NASHVILLE – And we're on to December.
Hard to believe, huh?
The Titans are heating up at just the right time of the year, with back-to-back wins over the Ravens and Colts. As a result, the team is now in first place in the AFC South.
Next up: Cleveland.
But first, another Titans mailbag.
Let's go …
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE
Ben Avery from Belton, Missouri
Question: Thanks for your awesome updates on the most wonderful group of young professionals. In the day of spoiled whiny crybaby athletes this group of young men is exceptionally professionals.
I can't pick a favorite but there are many. I have been so impressed with Corey Davis. He didn't complain about his contract not getting picked up. And he could have skipped the game after tragically losing his brother. I wept as I saw the tears in his eyes. But what a performance he displayed. He has risen to the occasion this year. I love this young man total class act. I hope he knows how we believe in him.
Jim: Hey Ben. Thanks for taking the time. It's been cool to see so many folks rally behind Corey. He's becoming one of the team's fan favorites because of his work ethic, and approach. He's earned the props.
Garry Singer from Amarillo, Texas
Question: Why???? Have you not targeted your star tight end Jonnu Smith? The Titans have been one of my favorite teams to watch this year until today. Jonnu Smith didn't see one target!!!
Jim: I can promise you Jonnu Smith wasn't complaining after the game. The Titans scored 45 points on Sunday, Garry, including six touchdowns. Jonnu Smith is still a big part of the team, and he will be moving forward. He's scored eight touchdowns this season, which is tied for third on the team. This is not the time to start throwing out a bunch of questions marks and exclamation points.
Mac Colley from Canton, Georgia
Question: Could Derrick Henry be a MVP contender and win? Also, do we have a chance for the Super Bowl?
Jim: Well, Derrick has been pretty valuable if you ask me. So, let's go 'maybe' x 2.
Aaron Quarles from Fort Myers, Florida
Question: Another great win and another incredible performance for someone who is on their way to a Hall of Fame career! Obviously MVP is a quarterback favorite award which is fair most years but when you talk about a single individual adding value to their team no player is more important than Henry. Have you heard any rumblings that he could be in the MVP talk?
Jim: Well, Mac is talking about it, and so is Stephen A. Smith, who said he believes Henry is neck and neck with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes as an MVP candidate. … And I saw where Nate Burleson from NFL Network say on Monday Derrick should lead the NFL in MVP votes right now, so there's that, too.
Seán O Reilly from Dublin, Irelend
Question: Hi Jim. Long time reader first time mailer!
Just wondering if you think this is the best Titans offence ever? Based of the games since Ryan Tannehill came in. It's so exiting to watch it's not just one or two players making plays but nearly everyone on the Offence obviously it helps when you have two MVP candidates in Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill but every week someone new seems to step up. So much credit has to be given to Arthur Smith I have to say I was worried when he was named Offensive coordinator last year but now I fear he will be a head coach somewhere else next year ! I think everyone in the organisation deserves so much credit for it, from draft picks to free agency all the recruitment has been exceptional !
Hopefully this is the year we win the super bowl !
Jim: Hey Sean. The Titans have been so good, they've been Dublin teams up on the scoreboard. Sorry, bad joke. But the offense is clicking on all cylinders. Reminds me of Steve McNair's MVP season in 2003.
How about these stats coming out of Sunday?:
-The Titans scored 35 points in the first half, a total that tied for the second-highest total in franchise history and was the most points scored by any team in the NFL in the first half of a game in 2020. The Titans/Oilers franchise record is 45 points in the first half against Cleveland on Dec. 9, 1990. They now have 10 all-time games with 35 points in the first half. Most recently, they accomplished the feat against Green Bay on Nov. 13, 2016.
-The Titans' 45 points in the contest tied for the eighth-highest road total in franchise history. It was the team's highest output on the road since Nov. 27, 2008, when they scored 47 points at Detroit.
-The Titans totaled 449 yards on offense, accounting for their second-highest total of the season behind their 607 net yards against the Texans on Oct. 18. The Titans have topped the 400-yard mark four times in 2020.
-In five trips inside the red zone, the Titans offense scored four touchdowns to bring their season totals to 32 touchdowns on 44 trips inside the opponent's 20-yard line (72.7 percent).
Nancy Lee Cline from Oliver Springs, Tennessee
Question: Greetings. When the teams, coaches, and players are fined by the NFL, just where does all that money go?
Jim: Hi Nancy. Hope all is well. If it is a team fine, the team lets the player choose a charity of their choice to donate the money (the team does NOT keep the money, but it goes to charity). If it's an NFL fine, the fines collected do not go to the NFL, but instead are donated through the NFL Foundation to assist Legends in need. (Programs are mutually agreed upon by the NFL and NFLPA in the CBA.)
Malcolm Kennett from Devon, England
Question: Hi Jim, I hope you have had a good Thanksgiving. Sorry if this has been asked before. My question is around our defence. As a defence we have struggled with stopping teams converting third downs, do you see the Titans hiring a DC rather than Vrabel making the calls to help us in this area?
Jim: Hey Malcolm. I've probably been asked this 100 times in the last few weeks to be honest. It's December. Mike Vrabel not going to be making a new hire at DC this late in the season. What happens next year? Let's worry about that next year.
Franky Markle from Dyersburg, Tennessee
Question: Wow!!! Bret Kern is a weapon. If our offense can play like that, and Kern can make the team fair catch everything inside the 15, our D has a chance to get off the field. Look out. I realize that's all 3 units playing well, but WOW. We looked good. Great job to the whole organization. TitanUp!!
Jim: Hey Franky. You're right – Kern is a weapon. His value was on full display on Sunday.
Some kernels from Sunday:
-Kern averaged 40.0 gross yards (40.0 net) with all four of his punts placed inside the 20.
-Kern appeared in his 200th NFL regular season game and his 178th game with the Titans. In doing so, he passed Craig Hentrich (177 games with the Titans) for fourth place on the franchise's all-time games played list. He trails only Bruce Matthews (296), Elvin Bethea (210) and Brad Hopkins (194).
-Kern passed Craig Hentrich (861 punts) for the most punts in franchise history. Kern, who joined the organization in 2009, now has 863 punts in a Titans uniform and now holds every major career punting record for the franchise.
Travis Hayman from Spencerville, Indiana
Question: How come you don't post Vrabel's post game locker room speech/game ball award anymore?
Jim: Blame COVID-19.
Bill in Spokane, Washington
Question: I was a 49ers season-ticket holder during the great Bill Walsh-Joe Montana era. I'm seeing something in the Titans that reminds me of the great WRs Jerry Rice and John Taylor. No, it's not the pass-catching or the yards after catch; it's the blocking. I try to focus on WRs Brown and Davis on running plays, and it's a joy it is to see them engage a defender until the whistle blows. That third-level blocking is gold. Titan fans would love to see Brown-Davis for years to come. Are the Titans actively working on securing Davis for next season? If not, when will they?
Jim: Hey Bill. Good perspective here. When the Titans opted not to pick up the option year on Corey, I think a lot of folks concluded he wouldn't be back in 2021. I've never ruled it out, though, because I know how much everyone in the organization respects him. But the team hasn't made a habit of doing in-season extensions, or deals. This is something that will be up for discussion in the offseason, and we'll have to wait and see what transpires.
Jimmy Dee from Battle Ground, Washington
Question: Jim I've read Indy players, coaches, and fans complaining that the Colts were without 3 of their top players but weren't the Titans also missing elite starters. Taylor Lewan, Adoree Jackson, Jadeveon Clowney, Jayon Brown, Ty Sambrailo, Kristian Fulton were all out with injury and so was Darrynton Evans. Plus, other good players. I don't believe the Colts were worse off injury wise than the Titans were for Sunday's game. I think that injury situation was about equal between both teams.
Jim: I agree, Jimmy Dee. And you neglected to mention Adam Humphries and MyCole Pruitt. It's a next-man-up league.
Adrian Lopez from Caracas, Venezuela
Question: Saludos Jim espero que tu y tu familia se mantengan sanos felicitaciones por el trabajo de esta temporada, Los Titanes han sido muy eficientes este año ganando partidos cerrados y contando con actuaciones defensivas en momentos claves estoy seguro que vamos a estar en play off... sin embargo crees que esta defensiva soporte los partidos mas exigentes que van a enfrentar en play offs? Punto aparte la ofensiva esta llevando de la mano al equipo Henry es un monstruo y Tannehill ha sido un home run desde que asumio la tiutularidad y Aj Brown, Davis y Jonnu han sido muy efectivos por via aerea... Solo espero que las lesiones nos respeten para lo que resta de temporada... Titan up...
Jim: Gracias, Adrian. Espero que todo esté bien en Venezuela. Fue una gran actuación de la ofensiva el domingo, y ese grupo ha liderado el camino esta temporada. Me alienta lo que he visto en la defensa últimamente. El grupo ha mejorado en tercera oportunidad, y realmente en todos los ámbitos. Ahora el equipo debe ser más consistente y debe mantenerse saludable.
Mark Clarke from Coleraine Causeway Coast and Glens Ireland
Question: Hi Jim hope you and your family and all Titan fans are keeping healthy and well. Just like to give credit to the coaching staff for the way this team are playing. Really exciting time to be a Titans fan! The Defence has improved big time especially on 3rd down and this offence is outstanding! Henry and Brown are amazing to watch! Henry is fast proving to be a Titans legend! Remember watching the Super Bowl over 20 yrs ago and feeling gutted at the loss but i am convinced this team with their never say die attitude will be NFL/world Champions in the next few seasons. Keeping the faith all us Titan fans here on the wild and rugged North Ulster coast. PS love your Mailbag and all the comments
Jim: Good to hear from you again, Mark. The Titans have definitely picked it up in the last few weeks. Now, the team has to find a way to keep it going.
Have a great week everyone!