NASHVILLE – The Titans left the Black Hole with another Big W, and the stage is now set for a big game on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
The Texans visit Nashville in an AFC South contest that will find the winner in first place with two games left.
It should be fun.
To help pass the time, let's get into another Titans mailbag.
Luke Atherton from Alexandria, Pennsylvania
Question: I can't even express how happy I am with this team. I last wrote here after the loss to Denver and how despite the disappointment I hadn't lost hope in our squad. I was right to say that because we have been on a hot streak unlike any other. I have watched every game this season through tough losses and big wins and I don't plan on giving up soon. I'm so happy the pieces are fitting like a puzzle and I'm looking forward to Houston now that we are being recognized. Titanup!
Jim: Hey Luke. Well, you've been rewarded for your loyalty. Now the Titans have to find a way to keep things going.
Chris K from Brooklyn, New York
Question: Hey Jim. Titans fan from N.Y. I can't believe how Tannehill is playing -- so accurate and zip on his ball and he is playing with high confidence I don't want to jinx but we may have found our qb for the future and years to come hopefully. But the real reason I am reaching out to you is we need Titans fans in Nashville to be loud and make a difference and try to disturb the Texans it's a huge huge game. First thing I was thinking after we beat the Raiders is for the Titans fans to step and newsflash to Nashville area after reading postgame comments Vrabel and Henry called the Titans fan in Nashville area out and said that they need you. That's not a good thing to plea to Tenn fans out there especially with division game and with exact records -- it's a given that it should be loud cause to be honest Titans fans at stadium can be not as rowdy bc I see a lot of other teams fans in our seats. Another thing Vrabel has mentioned in past ... I wish I was in Nashville but I'm a huge Titans fan from ny so my message to Titans fans is step up and don't sell ur tickets to Texans fan cause Vrabel and Titans players have Called you out so time to step up just like the Titans have in 2nd half of season ..Titan Up!
Jim: Hey Chris. I appreciate the email. Calling the fans out? Fuggedaboutit! (Using my best Brooklyn voice). 🤣 I didn't look at it as if Henry and Vrabel were "calling fans out." I think they were encouraging fans to show up loud and to be rowdy for Sunday's game, because an extra-hyped crowd makes a difference. I'm not going to sit here and say I didn't notice all the Chiefs fans or Bills fans in the stadium earlier this season, because there were a lot of them. But I also noticed the diehard Titans fans who were there, too, and they were loud and proud at the end of the Kansas City game. The Titans have a lot of fans who have stayed true and loyal, and we saw them turn out at the end of last season to sell out the finale against the Colts. Well, we're at another key stretch for this team, and Vrabel and Henry and everyone else simply wants Titans fans to show up and make a difference.
Ronnie Chunn from Culleoka, Tennessee
Question: Thanks Jim for doing this mailbag thing! It looks like to me the offense is playing harder for Ryan than they were for Marcus. What do you think?
Jim: Hey Ryan. I think the entire offense in playing better, not harder, with Ryan at quarterback compared to when Marcus was in there. And the starting quarterback is playing better, not harder, with Ryan in his seven starts, compared to Marcus in his six starts.
Hunter Phelan from South Pasadena, California
Question: Hi Jim, hope you had as good a time in Oakland as I did. What a great win! Wanted to share some of my experience in the BLACK HOLE. First off, we parked in the lot right in the middle of RAIDER NATION tailgating. 5 of us wearing our Titan gear getting out of the car lol. Well for the most part we got a little grief, but overall people pretty friendly. Walk up to the stadium still pretty innocent. Once in the stadium that kinda changed, had a few f-bombs and also middle fingers pointed right at us. Really a 9, 14 and a 16 year old two of em girls. My 9 year old daughter was in a little shock. Got to our seats and enjoyed the rest of the game, and everyone around us pretty cool. I was in TENNESSEE in I believe 2005 for TITANS VS Raiders. STEVE MCNAIR'S last year. My point is how classy the fans of TITANS are. No matter how much of a die-hard fan, I truly believe NO TITAN FAN would ever tell a family or any other fan the F-BOMB and middle finger. I could be wrong , but I doubt it. Overall though people were friendly in a hostile environment. So proud of the BOYS!! My family still had a great time. My 9 year old told me late third quarter "dad i love football and the TITANS, made my day. Last observation how loud it was. Sure there are louder stadiums but that was the loudest I've personally experienced.
Now for a few questions:
1. I've noticed Derrick Henry wearing glasses the last few interviews I've seen. Is his shield on helmet prescription? Just curious since I recently just got prescriptions myself.
2. How about Tye Smith? Mr. Smith is playing some very good football. Feel like we need him for more snaps. How do the coaches feel about him maybe as a permanent starter?cThanks again for listening to me JIM! keep up the great work with the MAILBAG and the OTP!
Jim: Hey Hunter. Good to hear from you again. Thanks for sharing your experience. The Black Hole is unique, and you know you're not walking into the Magic Kingdom when you enter the gates. Hey, your kids will have story to tell! I might've been a little disappointed if I didn't hear a few f-bombs just because that's kind of what you expect there. Things will definitely be different in Las Vegas, and a part of me will miss the Oakland experience. That was my sixth and obviously final trip.
As for the questions, I'll be honest: I don't think the shield is prescription, but I'm not sure about Derrick's glasses. I've noticed him wearing them but never asked. He doesn't give up many details on things like that. I asked him about his hair last week, and other than him saying he hasn't cut it since middle school, he didn't offer too much else. It's a hairy subject, I guess. (Sorry, I couldn't resist a good #dadjoke 😉). And I'm with you on Tye Smith. He's playing exceptional, with forced fumbles in back-to-back weeks and of course the touchdown on the blocked punt in Indy. I really think Adoree' Jackson or LeShaun Sims will be back in that spot if they're healthy enough to start, but that's a big if right now. As always, Go Dodgers!
Miles Call from Hockessin, Delaware
Question: Hey Jim, absolutely FANTASTIC performance by the Titans on Sunday... we've waited for this for a longggg Time. But I couldn't be more confident in the Titans right now, all we need is to beat the Texans and we're in 1st place.. What do you think about the likes of Tannehill and Henry being extended this offseason, I obviously believe we need to bring them both back, but I don't know what the front office is thinking. What do you think??
Jim: Of course the front office will be interested in bringing them back. At this point, I think that's a no-brainer. How and if it happens, however, will have to play itself out. And it won't be in December. These are things that will be sorted out in February and March.
Jack Gallaher from Arlington, Tennessee
Question: Do you know why Vrabel was smiling so much after Jonnu's Touchdown? It looked like he called that play. Thanks and Titan UP!!!! #BeattheTexans #CODEBLUE
Jim: Hey Jack. I noticed how fired up he was after that TD, too. He gave Jonnu a bear hug! Vrabel loves Jonnu, it's that simple. And he's never tried to hide it. So the fact Jonnu made the play brought him a lot of joy – along with the two touchdown lead.
Micah Layne from Coalmont, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim hope you had a great trip out west and back. All I can say is WOW!! Our secondary is hit with injuries, Henry a lil banged up and still we win this way. I thought they were going to run thru our defense all game but the halftime adjustment our coaches make are something special. I'd like to thank the Bucs and Broncos for helping us a little this week. Now let's go take both from the Texans and win this division title. My question is will we get any healthier as a team for the Texans game. Go Titans!!
Jim: Hey Micah. Well, what happens on the practice field will tell us a lot. Kenny Vaccaro is in concussion protocol, so we won't know about his status until late in the week. Adoree Jackson and LeShaun Sims missed on Sunday, and they're recovering. If they're out there Wednesday, that's a good sign. Daren Bates is still recovering from a shoulder injury, and Derrick Henry will be monitored once again as he deals with his hamstring issue. It's the time of year to watch the Injury Reports closely.
Luke Kambeitz from Bismarck, North Dakota
Question: Hey Jim, my dad and I are diehard Titan fans from North Dakota and we are making our first trip to Nashville for the week 16 game vs the Saints and what love to meet you if possible. My question is what do you think the odds are of that game being flexed to Sunday night if/when we beat the Texans next week? Thanks. TitanUp!
Jim: Hey Luke. Well, it's worth monitoring. The Titans need to win on Sunday. If that happens the Saints game could get flexed, but a lot depends on results from other games as well. We'll probably know either Sunday night or Monday at the latest.
Joe Arcudi from Merrimack, New Hampshire
Question: I am soooo happy to say I was wrong about Sunday's game on the west coast. The game just smelled like a trap and historically has been the type of game the Titans tend to mail in. Thank god I was wrong! Tough first half battle but the boys kept grinding and pulled away in the second half. I thought Derrick's comments after the game about the fan base showing up next week was very poetic. I watch every game from hear in the northeast (40+ year fan) and I only wish I could go to games -- especially the next two. PLEEEEASE Titan Nation show up in droves this weekend to help our boys. Let's keep the fun going. I just hope we can find a way to defend Hopkins with a banged up secondary -- he always kills us.
Jim: Hey Joe. Good of you to admit you were wrong. 😊 This certainly appears to be a different Titans team, one that has confidence and is playing well at the right now. But there's still a lot of work to be done. And you're right – Hopkins is a beast, and if the Texans get speedy receiver Will Fuller V back, that's a different team compared to the one that lost to the Broncos.
Darin W from Bountiful, Utah
Question: What a game our guys just played!!! When are we going to start the Tannehill-for-MVP campaign? He saved our season and has us on the cusp of an AFC South title!! Surely the Comeback Player of the Year award is all but on his mantel piece by now?
Jim: Hey Darin. I think the MVP award is going to Ravens QB Lamar Jackson. He's been phenomenal on an 11-2 team. But the Comeback Player of the Year award should definitely be in play for Tannehill. He's been exceptional himself since taking over in Week 7. But I'm sure he'd tell you making it to the postseason is much more important than postseason awards.
Patrick Bruga from Petaluma, California
Question: Hi Jim. Were you in Oakland on Sunday? What an epic day! My second live view of the franchise. Both times with my son. Last one was at Candlestick when we saw Vince Young and company. We could not be happier with the progression of the team. Tanethrill, as my son calls him, was indeed thrilling as usual. Did you see that open field tackle? Have you ever seen a team continue to overcome so many obstacles on a daily/weekly basis? From suspensions, injuries and personnel changes, including quarterback, this team just continues to respond to the challenge. What about heart and will? Each man just steps up when they are called and makes plays. From the OL to DBs , when someone is down, we have someone to step in and contribute to our success. Do we have the best GM in football or what? How about Blasingame? Not only do we have two outstanding wham blockers at FB along with Pruitt, but they both are receiving threats as well. How about Tye Smith? What a beast! All three phases working like a fine-tuned, oiled machine. What's left Jim? Maybe Succop returning to form? Any update on Henry? Thanks Jim!
Jim: Yes, I was there, Patrick. And I can answer "Yes" to a lot of your questions.
Eric Brown from Bend, Oregon
Question: Seasons greetings Jim, Shout out! What a difference 8 weeks make. Hats off to #77 76 60 64 78 & (71) nobody's giving you guys a lot of credit. Way to come together SALUTE!! #WINSUNDAY
Jim: Hey Eric. Those guys definitely played well. How about this stat from Sunday: In the "Titans era" (1999-present), the Titans' 391 passing yards against the Raiders were the most by the team in a game in which the offense also did not surrender a sack.
Have a great week everyone!