NASHVILLE – October started out shaky.
Now, the Titans are rolling, and hoping to close it with a bang.
Back-to-back wins over the Bills and Chiefs have fans fired up, and that's really changed the tone in here compared to the way things were following the loss to the Jets.
But, like I said back then, it's a week-to-week league, and things can change fast.
Yes, the last few wins have been impressive. But drop the next two – tough games at Indianapolis and at the Los Angeles Rams – and the Titans will be tied with the Colts atop the AFC South (because the Colts aren't losing to that bad Jets team on November 4).
Let's discuss your thoughts in this Tuesday's Titans mailbag …
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.
Mike Miles from LaVergne, Tennessee
Question: Jim, thanks for keeping us up on the Titans. Just want to say that the last two games remind me of days gone by. The Titan fan turn out for both of those games was like what we had with Eddie and Steve. The sound was great, and I know the team heard it all night and all day. We played like we want to be #1 because we are #1. Thank you to the fans that show up. Thanks Jim TITAN UP IN INDY
Jim: Hey Mike. Two great wins, no doubt. And the fans have been great. I know there were a lot of Chiefs fans at Nissan Stadium on Sunday, but the Titans fans owned the stands just like the Titans owned the field. Now. I'm curious to see how many Titans fans make the drive to Indianapolis this weekend …
Carol Thomas from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: So proud of the way our team played (vs the Chiefs)!!! I was afraid there would be a let down after the win against the Bills but instead it seems as if they were more motivated today!! I wanted to see Derrick break away with one of his runs but instead I watched as he actually threw a touchdown. It was almost as much fun as watching him run for a touchdown. Question: When will the pundits finally realize the Titans are as much of a contender to make it to the Super Bowl as ANY of the teams they like to brag on??
Jim: Hi Carol. It was definitely a memorable day. But I'm not one who worries about what the pundits think. I thought Kevin Byard said it best after the game – they're not handing out Lombardi trophies in the middle of the season. And, it doesn't matter what the national guys think about the Titans. If the Titans are still playing in February, let them brag on them then. But there's a lot of football to be played between now and then, and these Titans still have a lot of work to do.
Ryan Gilpatrick from Indianapolis, Indiana
Question: Hi Jim. Admittedly there is not much to complain about in a big win like we had against the Chiefs, but if I had one, it would be about Derrick Henry's usage. I know that the King is built different, but to give him the ball 29 times in a blowout seems excessive, even by his standards. This game was over at halftime, but Henry took carries well into the fourth quarter, even though we had a former third round draft pick return to the lineup in Darrynton Evans. All of this in tandem with the near heart attack suffered by all Titans fans after seeing Henry go into the blue medical tent early, and I have to wonder, why are more guys not getting carries? This offense runs through the King, but that doesn't mean we can't get other guys some work, especially on a day like today. I would appreciate your thoughts on the matter.
Jim: Hey Ryan. We could have this Derrick Henry debate every week I know. His workload is like no other. I don't agree the game was over at the half. Looking back, yes it was. But we've all see Mahomes and the Chiefs go on incredible scoring splurges. My take: Derrick Henry leads this team, and the team needs to utilize him. Yes, I have concerns about his workload myself. I've seen a lot of great backs wear down in time. If Henry ever got hurt in the second half of a game when the Titans were up three TDs, Vrabel would never hear the end of it. I also realize if the Titans pulled Henry and sat him the entire second half, a lot of fans would be upset because it would hurt his quest for 2K, another rushing title, and the NFL's all-time rushing record. Again, this is a debate that's never going to go away and there is no simple answer.
Henry Martin from Kingsville, Texas
Question: Hello from Kingsville, TX!!! OMG!!!! What a TOTAL TEAM EFFORT!!! That was a HUGE win for us!!! Other than Ryan being sacked and the INT on offense this is probably the best we have played as a Team on all levels that I have witnessed in a while, what do you think?
I like giving shout outs, so here I go again.
-Entire Coaching Staff
-ALL the backups and reserves.....NEXT MAN UP!
-Greg Mabin, getting the call on short notice and fitting right in.
-AJ......for toughing it out
-Ryan for being "WIDE OPEN" on Derrick's pass..lol
Anyways, let's prepare for INDY......#TITANUP
Jim: You nailed a lot of these shout-outs. I know you mentioned the defense, and guys like Denico Autry and David Long and Harold Landry and Kevin Byard deserve extra props, too.
Arthur Reed from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: What goes into the decision making process about tossing the challenge flag?
Jim: Ultimately, it's Coach Vrabel's call, and it's sometimes based on what he sees on the video board on the replay. But he has coaches/team officials in his ear who are watching in the press box, and they'll let him know whether he should challenge a play as well. He certainly made the right decision to challenge the A.J. Brown catch on Sunday.
Manuel Cordero from A Coruña - Spain
Question: Hola Jim, que orgulloso del equipo, no puedo esperar a que acabe el partido para mandar mi mensaje, ESTO ES FOOTBALL, que carácter, que equipo...que paliza a los Chiefs. Este año la Conferencia es nuestra. Este es nuestro año. En el momento que la secundaria se compenetre mejor tenemos el Super Bowl en las manos. Hace 6 años que es una evolución constante, estamos a un paso de la gloria, pero pase lo que pase el orgullo no se nos va. Rompemos continuamente los pronósticos, ganamos los partidos en los que nadie apuesta por nosotros, remontamos partidos perdidos que nadie más podría remontar, esto es impagable. Cuanto más difícil es un duelo, mejor lo hacemos, damos la vida y a mí eso ya me vale. Gracias Tennessee, Gracias Titans, Gracias Vabrel, gracias King Henry.
See you in Nashville at the postseason ;)
Jim: Hola Manuel. ¡Parece que estás emocionado por la victoria! Y no estás solo. Mucha gente también está entusiasmada aquí en Nashville. Pero el equipo tiene que seguir así. Aún queda mucho fútbol por jugar.
Brandon Moon from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. Long time reader first time writer. Since the Titans have had two fantastic weeks of football where we are getting a lot of national attention I wanted to visit the mascot. For years the University of Tennessee has had the live blue tick hound called Smokey run around the field during games to hype up the crowd. The dog is trained to get excited in certain moments and loves his job. Now you may be wondering what this has to do with the Titans. I am proposing that T-Rac has a friend that is a real life raccoon, he can be kept in a cage or be out on a leash on good days. I really think this could bring even more attention to our team and make our team unique.
Jim: Hey Brandon. It would definitely be unique. I'll run it by T-Rac …
And, this sounds like a good time for a raccoon joke.
What do you get when you cross a raccoon, and a steam roller?
Cody Willoughby from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: What's up Jim!!? Man what about our boys the last two weeks!! They have showed what they are capable of when they play to their potential in all three phases of the game. You had all these so called fans emailing in talking bad about our boys after the Jets game. We had a bad game and you know how Coach is always saying that our identity will show when adversity comes. Well I'd say we answer that adversity pretty dang good! A slugfest with the bills and a good ol A** whooping on the chiefs! We're not going to settle but man we should celebrate these two wins! Just wanted to give a shout out to a couple Titans that I thought really showed out yesterday but don't always get credit is Mycole Pruitt and Denico Autry. MyCole time and time again comes up big and is a true testament of a Titan! Denico Autry has been disruptive all year and has been really getting after it as of late. What a job by our boy JRob picking up both players.Got to give some love to my favorite Titan AJ, Boy had some nasty catches and really showed how dominant he can be. Love this team the way they compete and play for each other! Let's keep this thing going boys!!
Jim: Hey Cody. I'm with you on both those guys. Appreciate you taking the time…
Reuben Alvear from San Francisco, California
Question: Something that isn't being mentioned much is that Randy Bullock is quietly having a solid season.
I am glad for Shane Bowen. Last year he took such a beating in some media circles for the Titans inability to get off the field on 3rd down, and for the Titans' lack of a pass rush. I know it's only seven games; yet, the Titans have improved in both of those areas. I may be in the minority, but I believed in "Coach Shane."
I'm also stoked that in the past two games the Titans' D has generated a fair amount of pressure with just the front four. They aren't blitzing very much. This reminds me of the days when Jim Schwartz coordinated the defense. Maybe it's no coincidence that Schwartz is now a senior defensive assistant on the staff? :-)
I hope the boys can stay focused and maintain this mojo!
Jim: You're right – Bullock has been doing an outstanding job.
And, the Bowen critics have been quiet, as you mentioned. Same with the Downing doom-and-gloomers. But I know they're still out there lurking.
The Titans need to keep it going to keep them quiet.
Hope you're staying dry out there Reuben!
Mike Goodman from Blue Ridge, Georgia
Question: I am sure the coaches know this, but the Colts receivers have been taught if they can't catch the ball to stop or slow down on their route so the D-Back we'll run over them to get a pass interference call. This is atypical low life ploy of the Indy Colts. I hope I have helped.
Jim: Hey Mike. If you're referring to Sunday's game against the 49ers, the Colts receiver did nothing wrong in that game. That was awful defensive back play by the 49ers and they deserved every one of those flags.
Eli Decko from Youngwood, Pennsylvania
Question: Let's start by saying congratulations to The Boys. Beating the Chiefs was huge but boy did I see some absolutely terrible offensive line play today. Injuries aside because all these guys make in a year what I do in 5 or 6, this was unacceptable man. I watched at least 5 runs where Henry was hit and stopped behind the line and the furthest he got before contact was 2 yards. 2 yards JIM!!!! If we was behind Dallas' line he would be well over 1k already and we all know it is true. How is it that we let Conklin walk without even trying to match what the Browns paid him, we let Dennis Kelly go fo absolutely no reason and we had no idea how we were gonna sure up the right side. You can't tell me the rookie approach 2 years in a row to replace a proven vet is the answer and if it is then we are in trouble. Trade deadline looms and we have some giant holes to fill. Indianapolis is 3 of their last 4 and the Bengals are the 1 seed. Btw, we all know why the Bengals are the 1 seed right, because the Jets pummeled Tannehill because our offensive line is like a hole in the side of the Titanic. Any chance we get this figured out before Aaron Donald cripples someone on our team in 2 weeks? Thanks again Jim.
Jim: Hello Eli. I must say, you're being a little too critical here. Did Henry get stuffed in the backfield too many times? Yes. But the group protected Tannehill well, allowing just one sack. And, consider this: Kendall Lamm started at left tackle, instead of starter Taylor Lewan, and Bobby Hart stepped it when Lamm got hurt after just joining the team last week. Guards Rodger Saffold and Nate Davis both left at different times with injuries, which led to Dillon Radunz stepping in. And, the Chiefs were loading the box, which is why the Titans were able to throw it with greater ease. With everything we saw on Sunday, I certainly didn't walk out of that stadium thinking the o-line let the team down. The Titans need their starters to get healthy, and settle in.
Alberto Armando Téllez Salcedo from Durango, México
Question: Hola Jim, buenas noches.
Esta vez para resaltar el trabajó de Shane Bowen, prácticamente la defensiva borró a los Chiefs pese a que tienen un arsenal con Mahomes, Kelce, Hill, Hardman. Vaya trabajo de toda la defensiva ahora sí que todos jugaron muy bien. Que gran temporada están teniendo Harold Landry y Kevin Byard.
A la ofensiva gran trabajó de Todd Downing y sus pupilos gran partido de AJ, Tanny y el Rey, Pruitt. Aunque no se puede menospreciar el trabajo de toda la OL, los WRs y los TEs aplastaron a KC.
Finalmente destaca a sobré manera el tremendo regreso del All Pro Brett Kern, que manera de patear es un arma encajonando al contrario.
En fin felicitaciones al HC Vrabel a todo su staff y a todos los jugadores.
Vamos por más, un juego a la vez sigue Colts que fácil no va ser, pero ejecutando el plan de juego cómo lo han hecho estas dos semanas, nos esperan buenos frutos. A seguir trabajando Titans.
Jim: Lo clavaste, Alberto. Todos los chicos que mencionas merecen elogios. Ahora, todos deben centrarse en los Colts. Este será un juego realmente difícil y una derrota realmente endurecería las cosas en la división. Esperamos que los Titanes sigan adelante. Cuídate.
Randy Porter from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. After Sunday's incredible performance, I know you are inundated with letters and comments. To that end, I couldn't be more proud and simply echo my last praise to the team. However, this letter was inspired by long time frustrations of most fans and recent comments by Mike Vrabel. Year after year, true Titans fans have voiced their frustration with the sickening number of opposing fans in our stadium. Coach Vrabel is clearly frustrated as well, which he made clear in comments after the Chiefs game. He was clear that he and the team see and hear our fans on game day and greatly appreciate the strong showing of late. However, he also noticed the large number of seats occupied by opposing fans. This happens because "non-Titans fans" are selling seats to make a dollar. Scalpers and those operating under the guise of "ticket brokers", as well as many guiltless fans, offer tickets week after week, usually to the highest bidder. And clearly, these high bidders seldom wear blue. These re-sellers could care less how it impacts the stadium or the team, it's all about money. This issue is one that even enraged Nick Saban at Alabama, several years ago. Saban even threatened to suspend the student section tickets if re-selling continued. The point is, this is a disgusting practice that DOES affect the team and the true fans alike. I know this was mentioned in the last Mailbag and you pointed out that fans had the right to do what they liked with their tickets. I agree with that, but feel there has to be a better way. The Titans organization recently offered single game tickets to PSL holders who have a history of actually attending games. I think that was great and bought more for family members. But, I propose a policy of requiring PSL holders to submit a list of friends, family etc. at the start of each season. This list would include a list of names and phone numbers of possible ticket transfer recipients. Tickets could only be transferred to those names and numbers on each PSL holder's list during the season. This would allow transfers to family and friends, but eliminate transfers to unknown buyers who are not on the list. As for unsold single game tickets, offer them to PSL members first, like was done recently. This would greatly reduce the reselling and transfer to unknown opposing fans, with only a very few single game tickets hitting the open market. This would be great for the team, great for real fans and simple to regulate. It would NOT be liked by the brokers and fans who couldn't care less about attending games, and only "use" the team as a money-making entity for themselves. This is just my thoughts about a problem everyone dislikes, but no solution is ever offered. And frankly, I think the team and fans deserve a fair solution. Fans constantly demand dedication, commitment and a high level of production from coaches and players. Well, I think they deserve to be supported by true fans in the seats of our stadium in return. Thanks as always Jim!
Jim: Some good suggestions, Randy. As a native Nashvillian and someone who now works for the team, I'd be lying if I said seeing all the opposing teams' fans in the stands doesn't bother me. I hope the folks from Kansas City at least enjoyed the BBQ …
Sally Minson from New York
Question: How old are you?
Jim: New phone, Who dis?
Dennis Boom from Gordonsville, Tennessee
Question: Good morning Mr. Wyatt. Great game Sunday against the Chiefs, maybe the most complete game I've seen from the Titans. My email is more comment than question and it rerers to King Henry's rushing day. I've heard from various sources that he had a bad bad and maybe comparatively he did but I want to put things in perspective.
If you took his "off" day and extrapolated for 17 games he would have 1462 yds. That's a darn good season in itself and only trails his 2019 league leading total by 78 yds. I'd take stats like that any year.... especially with a win to go with it.TITAN UP
Jim: Appreciate the math, Dennis.
Jimmy Dee from Battle Ground, Washington
Question: Dear Jim, if 2 weeks ago you had told me that the Titans would be 5/2 after the KC game I would have laughed. I figured the absolute best the Titans could hope for would be to win one of those games and lose the other game. If yesterday you had told me that the Titans would hold KC to 3 points and Patrick Mahomes to 206 (garbage time) yards I would have laughed. It's really stunning what the Titans have accomplished the past 2 games. The Colts will be very hungry to take down the division leader next week at home so they're going to bring everything they've got against the Titans. The Titans at Colts is going to be a tough game.
Jim: No doubt, Jimmy Dee. It's on to the Colts …
Have a great week everyone!