to the extent possible, extend my gratitude (and I think that of many fans) to Mrs. Amy Adams Strunk, Mr. Jon Robinson and his ENTIRE operations team, Mr. Mike Mularkey and ALL the couches, and especially to ALL THE PLAYERS for their total delivery, for their passion for the game and for putting the interests of the team before themselves. What they have shown in these first three games gives us a real optimism to see our team in an ever closer future as Super Bowl Champions. I'm aware it's not easy, but they're proving that they can. Now the Texans follow, but if they continue with the spirit of "Want To", they will show that this team is to be considered a serious contender. I'm proud to be a Titan´s fan.

Titan UP!!

Jim: Hola Braulio! I appreciate you taking the time to email, and sharing your thoughts! Gracias!

Rick Boyer from Shillington, Pennsylvania

Question: Going to Monday night game against the Colts. Is there still a tailgate party outside the stadium like they had last year with food trucks, beer stand an entertainment? Titan Up.

Jim: *Hey Rick. Yes, there will be a ton of activity going on outside the stadium long before kickoff. The TitanUp Tailgate outside Nissan Stadium will be between gates 8 and 9, starting 3 hours before every home game. Each week there will be live music, Titans Radio pregame broadcast, food trucks, discounted beer and soft drinks, Titans Tailgate games - Cornhole, Jenga, Connect Four, interactive photo opportunities, face painters and balloon artists and more. Stay tuned, and check and on Twitter @titans and @jwyattsports for more info leading up to the game. The city will be hopping.

R Ford from Columbia, South Carolina

Question: Hey Jim! I'm very happy that the Titans won against the Seahawks!!! Big Big Big win! My thing is this, after watching 3 games so far, we spent money in the secondary and the secondary still kinda shaky. Offense play calls seems questionable at times, and of course we are hurting at wide receivers. My question is are we looking for another play maker at wide receiver? Are we going to start opening up some offensive packages a little bit more? Secondary, I don't know what's going on there, it's like we let off on the gas or get burned?

Jim: Well, the playmaker the team is looking for at receiver is dealing with a hamstring injury – Corey Davis. I think he showed in the Oakland game he has big potential and once he's back he'll add another dimension to the offense. As for the secondary, I think you'd have to agree it's much improved. Yes, the secondary have up some plays late against Seattle, but the Titans had built a pretty good lead by the. The more Adoree' Jackson plays and the more he gets comfortable, the more plays he's going to make.

Tom DeHart from Hohenwald, Tennessee

Question: Hey Jim, perhaps you can answer a question for me.  I attended the Titans/Seahawks game and am pleased with the win, however... With the Titans ahead by 13 points and about 5 minutes to go, why do teams (the Titans) go into "Don't lose mode" as opposed to let's put this to bed, now! In the many years I've watched the NFL, too many times has a team went "Don't lose" and momentum changed and they lost.  Case in point vs Seattle.  It took the Seahawks under a minute to score a TD.  Then came too close to another game winning TD (for my sanity).  The Titans had momentum, use it! So, what is the rationale that teams use to decide to go into "Don't lose mode".  I don't understand.

Jim: Hey Tom. Looking at the stats, I see a TD scoring drive of 3:19 at the end to trim it to 33-27, and while you want to keep them out of the end zone, the Seahawks were pretty much in "recover the onside kick or else" mode after that because there was little time left. Fortunately Delanie Walker got in the football on the onside kick, and it was game over. I don't necessarily think it was "don't lose mode," I just think the D was trying to keep them out of the end one for as long as possible to decrease their chances of getting it back with any time left. Personally, I never felt like that one was going to get away. But trying to hold a lead isn't a bad problem to have, huh?

Alex Brown from Pataskala, Ohio

Question: Hey Jim. Huge Titans fan from Ohio. I really enjoy your coverage. I am an alumni of Ohio State and followed Eddie George from the Buckeyes to the Oilers/Titans. I was in Nashville for the season opener against the Raiders. On Saturday night I was wearing my Buckeye Eddie George jersey and was denied entry to (a downtown bar) for simply wearing an OSU jersey. I pleaded with the bouncer that it was also an Eddie George jersey and his picture is hanging on the stadium. My question is: Is the Nashville area such a college football area that there is not respect for a legend like Eddie George. Do you see this shifting with the recent Titans success? I was shocked by my experience. Thank you for your time. TITANUP

Jim: Hey Alex. I'm shocked to hear this. Everyone loves Eddie around here. You must've caught the guy on a bad day. Either that or he's a Michigan fan? :) Maybe I'll ask Eddie to stop by himself…

Matt Faulks from Dickson, Tennessee

Question: Any chance we get to know the uniform combos for the next few weeks or rest of the season? Look good feel good, ya know? :)

Jim: Hey Matt. I can tell you the uniform for Sunday in Houston will be white jerseys, with navy blue britches. And get used to seeing a lot of navy blue at home.

Barbara Timmons from Hermitage, Tennessee

Question: Has coach indicated what it will take for Derrick Henry to "earn" the starting RB position?  We all realize Murray's excellence.  Still, it seems hard to deny Henry if you look at yards per carry.  What's your take on this?

Jim: Hey Barbara. I really like Henry. I think he's looked really good. But as I was discussing with Cody, the carries are really close right now – Murray (35) has just two more (33) after three games. And the average per carry is close, too – Murray (5.3) and Henry (5.2). Both these guys are going to play, but the carries might look different each week.

Have a great weekend everyone! looks back at the all-time series against the Houston Texans. (AP Photos, Donn Jones)

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