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Tuesday Mailbag: Titans Fans React to Sunday's Loss to the Colts


NASHVILLE – The Titans let one get away on Sunday.

A winnable game was there for taking against the Colts, but the Titans couldn't get it.

The run defense was bad, and so was the third-down defense. Offensively, the Titans couldn't get it done in the red zone.

It all added up to a disappointed loss, and another overflowing mailbag.

Let's dive in…

Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE

Chris Allen from Houston, Texas
Hi Jim. Last year we kept Dennis Daley in so many times it cost us games. How long will this coaching staff allow Kristian Fulton to cost us games? Why does it take us so long to bench players who simply don't perform?

Jim: I know some folks want to bury guys when they're struggling. If you're looking for me to do that in here today, you're going to be disappointed. Did Kristian have a rough game on Sunday? Yes. Has Kristian failed to live up to the expectations so far this year? Yes. But Kristian Fulton didn't cost the Titans the game on Sunday. You think all 193 of Indy's rushing yards came on Kristian's side? Heck, most of them came straight up the middle. You think the Colts going 8-of-13 on third down was all Kristian's fault? It wasn't. You think Kristian was responsible for that 4th and 1 offensive failure in the fourth quarter, when Derrick Henry was stuffed for no gain? The Titans scored 16 points on Sunday, and they went 1-of-4 in the red zone in the process. A lot of guys were to blame for that loss. Kristian needs to be better, and if he's not, he'll watch from the sideline. Mike Vrabel even admitted after the game he considered sitting him down, and he left that possibility open on Monday. Kristian got beat deep against the Saints, struggled against the Browns after sitting out a game with his hamstring injury, and then he was mostly solid against the Bengals in Week 4. But he's not the only one with consistency problems.

Terry Anderson from Glasgow, Kentucky
We that bad all the sudden? Looked great against Cincinnati. Division games are tough the defense didn't show up. Leave it to Fulton to make a ton of bone head plays. We had a chance in the division but now with Jacksonville beating Buffalo and we can't beat the Colts we in trouble. So sad really Tannehill played well.

Jim: I count four or five elite teams in the NFL right now, Terry, and the Titans aren't one of them. It's a week-to-week league for teams that are inconsistent, and that's what the Titans are at this point. So are the Cowboys. So are the Bengals. So are the Packers. So are the Ravens. So are the Bills. So are the Steelers. So are the Chargers. We're also just five games into the season, and the team has played one division game. It's still early, Terry.

Darris Mays from Carrolton, Texas
Hello Jim. I pray all is well. At what point do we make a change at Defensive Coordinator, Offensive coordinator, QB and corner. I'm speaking for myself based on what I see every week. No disrespect to anyone just tired of seeing the same thing over and over again. It's too many talented offensive coordinators and defensive coordinators in the NFL and we don't have either. I think it's time to say goodbye to our head coach. It's not because we lost to the Colts it's because of his coaching staff. I'm not ready to change team yet, but it's getting pretty close. Have a blessed day

Jim: Jeez Darris, you want to blow it up after five games? Get realistic. It's not happening. Have a blessed day.

Mark Lewis from London, England
Hello Mr. Jim. I feel certain that your mailbag after a loss is filling up mate. Over here our culture is always positive for our teams, I feel the fans may be struggling that often is much of the same things that pop up when we lose and I think it is the cause of frustration. We moved the ball but much like saints game got allergic to red zone, it's a shame because Kelly had done such a better job than downing hands down but for some reason the red zone is really struggle for him. I dont feel we set our front 4 defense up to win by relying on them 90% of the time, because we really don't want to blitz and I am unsure why. When they don't get to Qb the coverage doesn't hold and it's a long play. Sometimes when we lose it's due to stubborn mindset. The colts committed to stopping the run, we had all we wanted in the passing game- so take what they give you it took too long to figure this out, and outside of Derrick Henry throwing it why aren't we targeting Dhop in the end zone?
Coaching adjustments: last season by mid season it was obvious Dennis Daley and Todd Downing alone were causing losses. We never benched them or relieved them during season and it cost us. This season Fulton is wrecking games, right next to Brewer and Dillard. How long will it take? Bench Fulton, and put out absolute best 5 lineman out there, even if the staff loves Brewer- this is a performance league, not a country club. If we assess our talent on Oline brewer isn't in the top 5. So make the adjustment. Give vildor, Avery a shot. And please if you are going to rush 4 all game then give Caleb Murphy and Gipson more snaps because our front 4 is exhausted.
I will say this: when we beat the chargers did we have fulton? When we beat the bengals we blitzed…
Last, when it comes to stubborn last London game we called the same play twice and it cost us the game. We missed the playoffs that season by 1 game. Last year we missed by 1 game. I hope this season this colts game isn't the reason why we miss the post. I'll be here in London mate hoping these men find a way to beat Baltimore but it could have been a 4-2 chance or at worst 3-3. Now we fight for our season. Multiple losses this season have been on scheme or coaching and that's tough because we have a good coach.

Jim: Hi Mark. We're coming to see you at the end of this week! Thanks for the suggestions, and for taking the time. See ya there!

Anthony Jasso from Pearland, Texas
Hello Jim! My wife and I are going to London for the game against the Ravens... just wondering the players schedule for that week, and maybe where they are practicing? So looking forward to full filling a bucket list to see our Titan Nation in London England. Love your work Jim, always Titan Up!

Jim: Hey Anthony. The team practices in Nashville on Wednesday and Thursday of this week before heading to London after practice Thursday. The team will practice in London on Friday, but it will be a closed practice not far from the hotel, which is north of the city. Hope you have a great trip. I'm looking forward to it as well.

Jim Williams from Lubbock, Texas
Hi Jim. That was a bad loss in a very winnable game. The primary reasons for this defeat lay with the offensive and defensive coaching staffs. The defense because they failed to correct Kristian Fulton's play or replace him when it became clear he wasn't up to the job on that day. It lies with the offensive staff because of its over-reliance on the running game in the red zone. The TD run by Spears was imaginative, but counting on Derrick to get a yard when the running game was clearly being dominated by the Colts defense was inexcusable. When in red zone, they need to try a fade pattern to Hopkins or a QB rollout to force the defense to try to cover the entire field and not just the area between the tackles. That's all my coaching advice for today, Jim. Now for my question: Do the players and coach's families get to travel to England with the team when they play over there? Thanks.

Jim: Appreciate the feedback. Kristian has been an easy target today, I get it. But there's no guarantee throwing a DB in there who didn't get a lot of reps during the week would have worked out all that great either. As for relying too much on the run game in the red zone, the Titans ran eight plays in the red zone on Sunday – five of the plays were passes, two of them were Henry runs, and one of them was the Spears TD run. Let's not forget the Henry pass to DeAndre Hopkins that didn't work out earlier in the game. Predictability wasn't the problem in the red zone on Sunday. And, I've also seen this mailbag after the Titans opted not to use Henry on 4th and 1s in the past, and it didn't work. These are all easy things to second-guess after a close loss. … As for families, many of them fly separate.

Seth Fischer from Lynchburg, Virginia
I made a bet with my swim coach, who was a Colts fan, that if the Titans won, we got an easy practice. However, if the Titans lost, we get a hard practice. Reckless? Yes. Probably, but I just never thought I would have the Titans defense to thank for it. Rough game, but the offense did decently well. Red zone offense needs to improve but overall a decent showing. Not having Treylon Burks hurt though.

Jim: Oh man, Seth, sorry about that. Sink or swim, huh?

Greg Smith from Hohenwald, Tennessee
Jim, the Titans defense has been among the best at stopping the run last year and early this season. Can you provide insight as to why the Titans were gashed for almost 200 yards on ground?

Jim: Piss-poor tackling, guys out of their gaps, getting pushed around. Other than that, the run defense was solid …

Tom Meyer from San Antonio, Texas
Howdy Jim, Well what happened to the defense? Theses are the same guys who have been stopping runners for a few years ( with the exception of the new additions) but even those guys have been spot on. Looks they took a game off all at the same time. I know Jeffery Simmons is better than what we saw Sunday heck all of the defense is. I bet they are embarrassed and will come out on fire against the Ravens, I have seen other teams have the same let down as we saw Sunday. I was really disappointed that we saw only one punt return from Kyle Phillips I like the way he plays. The offense was better in pass protection but as a whole they couldn't finish drives. No excuse for not scoring touchdowns when your are first and goal. I remember a few years ago they were the tops in scoring inside the red zone. The coaches had better get this fixed or we will be seeing fans screaming for a change. Too soon to start calling for heads as there is plenty of football yet to be played. Right the ship coaches do what needs to be done to get the players attention and get this team on the right track. Thanks Jim.

Jim: See above. … Definitely need to get back on track. I've said all along I'd take 3-3 at the bye. Win Sunday and the Titans will be there.

Eric McClellan from Metropolis, Illinois
I submitted to the mailbag after the Browns game, tired of the "We need to get better" sound bytes. After the Bengals game, I was cautiously optimistic that we had turned the corner. After watching Sunday's game, I am just at a loss with this team. O Line played better in pass protection, not very good in run blocking. Pass rush was non existent, terrible run defense, and the secondary...well, I am sure you are getting plenty of feedback on our cornerback play. Offense sputtering in the Red Zone sure is frustrating as well. Honestly, offense played decent enough to win this ballgame (D-Hop balled out). Colts backup QB and the non $14 million dollar RB made the D look absolutely lost. And again, a few of the player interviews after the game reflected no accountability. I know the game plan was designed with Richardson playing QB, but when Minshew came in the game it seemed like there weren't any adjustments. Performance (and coaching) was subpar in many areas on a VERY winnable game. It just seems like this team is struggling to figure out their identity. Jim, give me some hope here, you have unique access to what is going on with the players and coaches. Does this team have what it takes to turn this ship around?

Jim: Time will tell, Eric. The team has only proven it's good enough to win and lose on rotating weeks so far.

Jeff Martin from Friendswood, Texas
Minshew for mvp! Thanks to our coaching staff! Lose the game because of the inability to score touchdowns, inability to get a sack (no blitz and terrible play calls) and we continue to play fulton!

Jim: You left off bad run defense and third down defense, Jeff.

Greg Serheev from Chester, New Jersey
First, I would like to apologize for not congratulating the Titans on a great, well deserved win last week. I don't want to be that person who only chimes in during a loss.
Second, even though we lost against the Colts there was some improvement from our OL pass blocking. It's evident when Tannehill is protected he can really make some incredible throws. The drives were there. Just need to be more consistent in the red zone. Can't survive with just field goals all the time. Which btw our kicking game has been stellar!!
Third, our run blocking hasn't been that great. I realize it's really difficult to be good at both run/pass block throughout the game but somehow teams manage to get it right every week. In fact a good OL makes an average QB look like Joe Montana if he has time to make plays down field. Also RBs are hitting home runs more often now due to massive holes from their OL. Backs who don't have half the talent The King has. Our OL, although getting better every week are average at best. It shouldn't take 5 weeks into the season to only get one aspect of their jobs corrected(pass blocking) It wasn't that long ago when we dominated on 4th downs.
Lastly, I don't even want to get into our DBs. Giving receivers cushions on almost every play is embarrassing. As if they're afraid of getting beat deep again. No one seems to want to make plays on the ball anymore! No one can tackle anymore! No one can turn around and pick off the ball anymore! What's going on here?? We let Minshew pick us apart today!! Gardner Minshew!! ??!! Speaks volumes!!

Jim: I hear ya, Greg.

Chuck Rhoten from Kingsport, Tennessee
Disappointing loss Jim. The OL just not getting it done. When the Colts knew we were going to throw we couldn't give Tannehill a clean pocket, they also couldn't give Henry a hole. The defense looked bad, they didn't stop the run and they didn't cover. We gave up too many big plays. What changes do you think needs to happen?

Jim: The biggest change that needs to happen? Start scoring touchdowns instead of kicking so many field goals. As for the o-line, Tannehill had plenty of time to throw on Sunday.

Roger Piccirillo from Bridgeport, Connecticut
Hey there Jim, well the defense was absolutely garbage all day. Lucky for them tannehill threw interception with time running out. So everyone including the coaching staff get a pass why look at the real problems on this team when you can blame tannehill.

Jim: I'm assuming this is your attempt at sarcasm, Roger.

James Kauffman from York, Pennsylvania
Do you think it's possible to trade for a prolific corner or receiver before the trade deadline? I think other than Hopkins no one is really showing up consistently from the receivers group. Is it a possibility to shop Treylon Burks since he's clearly not living up to the 1st round pick we got him at? Have a great day and thank you for all you do for the team's fans.

Jim: I wouldn't bank on this, James. And, Treylon Burks is hurt.

Eric Meyer from San Lorenzo, California
Well, that was hard to watch: It was nice seeing the offense carry over some success from last week of moving the football even though touchdowns were hard to come by. My main frustration is with Kristian Fulton at this point. He is not doing a very good job at this point and I can't say there has ever been a time where I thought he did a good job. I'd rather see him make the receiver actually make a catch instead of tackling the receiver before the ball gets there or wrapping his arms around the receiver every chance he gets. To make things worse, he's blaming the refs now cause he wants to pretend like good coverage is arm tackling the receiver as he runs by and thinking that the receiver interfered with him and not the other way around: is this how our corners are being coached? Can't guard your guy straight up so just try to make it seem like you got tangled up on every play? Is there a chance that the Titans staff benches him moving forward? Feel like I'd rather see one of our 3rd or 4th string cbs get torched on every play than watch our "CB1" commit blatant PIs any time he is targeted in a crucial situation. Thanks for listening. Hope next week is better.

Jim: Appreciate you taking the time, Eric. A lot of folks frustrated with Kristian this week. Vrabel and the coaching staff will have to decide where things go from here in the secondary.

Markieth Webb from Memphis, Tennessee
At this point bench Fulton. Read a stat that Fulton lead the entire NFL in pi and x plays. This team is inconsistent one week offense is rolling defense isn't. Following week defense is balling and offense struggle. When will this team be consistent on all 3 phases?

Jim: That's the question of the day, the week, and the season so far, Markieth.

Jayme Baumgartner from Waukon, Iowa
Hey Jim, Just curious if there's any update on Caleb Farley's progress? Will he be activated from the pup list anytime soon?

Jim: I see Caleb on a consistent basis. He's around every day. I don't get the sense he's returning to the field any time soon, however.

Greg Accas from Nashville, Tennessee
Well, after handling the Bengals so easily, I had hoped we had turned a corner. Obviously not! The sad display at the Colts just reinforced so many things, especially on offense...and now the defensive line is failing us. However, before I start, let me say that the Titans are doing such a disservice to Derrick Henry who becomes a free agent after this year, especially when you consider all that he has done for this franchise. Sorry, Derrick, you deserve so much better than this awful offense. Now a few stats:
Scoring Offense: 17.6 ppg 26th in NFL Last in AFC South
Total Offense: 293.6 ypg 24th in NFL Last in AFC South
Rushing Offense: 106.6 ypg 18th in NFL 3rd in AFC South (ahead of #27 Texans 82.6 ypg)
Passing Offense: 187.0 ypg 28th in NFL Last in AFC South
Red Zone TD Scoring: 35.29% 29th in NFL Tied with Houston-Also tied for last in AFC South
3rd Down Conv pg 4.6 25th in NFL Last in AFC South
3rd Down Conv %: 37.1% 23rd in NFL Last in AFC South
Let's recap: Can't pass, can't run, can't score TDs in the Red Zone, can't convert 3rd downs, woeful play calling (why in the world on 4th and 1 with the Colts stacked to stop Derrick, would the OC call a play to run him out of the shotgun and directly into the strength of their defensive line, especially with our weak offensive line?), OC has no creativity and continues to go with the old "tried and true" (the definition of "insanity" is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome!). However, I have to give props to DeAndre Hopkins and Tyjae Spears. D Hop is clearly getting back to his top form and Tyjae is making things happen. And, sorry to say, Treylon Burks is no AJ Brown!
While the offense is awful, the defense, especially the front seven, have done better up until the Colts. A few stats:
Scoring Defense: 18.6 ppg 9th in NFL 1st in AFC South
Total Defense: 334.8 ppg 15th in NFL 1st in AFC South
Rushing Defense: 94.6 ypg 9th in NFL 2nd in AFC South (behind Jags @ 81.6 ypg)
Passing Defense: 240.2 ypg 23rd in NFL 2nd in AFC South (just ahead of Jags and Colts @ 262 ypg)
Opp Completion %: 71.7% 28th in NFL 3rd in AFC South (just ahead of Texans @72.39%)
Opp 3rd Down Conv %: 38.4% 12th in NFL 1st in AFC South
Opp 4th Down Conv %: 66.67% 25th in NFL Last in AFC South
Recap: Can usually stop the run (except against the Colts), can't stop the pass AT ALL, do a good job on 3rd down stops but then allow success on 2/3 of 4th down attempts, not giving up at lot of points, DC (without Jim Schwartz to "consult") has done a poor job of shoring up the secondary which is our biggest defensive weakness. We continue to allow the opposition completion percentage to improve (2021-63.61% [8th in NFL], 2022-65.42% [19th in NFL], 2023 71.78% [28th in NFL]. Finally, if Kristian Fulton is our #1 or even #2 CB, then it pretty much goes without saying that we have nobody who can play CB! Also, I want to express how sorry I am to Kevin Byard. With his skills and dedication to this team, he deserves to be surrounded by better talent than he is.
Maybe we should petition the NFL to alter our remaining schedule to play only at home and bring in Carolina, Chicago, New England, and New York Giants? Might help our Win/Loss record and our confidence?!?!
At some point, management and the coaching staff has to say "Enough is Enough" and take some proactive steps instead of waiting for something to happen. General comments such as "We just have to do better, etc" are falling on deaf ears. This fanbase deserves to SEE a better product on the field.

Jim: Great compilation of stats, Greg. You saved me a lot of research time this week.

Bill Logins from Seattle, Washington
Ahhh the real titans showed up (Thats right titans with little bitty t), Embarassing defensive showing. Fulton is awful and needs to be sat down. Utterly disgusting. We are who I thought we were!!! a .500 team at best.

Jim: How do we know who the real Titans are at this point, Bill? Need to find some consistency.

David Kennedy from Hytop, Alabama
I have good tickets for the London Game, but after our performance on Sunday I am questioning whether I should go. It's an expensive long trip to end in disappointment. I am a fan but, what should I do?

Jim: Keep calm and carry on. Go to London…

Have a great week everyone!

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