NASHVILLE, Tenn. – We're at the halfway point of the season for the Titans.
Will it end in memorable fashion?
Time will tell.
But right now, it's time for another Titans mailbag.
Allan Nakayama from Bradenton, Florida
Question: I'm from Honolulu, Hawaii so I took an interest in the Titans since Marcus Mariota was selecting 3 years ago. Since last season was very promising I thought (with) this off season picks & draft picks, they would be able to better their 9-win season this year because of the soft season schedule they have this year. But I have doubts, their offense isn't putting points like last year and their defense is too soft. There's no hungry this year. "What's Up this year?"
Jim: Well, Allan, the Titans are 5-3 at the halfway point, and tied for first in the AFC South. Only two AFC teams have fewer losses (Patriots and Steelers, with two losses each). The Titans have won three in a row. The Titans were 4-4 at the halfway point last season. I'm not going to sit here and say the team has played as well as it can play. There's no doubt there's room for improvement. But the hunger is there, I can promise you that. And a win on Sunday over the Bengals would put the team at 6-3, which is pretty solid.
C. Bowling from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: At which game are the Titans celebrating Veterans Day?
Jim: It's tomorrow vs. the Bengals. It's Salute to Service Day. Sergeant First Class Eric Harder, recipient of the Bronze Star with Valor and Purple Heart, is the 12th Titan, and the halftime festivities will focus on the military.
Bill from Spokane, Washington
Question: Mr. Wyatt. Go ahead, try to convince me that Delanie Walker is not the offensive MVP at the season's halfway point. Go ahead...
Jim: Hey Bill. Well, I'm not going to try. Delanie is having another solid year, with a team-high 37 catches and 395 receiving yards. He's proven his toughness once again. So, who's the Defensive MVP so far – Wesley Woodyard or Kevin Byard? Now that's a tough question.
James Gordon from Franklin, Tennessee
Question: No questions just my observations from the Ravens game: I'm happy that we won but I still see too many issues (Execution, mistakes, and utilization of talent) Offensive line getting beat - 77 and 63; missed block and block in back by decker on same play, Davis missed block, Jackson almost fumbled handoff, Mariota and receivers not recognizing blitz and not going to hot. I liked the no-huddle but it was so slow, needs to be faster; adding speed to backfield is good. I still like using Taylor on jet sweeps; I liked the inverted wishbone because it allows for effective blocking of linebackers at attack; 77 needed help against Suggs; I like the idea of putting Jackson in the backfield with a 4 wr spread gives Jackson more room to negotiate; I wish mariota could do a hurry up after getting to within 1 yard of the first down before the defense can get ready; why does mariota throw so many long boundary passes on third and short? Seems that more quick low risk patters should be used. 2nd half showed signs of letting up by running into stacked fronts. My favorite game of all time is the packers game last year because we never took the foot off the g as pedal. Thanks Jim for letting me vent. Yes I'm happy we won but I hope that things will get better so we can beat the Steelers in prime time.
Jim: Appreciate the email James. Sure this wasn't the breakdown from a loss?
Jerry Bell from Smyrna, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, Thanks for keeping us updated. Have a question and a comment. Are Corey Davis and Marcus Mariota at 100 percent? Also a fan experience comment. We need a good TD song. While it is certainly dated, I think that KC and the Sunshine Band's "That's the way Uh Huh Uh Huh, I like it" could very well appeal to all ages. What do you think? Pass along if you agree. Keep up the good work (as always)
Jim: Well Jerry, Mariota and Davis looked good on Sunday. As for the TD song, I'm sure KC and the Sunshine Band appreciate you keeping them in mind …
Leon McCray from Plainview, Texas
Question: What's up Jim. #1 You have been preaching patience to all of us Titans fans, you are so right. #2 You are also right about something that none of us is really paying attention to (including myself) which is that 5 of the 8 teams that we have played has top 10 defenses. #3 I am really impatient with the coaching of the team because Jacksonville is not going away and we really need to put our foot on the gas for momentum. I really like where we are right now compared to last year so I guess I need to just chill right? Have a good day Jim.
Jim: Appreciate it Leon. Yeah, the run against top 10 defenses has made it tougher, and the Bengals and Steelers are ranked No.6 and No.5, respectively, so it's not getting any easier. I've looked at the Jaguars schedule, and I see a lot of wins, too. Which means the Titans need to keep winning. A chance to make it four in a row on Sunday.
Michael Newsome from Drexel, North Carolina
Question: With the Bengals coming to town, this feels like a very winnable game. This is a chance to get a 4th straight win, and that hasn't happened for quite some time. The last time we have a 4th straight win was (in) 2009. What is the buzz like in the locker room? Do the players realize how long it's been and how much this game means to the fans?
Jim: Hey Michael. Well, you're right on your dates. As far as the buzz, players are focused. The celebration after wins doesn't linger, because the focus turns quickly to the next opponent. Players realize the importance each week. It means a lot to them, too.
Darin Finkelstein from Chatham, New Jersey
Question: Hey Jim -- 5-3 at the halfway point in the season feels good. Although the offense is still working to find consistency, the defense, is playing very well. Kevin Byard is amazing and Adoree's cover skills improve each game. Logan Ryan has also been very consistent. Would you agree that the secondary is the most improved unit versus last year through the halfway point in the season? Hoping the Titans continue to avoid the "major injury" and the offense continues to improve by letting the pass set up the run. Have a great week!
Jim: Hey Darin. The secondary looks completely different compared to earlier in the season. The turnaround started with the blowout loss in Houston. I just think guys were embarrassed by that performance, and it will serve as a source of motivation the rest of the day. But there's also something to be said for these guys learning to play alongside one another. Ryan and Jackson are in their first year of the defense, and now you're seeing even more chemistry develop with all the guy.
Zain Hasan from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question: Are the titans Super Bowl contenders?
Jim: Too early to tell. Check back in mid-December.
Marc Aiden from Nashville Tennessee
Question: Why don't we use Taywan Taylor more? I feel like he's an explosive player. He has the same make up as Hill on the Kansas City Chiefs. I feel like if we use him that would open up the offense a lot more.
Jim: Hey Marc. I'm a big fan of Taywan's as well, and his snap count was down last week. But with Corey Davis back, who do you take off the field to make room for him? It can't be Davis, or Rishard Matthews. Eric Decker has value himself. So Taywan is going to find himself in roles where he has a chance to make an impact each week, even if he's not on the field a ton. Now that Adoree' has been used on offense, will he get more snaps? Stay tuned.
Mr. O Titan from Bay Area, California
Question: Jim- First off thanks, as always, for your insight. Now on to it.... with many former players making an appearance this weekend I think this is the perfect time for an "in restrospect" question. My question to you is this, given what we've seen with the turnaround of Jared Goff under a new coaching staff, in your opinion, do you think Vince Young may have had a different outcome to his career if another coach other than Jeff Fisher were the coach facilitating his entry into the NFL? No knock on Fisher, who seems like a nice enough guy, but I'm interested in yours (and others) view on this.
Jim: Hey Mr. O. Fair question. Well, it's no secret that Vince wasn't Fisher's top choice. Bud Adams famously said "V.Y. is my guy" and he was responsible for him starting when he did as a rookie, and going from a back-up to the starting lineup on other occasions. But Fisher tried to make it work, and so did offensive coordinators Norm Chow and Mike Heimerdinger. Being completely honest here, Vince didn't always make it easy on the coaches either. There was friction, and part of it stemmed from him having a questionable work ethic at times. The two got sideways for one reason or another, so there always seemed to be a strain. The fact Vince never stuck anywhere else after he left here in 2010 kills the argument some make that Fisher ruined his career, however. Vince had chances elsewhere, and other coaches couldn't make it work either.
Kenny Gore from Horse Cave, Kentucky
Question: Hello Jim. First time I've submitted in a while. Hope all is well there in TN. I am excited for the first time in a long time! Mularkey gained a lot of good will with me recently. I have noticed that he is using phrases like: "I have to address that & I will" instead of "They failed to execute". I know it is only a small difference; but the accountability he is taking on mean a lot to guys like me. I get carried away on game day at times & vent via Twitter; but I love my Titans!
I will be in town for the Bengals' game Sunday. Is there anything I should not miss about the game day experience at the stadium?? Tailgates or anything special going on that week?? I am REALLY excited. This is the best seats we have ever gotten. Section 135 Row E!!!!! Right on the 50 only a few rows from the field!! Man I'm pumped! My cousin bought me the tickets for Christmas!! So on top of all that they are FREE!!! CANNOT BEAT THAT!!! LOL
I am stoked!! I do not get to attend many games as I live a few hours away; but I NEVER miss one. If I am not there I ALWAYS watch on TV. Getting a chance to be on the 50 this close to the action is like a dream come true.... Simple dreams for a simple guy I guess. Ready to get loud in NASHVILLE!
Jim: Hey Kenny. Great to hear from you. Should be a fun one on Sunday. As I mentioned earlier, it's the team's Salute to Service game. Fans will also receive a Titan up flag, one of the big ones for a flagpole. The Titan Up Tailgate will be going on a few hours before the game, as usual. Gates open at 10:00. See ya inside!
Carter Cheeseman from Fort Worth, Texas
Question: Hey Jim! It's been awhile since I've asked a question. Since my last post, my family has moved down to the DFW area and now I'm surrounded by Cowboys fans ugh. Being away from the local coverage of the Titans has made me appreciate your reporting a lot more and you do a great job! Also since I don't get the two-tone-blue games in my area on Sunday, I've been listening to Mike Keith and Dave McGinnis's coverage on NFL Game Pass radio. I've listened to a lot of live games this year on the radio, and I gotta say, even though I am biased, they are by far the best 1-2 punch in terms of objective play by plays, analysis, and some good humor. I would appreciate if you could pass that along to them! In the season of thanksgiving, I just wanted to thank you, Amie, and the radio guys for all you all do for us out of town fans. TITAN UP!!
Jim: Hey Carter. Appreciate you taking the time to email, and for the kind words. I'll spread the word. And stay strong down there!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Titans Online looks back at the all-time series with the Cincinnati Bengals. (AP Photos)