NASHVILLE – It was an ugly Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
The Titans lost their third straight game, and now things are getting a little more stressful in the race for the AFC South.
Once again, my inbox quickly filled up with questions/comments.
So, let's see what everyone is thinking …
Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE
Jim Kintzler from Atlanta, Georgia
Question: One of the comments that I remember from Vrabel and perhaps JRob was that Titans don't want front runners on their team. Players that can't take a punch or don't bounce back from adversity. I want to see how this team manages the next 4 games. Perhaps the owner and others feel the talent level is not sufficient to make a deep run in playoffs. But this is the team we have now. Quit bitching about who is to blame and let's hit someone hard like a Titan should.
Jim: Hey Jim. I think your mindset is exactly what the team's mindset should be. You're right – complaining and pouting isn't going to solve anything. After the game, safety Kevin Byard said it himself. Sure, we can talk in here about the mistakes that have been made, the injuries, the underperforming players. Fans can question the personnel decisions, the coaching staff, etc. But if the team is doing that, this season is not going to end well.
Jack Walker from Calabasas, California
Question: Hey Jim. I'm not going to touch the negative topics today. So...
How about that Chig Okonkwo?? Delanie v2.0
Have fun with the rest of the mailbag today, Jim.
Jim: Chig has been good. He needs to play. Buckle up for the rest of this mailbag...
Rob Haye from Ontario, Canada
Question: Hey Jim, well we &^$&^&&#& the bed on that one, once again. I wrote in after Bengals loss and said we can't beat teams with a winning record ( PS...Washington was 1-3 when we beat them, so not sure if that is considered a winning record ) and I said don't sleep on the Jags. They didn't sleep on them they were in a bleepin COMA.
If I'm Henry I'm calling my agent and telling him to get me out of here for 2023 season. Albeit Henry did not help the cause Sunday, what a complete waste of talent it has been in Nashville.
Do the right thing and trade him or release him so he can go to a potential contender in 2023.
Willis should be the starter for rest of season, even as bad as he has displayed thus far, may as well just get him the reps, even if were lucky enough to win the division title as the best team in the WORST division in football, 2023 is going to be a complete rebuild year.
Oh Ya, if Vrabel doesn't fire OC after the most stupid play call after we stopped them on 4th and 4 to start the 4th qtr, then Vrabel is just as negligent as his play caller is.
I turned the game off and my wife finally said to me after 40 years of being a die-hard OILER/TITAN fan through the good and bad, we need to find you another team.
This franchise has been the model of mediocracy, last year was the year that could have been, but in Typical Titans way they found a way to mess that up one up, at least we can always count on them for that.
Jim: Hope you're staying warm in Ontario, Rob.
Donley Canary from Raymore, Missouri
Question: Hello Jim. Trying to choose my words carefully after watching this debacle. After 23 years of being a season ticket holder, it is hard to watch and support this organization. It was our chance or window of opportunity to go back to the Super Bowl. We had a generational running back, strong offensive line and a stout defense. However, all imploded due to a GM that drafted poorly, make unwise decisions in the free agent market and got fleeced in trades. We NOW have no depth, very few players or difference makers on the team. When the majority of your team is undrafted free agents, Jim , you are in trouble in today's NFL. I see no hope or positive future for the Titans. The only thing we have going for us is Mike Vrabel. I truly believe we are entering the Titan's dreary past years of 2010 - 2015 era. It is not going to be pretty. Again, thanks Jon Robinson for taking apart a playoff team piece by piece until there is almost nothing left. JR has plenty to live on and we are saddled with the MESS he created on the field to watch!!
Jim: Thanks for chiming in, Donley. But I think you're being overly pessimistic here.
Wes White from Bozeman, Montana
Question: Hey Jim. Wes in Montana. Hope all is well with you. All I have today is WTMF!??? Who is this Titans team? I'm flying in for the Cowboys game with my son. Unfortunately, I've already spent the money for flights and game. I'm at a loss man. I could go on with all my thoughts, but I know you are as bewildered as the rest of us. I just hope Vrabel doesn't go the same way as Robinson. I love him as a coach, but something's just not right.
All I can say is Titanup?? Cheers.
Jim: Cheers, Wes. And, Vrabel isn't going anywhere.
Greg L from Alexandria, Virginia
Question: Hi Jim. Still think the Titans are a playoff team? LOL! This is not about making the playoffs, this team may not win another game this year.
While Robinson may have been turned in to the scapegoat for this team there is just as much blame that must fall on the entire coaching staff's shoulders.
Not the first time this year the team has been woefully unprepared. I can hear the excuses now.....we just need to execute better, we need to coach better, we just need to take care of the ball. They were outcoached in all phases and that falls entirely on the coaches, not the players.
Totally embarrassing on all levels. Let's hope the owner takes a look at this season and cleans house. Tired of hearing what a great coach Vrabel is and how his players love him. Just keep standing there shaking your head with that confused look. Pitiful
Jim: Hi Greg. Yes, I do think the Titans will be a playoff team. The question is how long will they stick around? I think we all know the Titans better get better.
Joseph Waldrup from Franklin, Tennessee
Question: The Titans have battled an unusually high number of injuries both this year and last which has kept them from being at their best each game. All teams have key injuries during a season. But is this particular situation predicated on something they are not doing or should be doing differently? Is it because of players' ages, because of extraordinary efforts, because of schemes or training/conditioning? Or just plain bad luck? What is your take?
Jim: Hard for me to explain, Joseph. It can't all be attributed to bad luck, and it can't all be blamed on the strength and conditioning staff. Believe me, if I knew I'd say something to keep it from happening.
Eric Meyer from San Lorenzo, California
Question: So you fire the GM after getting embarrassed by the Eagles…what's the move after getting embarrassed by the JAGS?!?! Are you kidding me? THE JAGS?!?! I'm glad that ownership is making moves to hopefully better this talent starved team but that was awful. I wish I could blame Todd downing for this mess but Derrick Henry and Ryan tannehill let him off the hook with their turnovers. Something is wrong with Henry. It's very odd seeing a guy his size getting hit so hard that he fumbles the ball. He's just not the same guy he was before the injury. The offense has broken the will of this defense and it started back against the chiefs where they were asked to play 100 plays. 100 PLAYS. also, when are we going to see an offense that is built to play the way the NFL has adapted their rule book to benefit? I see teams that I think less of every week getting wrs wide open. Why is everyone we throw to look like they are double covered? I really don't understand. I'm just glad that we are getting to the final weeks of the season and then there will only be one playoff game if we are lucky enough to even make the playoffs. I need a 9 month break from being invested in this team.
Jim: Thanks for weighing in, Eric.
Tony Malgiero from El Paso, Texas
Question: Hi, Jim. Hope your next week is a great one. Whew!! That was rough to watch. -4 on the turnover side isn't going to win any games. The defense played poorly, but it's kind of expected when you're playing back ups at both ILB and corner spots. Missing Denico seems to be the key to not getting pressure or sacks. He might just be the straw that stirs the drink for the DL. Dennis Daley is just flat out bad. The real weakness of the team seems to be the OL and they're doesn't seem to be any answers. Personally, I would like to see anyone at LT besides Daley at this point. Could they really be worse than him? The team has a player it drafted in the second round who played LT in college. I get that he's probably not that great a practice player, but he seems to play decent in games. Does no one else remember how well he played at LT last year against the 49ers and Bosa? The way things are going, I'm expecting the team to finish 2-2 in their last 4 games and then go home after the first round of the playoffs. I know a lot of people are concerned with the teams lack of playmakers, but I feel a healthy Burks, Chig, Hooper, and Kyle Phillips can really be something along with Henry and a healthy Hilliard. Fix the O-line and patch up some spots on Defense and this team could seriously compete again next year. For what he's working with currently, I feel RT plays very well. Do you think my assessment is fair?
Jim: You make some fair point in here, Tony. But if someone is stepping in at left tackle, based on the depth chart and on what Vrabel has said, it's going to be Le'Raven Clark, and not Dillon Radunz.
Charles Johns from Hermitage, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, thanks for this post where fans can talk Titans football. Man, that was a tough game to watch against the Jags. The turnovers in the first half killed our chance to win the game. We have no room for error. I don't know how we fill all the holes in one offseason because we have no cap room to be active in free agency. The o-line needs to be overhauled and the secondary can't stop a nose bleed. I find it hard to believe that Radunz could be worse than Dailey. The D-line can't get any pressure without Autry, but if we can keep that core together and get Landry back next season they'll be okay. Obviously we need more depth at the wide receiver position because when Burks is out it kills us. We're getting Tanny beat up with this o-line and lack of weapons. This is 2 or 3 years in a row with injuries decimating the team. This should be the one year the training staff had a chance to prove they could fix whatever the problem is. They failed and changes should be made. Our lack of ability to score points and the defense now leaking oil makes me question whether we can even hang on to the division lead this year. Hopefully we can get healthy soon and turn it around but it's looking pretty bad right now. Titan Up!!!
Jim: Hard to put a positive spin on this one right now, Charles. Things haven't looked good the past few weeks. The Titans need to regroup, and get healthy.
Ross Florey from Brentwood, Tennessee
Question: Jim, you do a great job always both with fair acknowledgement of fan complaints and reasonable defense of the team in response to some of our inconsistent logic in the criticisms. I have a question related to folks we might still bring back from IR and the rules related to what teams can do. Please correct any misunderstanding I have, but I have understood that each team can activate up to 8 players for the season from IR (and a player like Molden — if he were to return— would count as two of those). By my count, we have activated 7 back to the roster: Burks, Rice, Molden, Adeniyi, Shudak, McMath and J Thompson. Of those, a few were from the PUP list, so perhaps they're treated differently? And assuming several on IR now could get healthy (Long, Phillips, Cunningham, Molden, J Jones), we might still want or need them to be reactivated. Can you clarify what you understand are the number of players we might still be able to bring back to make a playoff run? Thanks.
Jim: Hey Ross. Thanks for writing in. So far, the Titans have activated five guys from Injured Reserve – Racey McMath, Ola Adeniyi (who was waived on Monday), Elijah Molden, Josh Thompson and Treylon Burks. The guys who were on PUP don't count on the list. So, that means the Titans have three of their eight spots left. I'm thinking two will go to Zach Cunningham and David Long Jr.. I'd been thinking Kyle Philips would get one, but I'm not so sure about that now as he continues to try and get healthy. Lonnie Johnson is another candidate. Some tough decisions are going to have to be made because the team is running out of spots.
Daryl St John from Panama City Beach, Florida
Question: I have no words for what I watch from this team im now on to next year what are new gm whoever it is is going to pick he can go whatever way he wants it looks like the whole team can be replaced making my Sundays sad and terrible thanks titans. 2023 titan up 😞
Jim: Thanks, Daryl.
Jamie Shulz from Houston, Texas
Question: Sooooooo if we were at a crossroads last week....where exactly are we now? I would say we just got pushed off the cliff. I thought all season we were a bit of a paper lion..... Our overall lack of talent has finally caught up with us. TONS of work to do to become an actual contender.
Jim: On the road to Los Angeles.
Josh Bomar from Knoxville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim! Say this 5 times fast, "FIRST PLAY FAILED FLEA FLICKER" I swear, it's like watching a 6 year old play Madden for the first time with these play calls. Hey I have a good idea! Let's run a direct snap to Henry and have Tannehill jump up in the air like the ball went over his head! LOL Really?!?!?!?! GM fired, 3 straight losses, THE WHEELS ON THE BUS.....
Jim: Hey Josh. Let's keep it real here: If the flea-flicker had worked, no one would be complaining about it. It's a classic second-guess from some of the same folks who complain about the play-calling being too predictable. … Yeah, the direct snap to Henry was a disaster, we all saw it. But we all agreed the Derrick Henry jump-pass in Green Bay was a great call … but what if Derrick had lost the handle on the way up, and fumbled? Would it still have been a great call? I get some of the complaints. But questioning a flea-flicker, which resulted in an incomplete pass, is just looking for a reason to pile on.
Josh Widmer from Kansas City, Missouri
Question: Yea, you read that location correctly! It can be rough rocking the titans blue in this part of the country……. Well it was awhile back, we seem to be less and less of a rival lately though!!
So I believe I only have one real question…….. how bad does the offense have to look before we attempt to see what we have with Malik???
I mean Ryan was great, but these last two years have been truly rough! Between missed throws, bad reads, and ugly interceptions……. I know the line is struggling, but that's not the only reason!
I'm just saying, I'm fairly confident that Malik willis can make bad reads, and over throw as well….But….. he adds a running aspect that would help with the pass rush… as the opposing defense can't neglect their gaps as they rush!
Also, he will learn, and grow, and perhaps unlock something in our offense that perhaps allows us to compete with KC, Buffalo, Miami, Cincinnati….. all offenses that can score 30 easily….and we are simply capped at 24 points max!!
Offense needs more playmakers…. Getting burks back, using Okonkwo in more packages would be a great start!
Lastly, play calling has been rough, we seem to not own a 3rd and 10 play….. as we just throw a 5 yard out…. Or bubble screen… or a draw….. and hope we get lucky!!
Idk if it's to protect RT or to protect the line…. But I think taking more downfield chances has a multitude of positive benefits…. From punishing for loading the box, to a chance for penalties that lead to first downs….. and obviously more points!!
I mean Carson Wentz has made a career of under thrown deep balls for pass interference!! It was the whole colts offense last season!
I don't think we can truly compete in this AFC with a passive approach, and what seems like a 4 yard offense with 20 point hopes!
J Rob wasn't in charge of play calling, or on field execution!
I think Vrabel is doing an amazing job, but he isn't an offensive minded coach, and our offense has been absolutely inept for years!
We will likely make the playoffs…… either way…… I'm just hopeful that we make some changes to try and actually make a run…. Not just be content with an appearance!!
Been reading the mail bag for a really long time, and sorry if some of this comes across as angry, but it's been a frustrating season, and we are over .500 and leading the division!
A year or two ago…… we lost to the teams we should beat easily, and beat teams no one gave us a chance to…. That's reversed now….. and that's what brings the feeling of a lack of hope!
Jim: Hey Josh. Well, Malik had a chance to play two games this season, so you got your sneak peek. I think it became even more obvious at that point this team's best chance to win is with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. So, chances are the only way you'll see Malik as the starter this season is if the Titans clinch the AFC South and they decide to rest starters at the end of the year. After the way the last three weeks have gone, I can guarantee you know one is planning on that right now.
Jonathan Wright from Bishop Auckland, England
Jim: Was pulling for England in the World Cup, Jonathan.
Jim Williams from Lubbock, Texas
Question: Hi Jim. Tough loss to the Jags, but maybe it should have been expected. Everywhere we look at the starting lineup on both offense and defense, there are practice squad players. They are in there because of all the injuries the Titans have been suffering for the past two years. Maybe it's time to consider that the team's run first, smash-mouth, maximum hits on every play, identity, is contributing greatly to all the injuries to the team's best players. Tennessee has certainly had more players on IR than any other team over the past two years. Maybe it's time to tone down the toughest team in the NFL image. What do you think, Jim?
Jim: I don't think anyone here is pumping up the toughest team in the league talk. That was earned over the years with a style of play. You can tone it down if you want, but I don't expect anyone around here to offer any apologies.
John Clark from Chesapeake, Virginia
Question: Hey Jim my fellow Titans family!
Well I think Jon Robinson shouldn't have been the only person to get his pink slip. How much longer is the owner Amy and Head coach Vrabel gonna stick with our offense and defensive coordinator???!!!!!!! Lawrence looked like Joe Montana and Jerry Rice out there. We probably have the worst pass defense in the NFL over the last decade and a half and that's statistically speaking. Tannehill therapy didn't do him any justice he still makes bone head decisions and it doesn't help the Titans offense line is pure horse 💩 poo!!!!! I have a serious suggestion why don't they pay me the money that the organization is paying Downing and I can get some plays off of Madden and my 8 year old daughter can call the next game since everyone looks clueless on how to coach a game and run a football organization. Embarrassed as hell is an understatement!!! It's time to hit the panic button and abandon ship bring on the draft please no better yet don't because every draft we do stupid things like trade our best players and draft injured players or players that's gonna be a bust. Jim I feel for you because I know you want to write what's in your heart about these turds but can't vent so I'll do it for you. Just throw the whole team away from the owner down to the water boy!!!
Jim: Hey John. I've gotten a lot of emails from you over the years. I can always count on you being over the top when things are going poorly.
Dennis Utterback from Louisville, Kentucky
Question: Jim. Tennessee is done. Amy is headed in the right direction, there's more work to be done. She has to fire the offensive and defensive coordinators. She has to start over and wipe the slate clean. This team isn't going anywhere. At this stage in the season they're hard to watch. Instead of building a new stadium. They need to give this team a complete overhaul. I can't see no light at the end of the tunnel.
Jim: It's been a rough three-game stretch, Dennis – the team's first three-game losing streak since 2018. Take your sunglasses off and look closer for the light ...
David Hargis from Louisville, Kentucky
Question: Jim. That was a tough loss to the Jaguars on Sunday. The turnovers sealed the game. It felt like we were watching a team that has lost it's mojo. My hat is off to Trevor Lawrence and those receivers. It felt like they couldn't miss on some of those drives. I hope I am wrong, but I think that game foreshadows what it will be like to play the jags in the next few years. They are a team on the rise for sure.
All that being said, lets not forget the titans still have an 80% plus chance of winning the division and making the playoffs. I remember that stretch of down years where the playoffs were a pipe-dream at this time of the year. It is much better to be a middling team with a high probability shot at the division, than one of those teams fighting for a top 5 pick. I saw fixable problems in that jaguars game. Eliminate those turnovers and the fan base is celebrating the win this week. Lets not lose sight of the goal that is still very much a possibility. Everybody still alive after week 17 is 0-0 come playoff time. Block out the noise, focus on execution, and lets get back to winning. This is the same team that put together that 5-game win streak. There is plenty of time to build some momentum before a playoff run. So let's get out of our feelings this week, Titan up, and not lose site of the possibilities still open to our team. Thanks Jim!
Jim: Good to hear from you, David. One of the few positive emails I got this week. Do you know Dennis in Louisville?
Barrett Sutton from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Jim, thanks for not quitting. It must be harder to read all the comments than to watch the games. I am afraid we won't make postseason now.
Jim: Hey Barrett. Yes, the comments are rough, but the Titans are still in a great position to make the playoffs.
Joe Arcudi from Merrimack, New Hampshire
Question: Jim, the frustrating part of the current situation is... A Vrabel team is usually the hammer, but lately we seem to be the nail. The one thing you could always count on as a Titan fan is the other team would ALWAYS be walking on thier elbows on Monday Morning (win or lose). Just not the case right now. Just a lot of pieces missing right now.....Injuries and a poor overall roster taking its toll.
Jim: Some truth to the last line.
Greg Serheev from Bedminster, New Jersey
Question: Hello. What is going on here??!! Coach V doesn't know which hole to plug first, however the biggest problem still has not been addressed yet. Our secondary is beyond terrible and every week they get progressively worse. I say "our" because unfortunately I'm stuck with the Titans for life.
I predict the Titans won't win another game this season. I actually don't blame the players to a degree because the coaches have failed to prepare and come up with a solid game plan week in and week out. I've said repeatedly the DB coach should of been let go months ago. The DBs are deliberately being taught to not turn around and play the ball. Is it really that hard to just turn around when the ball is thrown??How is it that every other team can figure out how to defend receivers properly? The Titans run around aimlessly trying to play catch up in the secondary. It's actually embarrassing and honestly I can't grasp how that is not being addressed and fixed.
It's time to look to next year. This year is over! I feel bad for Henry, Tannehill, and Byard. Their best years are past them. It's a shame how bad the Titans are this year. Can't write anymore so upset!!
Jim: Hey Greg. This year is definitely not over. Four games left to play, and the organization's third straight AFC South title is within reach.
Joseph Lemire from Jacksonville, Florida
Question: Hey Jim, Jags fan here. We attended the game and I just wanted to let you know that the Titans fans were great. We were surrounded by friendly people. Nashville kept it classy.
Jim: I appreciate the feedback, Joseph. I hope you enjoyed Nashville, my hometown. But … what's the deal with all the Jaguars fans jumping on my Twitter timeline the last 24-36 hours? They're giving Jaguars fans a bad name.
Raymond Coons from Saugerties, New York
Question: One word..... HAPLESS !!!! What say you ??? Over 30 years as Oilers /Titans fan totally disgusted. I guess I should be used to this.
Jim: Hapless is a word used to describe someone unlucky and deserving of pity. Believe me, no one around here is looking for pity.
Neil McGeehan from Derry, Ireland
Question: Jim! Im guessing the mailbag isnt very positive after sunday. Theres no doubt the team is going through a real tough period, but we are still top of the south and in charge of our own fate. I just want to ask what you think the team has to do to get back on track? Are there any quick fixes?
Jim: Hey Neil. The mailbag hasn't been very positive. The biggest quick fix I see is to stop turning the ball over. We've all seen some of this team's flaws in recent weeks. The issues are a combination of a lot of things. The team needs to get back to the basics – protect better, rush the QB better, cut down on the turnovers and mistakes, make plays, etc. Find a way to win a game, and then start building some momentum.
Eric McClellan from Metropolis, Illinois
Question: Garbage effort from everyone. Coaches, Players, and possibly even the folks squirting the water bottles (I seen one or two missed mouths there too). After that debacle, I cannot hselp but think that this team might possible lose the rest of the way. I try to stay positive, but I just can't with this team right now. Sad day to be a Titan fan.
Jim: Right now, the Titans need to find a way to beat the Chargers.
Mickey Whitson from Rossville, Tennessee
Question: Well where do you start? I have defended Downing all I'm going to. J. Rob was fired for a reason, ok I agree with it. Yet we keep sending a guy like Daley out there every series and he cant stop a piss ant. Tannehill has a second and a half to make a decision before Daley let a defensive player have free reign to the QB. Do you blame Downing for that or Vrabel for sending a player that dont belong in the NFL on the field. If this team cant put a team on the field that can block for a QB or stop the pass then we are not the best team in the AFC SOUTH.I hope that Derrick, Kevin , and Jeffrey has a chance to play on a team that has a chance to play on a team that can play for a super bowl. This Titan team ain't it. Time to start over.
Jim: If you're asking me whose fault it is when Dennis Daley gets beat in protection, I blame the guy whose job it is to not get beat.
Jared Clark from Leakesville, Mississippi
Question: Jim, first off I appreciate everything you do for us! But man All I can say is piss poor. They are not a good football team right now.
Jim: Thanks, Jared.
Jesse Cano from Corpus Christi, Texas
Question: Well, well, well.....what a big disappointment! For a minute there I actually thought we we're gonna come out there with a win......NOPE. Man our o-line can't protect our qb worth a crap....I mean how do u think u feel when u c the guy go around u....then sacks ur qb....and c him go to the ground....me personally....I would feel pathetic....weak...embarrassed that I let this guy go through me and I'm just standing there.....watching my qb on the ground! They cannot protect Ryan. King Henry did good....despite losing the ball. Should've been a good win 4 us! This division is starting to look like last year's NFC East division. Have to b better at protecting the ball and especially our qb! Have to!!! Can't stand watching the TV and seeing the our scores....another loss. We have to win....they need to b better for each other! Titan up. Let's go get the next one!
Jim: On to the next one, Jesse.
Have a great week everyone!