NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Yes, Sunday was ugly – there's no way around it.
Count me among those surprised with how things turned out in Indianapolis.
But it's another day, and another Titans mailbag is here.
Let's do this …
Steven Galvan from Dallas, Texas
Question: Hey Jim, I've been following your mailbag for a while now and after this week I felt it was time to submit a couple of questions of my own. After 10 games, it's safe to say this Titans team is inconsistent. What will it take for this team to replicate the kind of success it had against New England and Dallas week in and week out? I understand having bad games here and there, but at some level there has to be some consistency. What have you seen from this team as being the reason for performances like the ones against Indy and Baltimore? My second question is just for my curiosity, when was the last time that Mariota was healthy or remained healthy going into a matchup with the Texans? It seems like no matter what, his injuries will lineup with our matchup with them. Thank you for your time.
Jim: Hey Steven. Great question. If I knew the answer, I probably would be coaching, and not banging out this mailbag. But I'm not qualified to work the Xs and Os. With that said, coach Mike Vrabel (and his staff) is trying to figure it out. This team has definitely been inconsistent. The Titans looked like world beaters against the Patriots, and then against the Colts, the team laid an egg. It was the worst performance of the season. As for Mariota, you're right about his poor health heading into games vs. the Texans – he missed the game in Week 2, and he missed both games against them his rookie season, and one of two games against them in Year 2. He was injured in Houston in Week 3 of his third NFL season. He was on the field for the Dec. 3 game against the Texans last year, and the Titans won that game. We'll have to wait and see if he's able to go this Monday as he works his way back from the stinger.
Paul D from Phoenix, Arizona
Question: Hi Jim, I've been a longtime fan and appreciate your posts keeping us updated on Titans news! My one question comes from the multiple times Mariota's been injured this year: Will we be looking to draft a high-round QB in 2019? I love Mariota when he's on the field at 100%. But we've gotten that 2 games this season, not a lot of games last season. Do we invest in another high cost (draft pick wise) QB, or do we try going after Bridgewater or dare I say Rodgers if he wants out of Green Bay? Thank you and Titan Up!
Jim: Hey Paul. That's the $100 million question, and it's going to be made above my pay grade. For starters, let's forget about the Aaron Rodgers pipe dream. And with Bridgewater, he was out there before, and not signed by the team. I can't see the team using a high draft pick on a QB myself. I'm not at the point where I'm ready to go in a different direction myself, and I suspect I'm not alone. But I do think everyone hopes Mariota will make it an easy decision with his play moving forward.
Jerry Walz from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, First time writing but a long-time fan of your mailbag -- has always been a must for years. Offensive AND defensive lines got taken to the woodshed for a spanking. My question is how many different starting combination have we had on those lines and do you think we will see consistent starters the rest of the season? (I'm a big Taylor Lewan fan).
Jim: Hey Jerry. I appreciate it. The front-line starting five (LT Lewan, LG Spain, C Jones, RG Kline, RT Conklin) has started just five of the 10 games this season. In others, Kelly, Marz and Pamphile have worked at RT, Levin worked at LG, and Pamphile worked at LT, in relief Lewan in Week 2. The hope is we'll see the group on a more regular basis this fall. And I think even those guys would tell you they'd like to play better.
Stan S from Vancouver, Washington
Question: As soon as Kline (64) comes back from injury they put him right back in. Now re-start the SACK DERBY. When he was out. vs. Dallas and Pats we were able to protect Marcus and make good blocking for some run games. Why can't they adjust during the game? LIKE REPLACE HIM before your QB get hurt, oh too late!
Jim: Hey Stan. May want to brush up on your Titans knowledge before taking shots. Kline has started all 10 games. He left the game late against the Chargers, and was back the next week.
Marcus Cobbs from Baltimore, Maryland
Question: Jim, Jim, Jim. I can't take this. This is really starting to blow. I'm a week away from being done with these Titans. I've been here through 4-12 seasons 13-3 seasons but I cannot take this. Why can't we win after beating a team that everyone said we wouldn't? Smh
Jim: Hey Marcus. I understand the frustration. Heck, after the New England win, I thought the team was on the verge of taking off. I think what's so hard to understand is how poorly the team played overall on Sunday. There's no shame in losing to the Colts – they're good. But 38-10? That shouldn't have happened. If you stuck with the team through 4-12, though, why bail now?
Randy Lugent from Bristow, Virginia
Question: Who the heck is Teresa? Coach Vrabel often starts his press conferences off by saying hello to her;-)...
Jim: 'Teresa' is Teresa Walker from the Associated Press. She's a two-time sportswriter of the year in the state of Tennessee, and she does a great job covering teams across the state. She's the pride of Maryville, Tennessee. She's also No.1 in the batting order at Vrabel's press conferences.
Travis Cassady from Waxahachie, Texas
Question: Will they take a risk on Colin Kaepernick for a playoff run?
Jim: Hey Travis. This sounds like a good question for Teresa :) – she's @TeresaMWalker on Twitter …
Tom Booth from Thorofare, New Jersey
Question: another gutless performance but im sure you will have some positives second time this season the titans quit see ravens debacle and please dont ever compare marcus "mr softee"mariota to steve mcnair its a slap in the face to true titans fans mcnair left it all on the field this qb leaves every time they get blown out 8-8 told you earlier
Jim: Hey Tom. Don't believe in capitalization? Or periods? This is a run-on sentence, but hey, I let you shoot your shot…
Dan Pascual from Kapolei, Hawaii
Question: Aloha Jim. Love your work! I'm a Titans fan because of Marcus. We got an announcement that Rams will be having a pre-season game next year in Hawaii. Would love to see the Titans play them in the Aloha State.
Jim: Aloha Dan! This makes two! I'd love to see it happen!
Darin Thomas from Bountiful, Utah
Question: My question is this: The Titans can't seriously be considering resigning Mariota can they? Especially not for $100m. 4 years is plenty of time to prove yourself, year after year he is hurt, inconsistent and over all ineffective. Yes he has played well in some games and won a lucky playoff game, but it's not enough. I am tired of hearing this and that about how #9 took 5 years to blossom and we should keep giving Mariota time and patience. McNair was a project QB coming out, Mariota is a Heisman winner and top 2 pick. Just when I start to think he's turning the corner and evolving, we get reminded of who he is. Honestly I think the Titans should offer him a 2 year contract at minimum salary while they draft and develop his replacement. (Or trade for Aaron Rodgers). Thanks for your time
Jim: Hey Darin. Have you been talking to Paul from Phoenix? Offering Mariota a two-year deal for minimum salary? I get the frustration, but this deserves a 'C'mon man!'
Melkin Avelar from Lawrenceville, Georgia
Question: Jim, huge fan. This one is quick, is Delanie Walker even eligible to return to us even if we do make the playoffs? He was placed on IR but with no designation of returning.
Jim: Hey Melkin. Delanie is eligible to return, if his health allows it. Since he was placed on Injured Reserve after the team trimmed its roster to 53, he can return. Only guys placed on IR before a team trims to 53 aren't eligible. At this point, though, as much as Delanie wants to play, I'd say it's still a long shot. I passed him in the hall yesterday, and he's still in a walking boot. He has a ways to go in his recovery.
Have a great week everyone! Happy Thanksgiving!
TitansOnline.com looks back at the all-time series against the Houston Texans. (AP Photos, Donn Jones)