NASHVILLE – It's game week – NFL playoff style.
After a bye weekend as the AFC's No.1 seed, the Titans will face the Bengals on Saturday in the AFC Divisional Round.
Yeah, me too.
Only two more mailbags to kickoff, starting now.
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE
Mandisa Hundley from Franklin, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim! Long time reader and appreciator, first time writer. I can't wait to be at Nissan Stadium Saturday, and know we have a tough game ahead of us with the Bengals. I congratulate them for ending their 31 year playoff win drought with their impressive game against the Raiders last Saturday. Before that, their last playoff win was actually against the Oilers in 1991. It seems only fitting that we send them back to Cincinnati celebrating how far they've come, and proclaiming that next year is their year. This year is OUR year!
•When was the last time the Titans were in the Super Bowl? 22 years ago
•Who are we anxiously waiting to return in time for our playoff run? Derrick Henry #22
•When is our first playoff game this year? 1/22/22
•How far away from the Super Bowl is that? 22 days!!!
I believe it's the beginning of a "not pretty, but beautiful" run! Titan Up!
Jim: Well done, Mandisa. Sounds like a real "Catch 22" situation ... And great job with the National Anthem a few weeks ago, btw! 🎤
Paul Romo from Vidor, Texas
Question: Just a few things I was wondering what your take is on Derrick Henry, (if he's healthy enough to play)
1 Do you think the Titan offense would be even more dangerous if they used Henry as a passing back more, w short little dump offs and even short routes, catch them in stride and just break one loose?
2 What do you think the odds are of you putting a little bug in Vrabel's ear about my suggestion so Henry can become an unstoppable dual threat???
Jim: Hey Paul. Derrick was used more in the passing game in the first half of the season. He'd already had 18 catches for 154 yards in eight games, which put him on pace for 36 catches for 308 yards for 16 games. His previous high for a season in catches was 19 (in 2020) and in yards was 206 (in 2019). When he returns, I think coaches will continue to utilize him the same way they did during the first part of this season.
Jeff Dwyer from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim. Titan Up! As an original and current PSL holder, I am so pumped the Titans are playing the Bengals at OUR house! How cool is it that we are playing the first team we ever played or beat as the Titans (36-35 Sep. 12, 1999) and that season ended at the Super Bowl? I was at that game with my dad and it was our first ever NFL game. He has since passed on, but he would be so proud of our boys in blue. I will be there Saturday sitting in my same seat as '99 now only 22 years older and 22 times louder! GO TITANS!!
Jim: Have a big time, Jeff! ... This No.22 keeps coming up ... I'm sure your dad will be there in spirit.
Alejandro Contreras from Jupiter, Florida
Question: I will, in a very selfish manner, pour my chest out this weekend.
AllPro players from the One Seed team selected: Byard. (And Simmons in he second team). I guess no one has even seen those Titans games and how amazing many of our guys out in the field have been.
I think we are 8th on the Power Rankings (I have stopped watching that BS for a while)
I for one, love it - feed on that lack of recognition towards our team week in and week out. And I think the team loves it. We don't need recognition, we don't need hype (look at how much analysts hyped the Browns in the off-season, look at how much they hyped the Colts around week 14) Hype does not win games, work wins games, ethics and training and grinding every week wins games... Men win games, leaders win games, and Man, we've got some of those in our rooster and staff.
I donno how much the team reads this column, but I will use the forum this week to deliver my personal message:
I, for one, think you are the best team we've ever had (Born and Raised in Houston I've been an Oiler since the 80s) and I think the only recognition you guys need is not on the NFL network, but should come from: A) The Men playing beside you at the line of scrimmage. B) The coaching staff leading you from the side lines, and C) From your families, loved ones and community - Go play your hardest for the team around you, go play your smartest for the coach guiding you and go play your heart out for the family back at home, cheering for you. Wins will follow.
Go get that ring. You guys deserve it.
Jim: Appreciate you taking the time, Alejandro. Do me a favor: Try out that crab-crusted snapper at Hog Snappers, just north of the Jupiter lighthouse on U.S. Highway 1. It's delicious!
Andrew Dench from Elkhart Indiana
Question: Me and a buddy are really considering coming to Nashville for the first time ever for the divisional game. I've never been more excited in my 20+ years of being a Titans fan. My question is what are some pre game traditions that we can do while we are down there before the game? LETS GO TITANS!!!!
Jim: Hey Andrew. It should be a big weekend. Here's the place to visit leading up to the game, which tells you the latest on gameday activities. Try here in a few days when it's updated: https://www.tennesseetitans.com/stadium/gameday. Have a great trip!
Kathy Morgan from 3way, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim I'm a first timer Read all your articles. I can never get enough Titans ! My husband and I yell so much our dog Taco goes to the back of the house lol. We are more than excited to be number one seed. We love our titans!
I decided to write with a question because I looked everywhere to find out what happened in the game that Jeffrey Simmons went in on defense. and drew a penalty for ineligible man. We were curious as to what happened there and why or who should have made sure he was eligible that play. It seemed to me it was a great idea to play him there and he acted like it was something he had been wanting to do, and do you think we'll see more of it ? Thanks for keeping us informed and for your time and patience in answering our questions, thoughts and comments ! TITAN UP !!!
Jim: Hey Kathy. You're referring to the play in the Texans game, of course. Simmons entered as a blocking back on that play, a 1st and goal play, and his block helped get D'Onta Foreman into the end zone. The problem: Simmons did not report as an eligible receiver, so he was flagged for lining up in an eligible receiver's spot as an ineligible receiver. It was due to Simmons' number as a defender, No. 98. He needed to report to the officials as an eligible receiver, which would have led officials to announce him as an eligible receiver. Big Jeffery acknowledged his mistake after the game. … Pet Taco for me … And, this is my first question ever from Three Way, Tennessee!!!
David Kennedy from Hytop, Alabama
Question: Our family has switched our Sunday mealtime to Saturday afternoon. We shall be eating the Bengals "Cincinnati Chili" FOR LUNCH! How about you?
Jim: Sounds delicious, David. I'll just get what they're serving in the press box, which is usually a hot dog at the half. 🌭
Peter Palmer from Miramar, Florida
Question: Hi Jim. This week it's all about positive energy going into these playoffs. First a question then my views to key to victory! Do you think Derrick Henry will be ready for this week's game, ready to go at 100%. I believe key to victory is an error free game along with no senseless penalties and turn overs. With our receiving core coming to after so many injuries and Henry back, Defense now one of the best in the league; my take is the Titans themselves are the only obstacle in their way to winning the Super Bowl!
Jim: If we're only doing positive energy here, how can my answer not be yes?! 😎
Ali Taha from Ladera Ranch, California
Question: Hey Jim. Long time listener first time writing. I really appreciate all you do for us (Titans Family).
Do you think that the Titans will have their offense running smoothly with the King back along with a healthy Julio Jones? I believe since our defense has gotten back key players, we will be ready for the playoffs. This might be the year we go all the way. What do you think?
Jim: Hey Tali. Well, that's the plan. Get your popcorn ready.
Adam Finlan from Spring Hill, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim is Adam I am a Down Syndrome about those Titans underdogs go to super bowl new LA stadium get ready let go boys.
Jim: Always great to hear from you, Adam! Hope all is well!
Eli Decko from Youngwood, Pennsylvania
Question: Hi Jim, I was really enjoying the Steelers vs Chiefs game for just about 9 minutes, hoping we could get Pittsburgh again, but that was pretty naive. Cincinnati is no joke at all, but seeing some of the things they got help from and some other horrible officiating, boy do they look beatable. Burrow and his receivers look about as in sync as Manning and his old Marvin, Reggie and Stokley days. I mean he can just throw it without looking and they are there and open. I don't want to see a shoot out with them at all. Their TE is a serious problem too. How do you think our boys in blue are going to approach this game? Thank for all the responses and answers. You really help us fans know that we matter. Stay warm Jim.
Jim: Hey Eli. No doubt it's going to be a tough one. Burrow and the Bengals are talented on offense for sure, and they've been solid vs the run. But it's the Elite 8 now – everyone is good. The Titans better be ready.
Dean Clemente from Aiea, Hawaii
Question: Aloha from Hawaii, I have been an Oiler/Titan fan from the early 70's. 2015 Attended a Ole Miss/New Mexico State game (My son played for New Mexico State) on a Saturday. Sunday drove from Memphis to Nissan Stadium for a Titan game. Greatest experience dream come true. Jim started following you from the start of the season. I understand everyone's comments regarding the Offense. My question is with the Defense. Can our Defensive backs play more one-on-one to free more up blitzes and shadow the opposing quarterback from pulling off long runs. My second question is their plans on building a New Stadium my only bad experience at the game I attended was the seating. The seats we had were about 25 rows up from the field near the Titan locker room and me my family be Polynesian, you know how that goes. We made the seats look small. Mahalo Nui for your time. From the 50th State.
Jim: Aloha, Dean! Will be interesting to see how the defense defends Burrow, who can sling it. The stadium will be undergoing some renovations later this decade, with spectacular changes. Stay tuned. Mahalo.
Richard Vaughn from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question: How many games do the Titans have to win to play in the Super Bowl?
Jim: The Titans need to win two games to get to the Super Bowl, Richard, starting with this Saturday's game vs the Bengals. It's one game at a time here...
Chad Alexander from Jacksonville, Florida
Question: Hi Jim, greetings from Duval hope all is well! Was curious if you had any news on Rashad Weaver/s recovery. Thought he might have made it back for the playoffs.
Jim: Hey Chad. Good to hear from you. Rashad has recovered well. I saw him walking down the street in Metro Center recently, on the way to the facility. He looked good. I don't, however, expect to see him in uniform again this year.
Zach Barrett from Manitoba, Canada
Question: Hey Jim. Just wondering, haven't seen a practice update since Wednesday. What have the players been doing to stay active? Because some of these playoff games have been pretty physical.
Jim: Hey Zach. The players got some time off at the end of last week to rest/recover, and they returned over the weekend for meetings/conditioning. The team is scheduled to practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with a walk-through on Friday leading up to the game.
Tracie Chadwell from Bellevue, Tennessee
Question: I am curious about how the game referees are selected for playoff & Superbowl games. Does the NFL assign them & how? What is the process? Thank you Sir! Inaugural PSL family confused!
Jim: Hey Tracie. The NFL assigns them to the playoff games, and a lot of it is based on their performance during the regular season. During the year, a referee has his own crew. During the postseason, the crews are mixed together, which sometimes creates issues. Obviously some of these guys have been better than others.
Adam Hyman from Winter Springs, Florida
Question: Me and my buddy from Florida and are coming up for the game this weekend! What's the best Titans bar for Friday night and early Saturday? Love all the content!
Jim: Hey Adam. I dropped a Twitter post below about a Friday night pep rally. I imagine all the bars downtown will be packed with Titans fans. The Skydeck on Broadway, located on Level 3 of Assembly Hall in the Fifth & Broadway development, is having a watch party for the game, but not sure what it will be like there Friday night and Saturday morn. I'd hit the honky tonks on Broadway after the pep rally, and maybe check out some of the bars in Midtown. I asked my buddy Jon Burton, aka The Mayor of Broadway, to rank the top 5 bars downtown. Here's his list: 1 The Stage, 2 Second Fiddle, 3 Whiskey Row, 4 Tootsies, 5 Honky Tonk Central, with Mellow Mushroom earning an Honorable Mention. I promise there will be plenty going on in the city Friday night and Saturday morning. Have a big time, but not too big of a time! Remember, you can't soar with the eagles during the day if you're out hooting with the owls all night! Cue the Progressive "Becoming Your Parents" commercial....
Chris Barnett from London, England
Question: Hey Jim. Having followed the Titans for 4 seasons from afar in London, I really seem to have struck lucky. To be witnessing such an amazing coaching set up, that consistently preps the fit enough players to compete, and importantly to win, is an absolute privilege. However, what really struck me was the lack of credit the titans seem to receive, even when on runs like Weeks 6-10. My question therefore is, what am I missing? Is there a deep distrust of the titans from an ingrained culture of failure? Does the league view the titans as not serious contenders from a dark past? It seems there would be no better person to answer this than you, Jim. TITAN UP!
Jim: Oh man, this is deep, Chris. I don't know how to explain it. But I do know this: None of it matters, like I've always said. If a team wants credit or respect, then get it by winning. The Titans have their first opportunity in the playoffs on Saturday vs the Bengals.
Have a great week everyone!