NASHVILLE – Well, it was a bounce-back weekend for the Titans, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
And, for this mailbag.
After a tumultuous week, the mood has changed following a big win – and a much better performance – against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Before we get into this Tuesday's mailbag, I thought I'd share this email that came into my personal email account at 7:46 Sunday morning, just as I was headed to Nissan Stadium.
It was from skipdyoung1, sent from his Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone, and it read like this:
Gheez you always take up for ryan even after 3 int should have been 5 keep saying its just first game no its not did you forget about last game of year last season same thing but willis can throw 2 int in preseason with 2 3 and 4 string players and still you say he is getting better but needs lots of improvement gheez get over you boy ryan and get to being truthful your the only one that says what you say and if anyone brings up my same point all you say is thanks for comment but if someone says yes i still believe in ryan as qb your all over it is he your family lover or what we dont understand
Of course I told Skip "thanks for your comment" since it seemed like the appropriate response. I haven't heard back from Skip since, but I'm sure he's waiting for another bad game to fire back at me. (Next time please send it to this mailbag link, Skip: CLICK HERE).
The reality is I let fans air out their frustrations in here whenever it's called for, after bad games. Fans also get a chance to celebrate the good times in here. I said in here last week Ryan Tannehill played the worst game I'd ever seen him play against the Saints. I also said it was one game, and it's a long season.
Tannehill played a lot better on Sunday against the Chargers, and the Titans won.
We'll see what happens Sunday in Cleveland.
Either way, the mailbag will be open for business.
Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE
And, by the way, I don't mind if fans reach out to me on my personal email (email@example.com) if they want to share something with me that they don't want to appear in here. I regularly respond to those who do, even though I admit I've gotten several over-the-top emails to my personal account after some bad losses.
Now, let's skip into this Tuesday's Titans mailbag …
Eli Decko from Youngwood, Pennsylvania
Question: 1-1 is exactly what I thought the record would be after 2 weeks. However I thought the W/L would have been flipped. Do you remember Henry's 3rd season Jim? Where Dion Lewis was taking the most snaps cuz Henry hadn't yet proven himself to the NFL? Remember it is because he woke up and started dominating that the last few seasons have been winning seasons? Why are we doing that again with a less talented rookie? Yes Spears is a good player, but he is not yet anywhere near where Lewis was when he was taking snaps Henry should have been. What is the obsession with the scatback? Henry should be in the game the entire game unless he cannot move. The switch up is literally making us more predictable than before. You can see it in the sacks and hits Tannehill is taking. How is it that us fans know this but Tim Kelly and Mike Vrabel don't? I also wrote you this past summer about Andre Dillard. He is not very good. Hopefully Skoronski comes back as the Tackle with Radunz at guard.
Jim: I remember, Eli. And, I think you're selling Tyjae Spears short. In fact, I thought he was really effective on Sunday, averaging 6.1 yards per carry (eight carries, 49 yards). He was very good on third down. He's now averaging 6.9 yards per carry this season. Derrick played 46 of the snaps on Sunday, carrying the ball 25 times for 80 yards. Tyjae played just 24 snaps. I didn't have a problem with the carry or snap distribution against the Chargers. Derrick needs to play, and the Titans need to keep Tyjae involved, too… When Skoronski comes back, I'm expecting him to line up at guard, but I do agree Andre needs to settle in and play better .
Richard Colestock from St. Cloud, Florida
Question: Hi again Jim, another season but it's kinda scary, I think.
We barely lost to the Aints....and we barely won against the Chargers. Which means we just as easily could have barely won the first game and could have barely lost Sunday.
It's the barely part that's scary. Your thoughts???
Jim: My thoughts? It's the NFL – games are going to be close. On Sunday, 12 of the 16 games were decided by a touchdown or less. There were two overtime games, and six games were decided by three points or less. A year ago, 125 games were within one score in the fourth quarter through the first 11 games of the season, and 71 were decided by a touchdown (six points) or less. This isn't a "Titans thing," it's an "NFL thing." Buckle up.
Hunter Phelan from South Pasadena, California
Question: Great win for Titan Nation Jim, and so needed. As always at the end of our seats haha. I have 3 questions today. Seems like Dillon Radunz always plays pretty well when called upon. I remember the Thursday night football game few years back he seemed to hold his own vs Bosa and the 49'ers. What do you think is holding him back from being the guy?Im obviously late to the party. Looks like the Titans got a new field. Is it still grass?Lastly, I am not on Twitter. How bad was your twitter feed when the score was 11-0 Chargers? :)Thanks for the time and all you do Jim!
Jim: Hey Hunter. Dillon has battled some inconsistencies himself, especially when he was lined up at tackle. And, the injury a year ago set him back. It seems like the feeling is he's now better suited to play guard, so we'll see where things go from here. … The Titans did get a new field. The team replaced the grass with monofilament, Matrix Helix Turf with organic infill over the offseason. It's the same surface at the team's indoor practice facility. Nissan Stadium became the first NFL stadium with the technology of a synthetic turf system that incorporates organic infill. … As for the Twitter comments when it went to 11-0, I went back and looked. Some of the replies: @OneAndOnlyPapi said: "We're trash." @therush1 said: "QB, OC, OL, WR, Secondary are all piss poor. Vrabel's seat should be hot. Get ready for a high pick, folks." @Cabezy said: "Games over already. Might just hop on over to redzone for my mental health." @JWAddington1935 said: "Anyone else just laughing at this point?" @LynchLovesYou said: "Vrabel needs to go." @DuckzSzn said: "We are horrible." @TitansXPodcast said: "Fire @CoachVrabel50." @Cleon49Bil said: "Bruh I'm leaving this bar now cause they're laughing at me and taking this @Titans jersey off, changing and coming back out in some different sh_t. I'm done." @YoYoBadabing said: "Worst team in the NFL." @gwt2357 said: "This is embarrassing. Home opener and people wasted money to see this mess." @tylermattice8690 said: "This is absolute garbage probably the worst team in the league." @SWGoldie35 said: "The Chargers are totally disrespecting the Titans and the Titans have earned the disrespect because they SUCK!" @BabbDustin said: "F&*k this team, just tank and start over again." Sounds like last Tuesday's mailbag, huh? In all seriousness, you should hop on Twitter, Hunter. It's actually a great place to follow the team with practice videos, updates, news snippets, and much more. My Twitter handle is @jwyattsports. Just don't look at the in-game mentions.
Erick Taylor from Porterville, California
Question: First time writer Jim … thank you very much for all your updates….. I am the only titans fan in my family besides my 3 sons die hard Derrick Henry fan out here in California but just wanted to give a big shout out to the Titans for beating the LA chargers they played hard and no turnovers was a great sign… defense plays great just a little too much long passes giving them stop that and will be Super Bowl bound….#Titan up
Jim: Good to hear from you, Erick. Stay strong out there!
Evan Tatum from Portland, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. The difference between Week 1 Ryan Tannehill and Week 2 Ryan Tannehill was a night and day difference. I'm not complaining at all (obviously), but it just makes his very poor performance all that more confusing.
The offensive line missed Skoronski in that game and it showed. The left side of it struggled big time. I get that playing against Joey Bosa also didn't help, but even on plays where the LT and LG are required to work with each other, you could tell the chemistry wasn't there, so let's hope Skoronski is good to go for Cleveland.
I don't have much to say about the defense. Missing Hooker and Fulton and going against one of the best young QBs in the league isn't a great mix. Let's just hope they're ready to go next week.
Feels good to win again! Let's keep stacking them up!
Jim: Fans in Buffalo are saying the same thing about Josh Allen … The Titans weren't perfect on Sunday – the team still needs to keep getting better. But it was a good win for sure.
Brenton Burney from Universal City, Texas
Question: Hey Jim. Great win, bounce back by game for Ryan and the offense. But speaking of our other Ryan, Stonehouse, with some of the bombs he hit this week, I decided to check in out of curiosity to see if he was leading the league in average again. I was shocked to see his average has been tarnished by the blocked punt in NO that appears to be credited as a 1-yard punt... Can you please confirm if that is legit and if there is anyway to get that corrected?
Jim: Hey Brenton. Yeah, that punt was an average killer for Stonehouse. It technically did go down as a one-yard punt. Since it went past the line of scrimmage, it didn't count as a blocked punt. So, his average against the Saints ended up being 35.7. Ryan did hit some bombs on Sunday – he punted five times for a 61.2-yard average! His average is now 51.6 for the season.
Jeremy Rodriguez from Winchester, California
Question: Hey Jim. the way the game started out, I was packing my black shirt with gray tie and black cowboy hat to attend the Tannehill memorial. I thought the Charger Defense was going to bury him in Nissan Stadium. Luckily the O'line woke up and gave him and the RBs a little breathing room. Loved the down field attack the offense took and the way Tanny bounced back. Gotta tight'n that offensive line and get the secondary healthy. 1-1 is not a bad place to be and breaking up an 8 game losing streak feels great! On to Cleveland have a great week Jim and as always TITAN UP!!!
Jim: I hear ya, Jeremy.
Reuben Alvear II from San Franisco, California
Question: Well, well. That was a gritty, gutsy, resilient win by our guys. Seems like we've had a few of
those in the Mike Vrabel era ;-)
Jim: Indeed, Reuben. Did you see this stat: Since Vrabel was hired in 2018, the Titans are 6-2 in overtime games. Their .750 winning percentage in overtime since 2018 is the best in the NFL among teams with at least six overtime games.
Mike Kane from Stuart, Florida
Question: I'm a long-time fan and former season ticket holder until I moved from Nashville. My question is: What has happened to the play action pass play? As I recall it was very successful in previous years with Henry in the backfield.
Jim: The play action pass is alive and well, Mike. In fact, Ryan Tannehill was 7-of-9 for 168 yards and a touchdown in play-action vs the Chargers. The 70-yard bomb to Treylon Burks and the 49-yard strike to Chris Moore were both on play action.
Donley Canary from Raymore, Missouri
Question: What an exciting game on Sunday! Made the trip back to Nashville from KC well worth it! Look forward to our home game against the Bengals in two weeks. Jim, if the team can solve its offensive line problems and secondary depth issues, we may be a playoff team. I was so happy to see Radunz come in and contribute. With Peter Skoronski and NPF coming back to the team along with Radunz, maybe the O - line will come together. There is hope. The secondary will get better with time. Hopefully, the injury bug will slow down for this group.Always have believed Tannehill and he stepped up big yesterday. Derrick Henry is a generational player and shows no signs of slowing down. He needs to be a focus point of each week's game plan. Got a chance this week in Cleveland. GO TITANS!!!
Jim: No doubt, Donley. Glad you had a great trip. It sounds like the team could get Kristian Fulton and Amani Hooker back as well. Just like I said last week, you can't judge everything off one game. The team wasn't all bad after the Saints loss, just like everything isn't cured after Sunday's win. It's all about getting better and being on a roll late in the season, when it matters most. Off to Cleveland...
Seth Fischer from Lynchburg, Virginia
Question: FAITH RESTORED.
Jim: A win cures a lot of things, Seth. It doesn't guaranteed anything for the next week, however. Need another one on Sunday.
Bob Easley from Austin, Texas
Question: Ryan Tannehill❗️ Good job last week telling everyone that RT is still our QB. That pass to Burks traveled 63 yards in the air! That hit that Ryan took with 4 minutes left was brutal, but he kept his composure✅❗️
Until last week, RT hadn't been in a game in something like 9 months, he is working with a new offensive strategy and new linemen, and the full offense didn't really play together as a full unit until a week ago. Even most of the 1st half of yesterdays game was still a learning and growing experience. I believe our offense will get better and better as they gel… and with our defense, we will begin to blow out some teams. We will see.
Jim: Yes, we will see, Bob.
Jack Walker from Calabasas, California
Question: Hey Jim. Ok... automatic A++ because we won. Having said that, the OL is definitely a work in progress. Simmons showed again why he's the best defender in the NFL. Clutch catches from Moore, Hopkins, NWI, Burks and Chig... Spears continues to impress and DHen is looking good. Tannehill... much better... Not perfect but I'll take it. Oh and game ball for Nick Folk!!
Jim: A better report card than last week for sure, Jack.
Tom Meyer from San Antonio, Texas
Question: Hello Jim, A win is a win. Now on to getting better. I saw some good improvement for this team. The receivers did a better job of getting open and fighting for on contested balls. RT looked the same as last week on the first series then he righted the ship and played like the RT I have been a fan of since his Aggie days. The line looked pretty shaky at first but got better as the day went on. I could tell we missed Skoronski but the line improved as the day went on. Spears looked great! Hats off to the receivers everybody showed up to play and some really good if not great catches guys. I could tell we missed our starting DB's ,but the backups did their job. McCreary was on fire! There is still a long ways to go and there is some really tough defenses on the schedule. I just wonder if our line can hold up and keep the QB's healthy? One and One is a good start. Thanks Titans and thanks Jim.
Jim: Thanks for taking the time, Tom. I agree the team needs to continue improving from a protection standpoint. The defense gave up a lot of big plays as well. This team is a work in progress. Another big game coming up Sunday in Cleveland.
Randy Porter from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim, it's been a while! I've sat back and read the last two Mailbags with the endless demands for Tannehill's removal. So, after a much needed win over the Chargers, I wanted to share my take - After a slow start Sunday, RT proved he was the best QB in the NFL. His numbers were near perfect and in spite of unimpressive pass protection, Ryan proved he had long-range accuracy that rivals Drew Brees, while putting his name on the tongues of analysts across the league. After that performance, I suggest signing Ryan to a long term deal ASAP ! A couple of fans who sat behind me Sunday suggested trading #17 for a couple of drummers for "The Blue Crew" and a box of Gatorade, among more creative options. Similar sentiments were hurled in Mailbag all week, as you know. So, after the win, I expressed the thoughts above to my neighboring fans, declaring RT as the GOAT and asked what they thought now ??.. One fan was quick to say "Look man, yeah we won, yeah Ryan played well, BUT, it's just ONE game. You can't judge him on just ONE game, just one win". I grinned and said "really ?, I agree." (ahh, the irony) Clearly, my evaluation of Tannehill above was not literal and far be it from me to stoop to sarcasm and cynicism to illustrate a point, but I think the double standard speaks for itself. Do I think Ryan played a good game Sunday ?- You bet ! Do I think Willis or Levi's could have made those big throws ? - No. Was I thrilled with the pass protection ? - Is anyone ? Was I pleased with Tim's game plan and using Henry more ? - Absolutely. No, it was far from perfect, but it was a welcome glimpse into what our Titans are capable of. And, as they say, a win is a win. What I think everyone loves is finally having some belief in our kicker. The tension fans have felt every time the FG unit has come on the field is starting to ease and it's nice ! So Jim, here's my question - Have you ever considered a second column that featured only knee-jerks, overreactions and double standards ? (since we never see that in Mailbag) ? Something to think about. Have a great week Jim !
Jim: This is a dandy, Randy. Way to close us out …
Have a great week everyone!