NASHVILLE – The Titans are back to .500.
No, Sunday's win over the Colts wasn't perfect.
But after starting the season 0-2, the Titans have found a way to win back-to-back games and have a chance to get to 3-2 before the bye week.
Let's dive into another Titans mailbag to talk about what happened over the weekend, and the upcoming game against the Washington Commanders.
Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE
Joe Tanaka from Aiea, Hawaii
Question: Jim, Writing here from Hawaii. Been a Titan fan for about 10 years. It's so frustrating to see what happens to us during the second half. It seems our offense stumbles and overall we seemed to be out coached after our first half. Derrick Henry is a beast but we seem to be predictable with the run and the team seems to lose momentum. What are your thoughts?
Jim: Hey Joe. My thoughts are, yes, the second half of games this season have been brutal for the most part. But I think it's a combination of a lot of things, and hardly as simple as "getting outcoached." On the first drive of the second half on Sunday, Ryan Tannehill was sacked on second down and the Titans found themselves in a 3rd and 24. On the second drive, run plays that worked in the first half were stuffed. The third drive stunk, the fourth drive was moving until Tannehill was sacked again and then came the last drive -- when OC Todd Downing made a great call – the pass to Chig Okonkwo after he'd lined up on the backfield – to seal the win. Things obviously need to get better, but the most important thing is the Titans won the game.
Roy T from Hampton, Virginia
Question: What's up Jim? Good division win, but I'm worried about the second half play. We look unstoppable in the first half the last two weeks, but look lost in the second half. I think the Titans have been outscored 70-7 in the second half so far this season. I think it's happening too consistently to blame it on players not executing. My question is: Do you think it's the coaching staff not adjusting at halftime? Would you put the poor second half play mostly on the coaching staff? Still was a good win and I hope Treylon isn't sidelined too long because the Titans really need him.
Jim: C'mon Roy, you're making it sound a lot worse than it's actually been. The Titans have been outscored 64-7 in the second half, not 70-7. 😬
Jonathan Wright from Bishop Auckland, Durham, England
Question: Hi Jim. Not a question. Just wanted to share my celebration of getting back over the pond to watch my Titans once more. Missed my annual game since 2018, largely due to Covid, but also because I was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect which meant I missed my planned 2019 game. Anyway, that's fixed now and I'm making the trip to Washington hoping we can manage to play a full game, not just the first half as commented on by so many others and get only my 3rd win in person since I started the trips in 2007.
Jim: Hey Jonathan. Glad to hear you're back, and hope you have a great trip!
Derik S from Crossville, Tennessee
Question: Wife and I have booked our flight for the Titans-Commanders game on fall break. We have purchased tickets to most of the major museums and historical sites. What other recommendations (food, events, etc.) do you have for our trip to DC?
Jim: Hey Derik. Well, it sounds like you're on your way. I've been to D.C. many times and hit the historical sites, so it sounds like you have a good plan. One restaurant recommendation I'll throw out there: Old Ebbitt Grill. It's a cool spot with good food. I'm also going to include a few tips from my buddy, John Glennon, who is from the area: Spend part of a day in Old Town, Alexandria (Va.), which is accessible either by Metro stop (Old Town Metrorail Station) or by Uber. I would guess it's probably 15 minutes or so away from DC. Old Town is filled with history/tradition, dating back to pre-Revolutionary times. The best way to experience it is by walking down King St. -- either starting at the Metro stop and walking to the shore of the Potomac River (about a mile) or vice-versa. The mile-long walk is FILLED with restaurants, bars, places to shop, etc. … Some restaurants, many with great views of the Potomac River: Chadwick's, Chart House, Landini Brothers, Gadsby's Tavern, Vola's Dockside Grill, Ada's on the River, Virtue Feed and Grain. Some pub/restaurants: The Fish Market, Union St. Public House, O'Connell's Irish Restaurant and Pub, Murphy's Grand Irish Pub, Hank's Oyster Bar. … He also recommends going to Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington. Another cool option he suggests: A boat tour down the Potomac to Mt. Vernon. … Lastly. Theodore Roosevelt Island National Memorial is good for a hike/walk. … Hope some of this helps.
Dawn S from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. Thanks for answering all of our questions every week. Takes a strong person to do this especially on a down week. My question is: Why is the Titans game not played across Tennessee market? Most games are played in Tennessee market when they are played away however this weekend the Titans vs Colts game (was) on Fox and not being shown in Memphis. I thought this was a Tennessee team. Not just a "Nashville " team. This needs to be looked at by the organization. Many fans here in area and each year at least one or two Titan games are not televised in this area.
Jim: Hi Dawn. Thanks for writing it. I heard from several folks from Memphis over the weekend, and a few from East Tennessee as well. Unfortunately, this is not something the team controls. The local stations select the games they want. They selected Dallas/Washington this past week. The FOX station in Memphis probably shows a lot of Dallas games. The Memphis FOX station did select the Tennessee/LV game in week 3. Fortunately, the remaining games are on CBS and the Memphis CBS station regularly selects Titans games. Every frustrated Titans fan should contact their local stations and let them know they want the Titans games on their local station.
Joe Sanchez from Atlanta, Georgia
Question: We technically won this game by this point but man do we suck. Our 2 wins are nothing but luck. I keep watching, hoping to see someone take it to the next level but alas nothing really. Maybe next week, but I doubt it. My question is, how do the coaches look at this and think they're doing things right? Is it a win? Sure. Are we getting better? That's debatable. This team NEEDS help if we're going to take the next step. The team is aware that football has 4 quarters, right? They seem surprised by that fact every week.
Jim: The Titans won the game, Joe, against the same team that beat the Chiefs the prior week.
Reinhard Schiendorfer from Fosdinovo, Italy
Question: After the O-line could be sealed with glue and cords, we are a top team. Admittedly, only for a half, but still. Are our players out of gas or can the opposing coaches make such much better adjustments?
Jim: Ciao Reinhard! The Titans need to get better in the second half, there's no doubt about it. As I mentioned before, it's a combination of things.
Eric McClellan from Metropolis, Illinois
Question: It sure wasn't pretty, and was very nerve-racking....but here we sit at 2-2. Let's build on this win, learn from our mistakes and improve each week. Speaking of next week, I am heading to the game in D.C. Jim, where can I find a great Titans tailgate party in Washington? Let's Go!!!!!
Jim: I hear ya, Eric. Not sure of a tailgate party, unfortunately. The team had a Road Rally in Indianapolis, but nothing is planned in Washington. Maybe you can hook up with Jonathan from Bishop Auckland, Durham, England and Derik S. from Crossville!
Edward McKinney from Antioch, Tennessee
Question: I noticed we are lacking depth at the inside linebacker and cornerback positions. I was wondering if you had any updates on the rehabs for Monty Rice (ILB) and Elijah Molden (Nickel CB). These guys played well when on the field and healthy. Getting Elijah back at the nickel CB position could allow Roger McCreary CB to play the outside while allowing K Fulton to man the other outside CB position. Additionally, Monty Rice was good against the run and the past, so he could bring stability to the ILB room. Thanks for keeping us informed.
Jim: Hey Edward. Monty made the trip to Indianapolis just to be around the team, and he's expected to return to practice this week. He's getting close. I saw Elijah the other day, but he's not ready yet.
Alberto Armando Tellez Salcedo from Durango, Mexico
Question: Saludos Jim y antes que nada felicitar al equipo que a pesar de tener 11 jugadores en la IR, 2 en la PUP y sin Hooker, Cunningham, Amadi y Adeniyi se logró ganar un partido importantísimo contra el rival más fuerte de la División Sur de la Conferencia Americana.
Otra vez se sufre de un bajón en la segunda mitad, pero el equipo logra sobreponerse a la embestida de los Colts.
Un gran partido de Derrick Henry, Chigoziem Okonkwo, Robert Woods,David Long Jr., Teair Tart, Roger McCreary, Denico Autry que me gusta más de DT que se edge, Dylan Cole que mejoró mucho y de Ryan Stonehouse, en general los equipos especiales muy bien.
Colectivamente la defensa contra la corrida no dejo hacer nada a Jonathan Taylor
Problemas con Mo Alie-Cox, Jaleni Woods y Alec Pierce que son muy altos y atléticos, pero al final le dio a la defensiva para sacar el triunfo 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 Intercepción, 2 balones recuperados. Feliz por qué un triunfo es un triunfo.
Mis preguntas son como están Treylon Burks y Bud Dupree y cuando regresarán Racey McMath, Amani Hooker, Elijah Molden, Ugo Amadi, Zach Cunningham y Monty Rice.
Gracias Jim y saludos a todo el equipo desde Durango, México.
Jim: Que bueno saber de ti Alberto. Haces algunas buenas observaciones. Treylon va a estar un poco fuera, lo mismo con Zach Cunningham. Aún no estoy seguro acerca de Bud. Racey estará fuera por un tiempo, Amani se está acercando, Elijah todavía tiene mucho camino por recorrer, Ugo se está acercando y Monty realmente se está acercando.
Eli Decko from Youngwood, Pennsylvania
Question: Talk about a tail of two halves. In the first half with Darius Leonard in the game Henry couldn't be stopped. He goes out with a concussion and all the sudden Henry gets less than 30 yards and the offense has less than 100 yards in the second half without their best defensive player on the field?!?!? That's all Todd Downing man. This guy cannot call a game to save his life. Our defense played so hard. They looked great vs Taylor. I remember last year talking up Weaver to you and now that he's healthy he is currently our most consistent defensive playmaker. Not saying he's dominant like Jeffrey Simmons but the kid is soon going to be a household name. Also, I was crushed and saddened to see Kern go, but Stonehouse is incredible. I mean that kid has a leg. Vs the Commanders do you think we will finally see a complete game called by Downing? I know the excuse is players need to execute but if everyone in the stadium and everyone at home knows the calls how couldn't the opposing defense know it too? Jim in the first half there was a carry that went to the left, pre snap the defense shifted to that side and overloaded the gaps. Why was the run still called to that side? Is Tannehill not allowed to flip the play? I mean Downing has called literally the most predictable and mind numbing offense I've ever seen and we used to have Norm Chow as our OC. Thanks again and here's to 2-2 and 1-0 in the AFC South!
Jim: Hey Eli. I like your passion, but it's not all Todd Downing's fault like some folks make it out to be. And, if it is all on him, then I guess he deserved the credit for the team putting up 24 points, which was enough to win. And, for the great play call to tight end Chig Okonkwo that helped seal the win. We're four games in Eli. Let's see how some things play out. And, let's not ignore the fact the offense started three rookies on Sunday (Burks, Okonkwo, Petit-Frere) and another guy (Dennis Daley at LT) who wasn't even on the team at the six weeks ago. I'm not going to sit here and say Todd Downing has been perfect, because he hasn't been. He'd be the first to tell you this. But let's also be honest: This Titans offense isn't as scary, and talented, without A.J. Brown. That's not an excuse, it's just the truth. Things are a work in progress. Everyone is going to have to be better, from the players to the O.C. to the HC if this team is going to turn into a contender. Heck, I could be better, too.
Jonathan Humphrey from Rumsey, Kentucky
Question: Hey there JIM! How bout them Titans!?!?! I'm so happy for the win against the Colts this past Sunday however my blood pressure went through the roof watching that second half. Same for the Raiders game. My question is; do you have some incite on how and why the second half of the games it seems the offensive effort is so....lets say....lackadaisical??? I understand being up by 3 TD's and running clock out but almost letting these other teams catch back up is just plain NUTS! Do you agree with this strategy or do you think we might need to brush up on some series and plays in the second half when we are already up? I mean whats wrong with putting more points up on the board in the second half? Thanks Jim
Jim: Hey Jonathan. Your question has obviously been one of the biggest themes of this mailbag. There's nothing wrong with putting more points on the board. Like everyone else, I know it's a problem. The Titans should've won the game handily on Sunday, but the team wasted too many possessions. So, once again, it came down to the end. And, believe me, it's a real pain in the rear for a guy who has to bang out a story to be published right when the game ends. I plan on saying something to Vrabel about it this week.
John Werther from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Jim: 2nd time writing. 1st of all MEGA shoutout and thank you for all you do for Titans fans, for eating doo when things are rough but always being even handed despite being a Titans employee. Tough balancing act, expertly executed. Impressive young Skywalker.
Is it too much to ask, is it not impossible to think that opening up the passing attack might actually benefit the running game? When we watch the game, my Rhodesian Ridgeback (Esther) actually barks out the offensive plays before RT has snapped the ball. It is so ridiculously easy for our opponents to know what play is coming up-- reminds me of the Vanderbilt offensive game plan under Gerry Dinardo= 3 runs and a punt. I know there have been repeated calls for a new OC. Vrabel trusts him. But if we could just be 25-30% LESS PREDICTABLE. Is that too much to ask?
We traded the best receiver Titans have had since Derrick Mason (i.e., AJB). How about taking some shots down field with Trevan? And/or other receivers (RW, WbI, etc)? We actually HAVE talent at receiver position. At the very least we might force opposing corners and safeties to back up a little. Derrick Henry can run over and thru 6-7 players. But its tough when there are 9-11 opponents attacking the run.
If i may: Ryan Tannehill is the BEST QB we have had since Steve McNair. Full stop. He was among the MOST sacked QBs last season. There were so many NOT CALLED helmut to helmut hits he absorbed without complaining. I shouted at the TV over the non-calls. His parents probably do too. Its hard to see him under pressure by 1 Mississippi. My only request: Any chance he could channel his inner Peyton and pump fake occasionally? Just asking...
THANK YOU JIM...GO TITANS!!
Jim: Love the Gerry DiNardo mention, John - I remember those days! And, Esther sounds like a smart dog. But let's get one thing straight: I do not eat doo!
Bob Easley from Austin, Texas
Question: Hey Jim and Titan fans, Jim, please let us know your take on this. Of course, a great first half. Though the 2nd half is an area of concern on offense, the other two thirds of our team played great in the 2nd half. Let's recognize the great play of our defense (bent but didn't break) and special teams in the 2nd half. Let's take this win and keep improving. Like last year, we are 2-2, let's go get the number one seed again this year…one game at a time👍✅❗️
Jim: I hear ya, Bob.
Kel Lang from New Albany, Indiana
Question: Hey Jim, thanks for taking another of my questions.
I watched the titans again on Sunday, expected the worst, hoped for the best. Offense and defense looked good in the first half, with the turnovers and Henry rushing for nearly 100 yards.
Then comes the 2nd half...and I'm sure you will be flooded with questions about the Titans lack of production in the 2nd half over all 4 games.
My specific question is: How do we improve secondary in pass defense? Its not a rhetorical question. 2nd half was cringeworthy. My 15 year old son watched with me, and I told him Matt Ryan can put on a blindfold, throw the ball up and we cant defend it. That seemed to be true for the most part in the 2nd half.
I love the Titans, fan since 1998, and I have seen a lot of ups and downs. But I just dont know where we go from here. Our secondary is NOT good, and future opponents are going to pick us apart with pass plays.
With everything said, how do the Titans improve in the secondary? And how do we get out of this 2nd half funk!?!?
Jim: Hey Kel. For starters, the Titans need to get their guys back. Safety Amani Hooker is a key player, for one, and the plan was for Elijah Molden to be the starting slot corner and he hasn't been available. The team traded for Ugo Amadi and he hasn't been available the last two weeks either. And, of course, the guys playing need to be better and more consistent.
Michael Newsome from Drexel, North Carolina
Question: I have my gear together and on my way up to DC for Sunday's game. I paid full-price for the ticket in the offseason, unfortunately. Since the Titans are only expected to participate in the first half of the game, am I eligible for a 50% refund?
Jim: Way to close us out, Michael. Hey, the Colts outscored the Titans 7-0 in the second half. The Raiders outscored the Titans 12-0 in the second half in Week 3. Both those teams lost. Think their fans would trade the final score in exchange for being able to say they won the second half? I think not. … Seriously, how would you feel if the Titans fell behind 21-3 in the first half in D.C., and then outscored the Commanders 17-0 in the second half and lost 21-20? I think I know the answer. Have a safe trip.
Have a great week everyone!