NASHVILLE – Well, that wasn't the way this Titans season was supposed to end.
Instead of a few more weeks of Titans football, it's all over now, thanks to a heartbreaking loss to the Bengals in the AFC Divisional playoff round.
My inbox has been overflowing ever since.
Some fans are mad, some fans are sad, some folks are in between.
Most of you shared your feelings, without asking questions, so I turned this mailbag into a venting session for all of you as we close the book on the 2021 season, and head into the offseason.
Thanks for taking the time.
Here's the link to ask questions for Saturday's mailbag: CLICK HERE
Allan Stewart from Brookings, Oregon
Comment: Guess I'll have to put the champagne on ice until next year! Game started and ended on bad notes but the team all year came together and gave it their all. Kudos to the defense and the number of sacks they put on the QB. I took down my Titan flag today until next season. It will be up at the start of drafts and training camps. Couple of tee's will be hanging in the closet for a bit, but t they will be worn proudly at Super Bowl parties. Glad to see the King back on the field. So many unsung heroes on this team. 91 players during the year! Disappointed, yes. Proud, yes. Wait until next year!
Robert Hines from Cookeville, Tennessee
Comment: Heartbroken. That's all that needs to be said. That first play interception set the tone. Hats off to some great defensive plays, just not enough to offset the turnovers.
Collin Hesselrode from Franklin, Tennessee
Comment: That was… absolutely terrible. Why are we running the clock out when we are at the opposing 40 yard line. We had every single chance to get back in that game and we couldn't. The defense was tremendous. But tannehill made way too many mistakes and I believe he cost us the game. Making dumb throws with all day to throw, and having a terrible read option call. I don't know if he can lead us all the way. I know it was The Kings first game back but he showed that he could get it done. At least 5 of those runs he came out super fast and ready to go but the line collapsed. And let's not forget the horrible 2 point conversion and the 4th and 3rd down. That was the game. RIGHT THERE. It's the little things that matter and they weren't up to it. (excuse me, everybody on the OFFENSE wasn't up to it) have a good offseason Jim. See ya when we trade for Aaron rodgers🤞🤞🤞. Thanks for a great year of keeping us up to date on everything 2 tone blue!
Jack Turvey from Bristol, England
Comment: Good afternoon Jim.
I wrote into you early into the season and now, after the shock and upset of dropping out of the playoffs early, I wanted to send you another message to give my thoughts.
When I last wrote to you I was in hospital. Since that time I have come home but I am currently still unable to do much or able to return to work. I want to let you and the organisation know that the Titans have been a real highlight of a difficult time for me. It has been a rollercoaster that sadly ended too soon but I can tell you that I have been in a better place mentally thanks to this team. For that I am eternally grateful.
This was a special team. Our team. I can only imagine how hard this time is for the them and though I am sure they will not see this message I for one will be back supporting every step of the way for the 2022 season.
So finally I say let's take some time to get rested and healthy, let's make the necessary adjustments and let's do what Titan's do best - fight back and Titan up. I can't wait to see the King, Big Play AJ and the MuSack City mob to run wild on the NFL once more
John Clark from Knoxville, Tennessee
Comment: Jim I would say good morning but I have to be honest it's anything but good. I have to be honest as a true Titans fan I'm tired tired tired of the same ole same ole! It's easy to use Tannehill as the scapegoat but like I said earlier before the season we can't go further with hiring other teams second hand trash we most definitely need to invest in great offense and defense coordinators. The offense play calling looked like he didn't use the time off to prepare a proper game plan and then I can't believe Vrabel approved a QB sneak on 3rd and 1 that displays piss poor coaching! Now to Tannehill I'm not gonna bash him he's gonna get that from plenty of people but I think it's safe to say it's time for him to GO!!! Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more no more no more no more! It's not the loss it's how we loss!
Joe Fisher from Kingsport, Tennessee
Comment: I'm sure a lot of your writers will be submitting questions and comments calling for Tannehill's job or questioning his effectiveness. I will try to refrain from both. I don't feel he can stretch the field with accuracy on a consistent basis like his counterparts that played on Sunday night. While I feel he is a flashier version of Kirk Cousins, that play style can, has, and will continue to win Lombardi's. The Titans were able to score a touchdown off of the turnover by the visiting team. They way I see it, Tannehill's interceptions are void because they only led to 6 points for the Bengals. Offensive play calling was horrible. Personnel decisions were horrible. Henry was not 100% and the rust clearly wasn't knocked off yet. Foreman was the better option for that game and he showed it on his limited touches (yes, I know most of his yards came on a big play). From what I saw in section 216 the Bengals spent a lot of the night man-to-man on Julio and AJ with help over the top. I think Westbrook-Ikhine could/should have had a monster game.
Defensively, how can a person argue with 9 sacks and only allowing 1 TD to such a high powered offense? The front office needs to do whatever it takes to keep those men on the roster for next year. What a performance!
I 100% believe the better team did not win on Saturday. The better team beat itself.
Jon Zander from Birmingham, Alabama
Comment: Disgusting....Another egg as the 1 seed. Hey PLAYERS...you want the fans? Win when you are supposed to. What flat out joke. This team was just waiting to go home. Played with ZERO energy. Tanny was awful
Mickey Whitson from Rossville, Tennessee
Comment: Took a day to let it sink in. I know most people are going to call for Tannehills head but really of the 3 IT'S I feel only one should be his fault, the first one. The other 2 were tipped by our relievers. It doesn't lessen the pain but it is what it is. So let's regroup, draft well and go get um in September.
Kev White from Salisbury, North Carolina
Comment: Hey Jim. I think every Titans fan heart broken. Our defense played outstanding ball. Gave us every chance to win. Our run game was on point, AJ Brown was brilliant. Even Julio came alive. I've been a big supporter of Tannehill. But one or two things must happen. Either Tannehill goes or Downing. Questionable play calling, too much throwing when that isn't Titan football, too many turnovers. It was a great season filled with adversity. And the part that makes me sick is that this loss with further the disrespect and disregard for the Titans. Something has to change for next season. Thanks for always letting me vent, Jim.
Carlos Perez from Columbus, Indiana
Comment: Hello again Jim, just to say Titan Up! Proud of the season, the players, coaches. I know we are coming back next season stronger than ever!
Randy Paltzer from Kaukauna, Wisconsin
Comment: Not a question as so much a statement. I said Tannehill wasn't the answer and I was CORRECT. Unfortunately you are foolish for saying that we wouldn't go after someone like Rodger's. If that's the case then release some of the Titans stars so they can actually go to a team that wants to win Super Bowls and not divisions. By the way our division title is nothing to brag about. Three other average to weak teams. As I said we have everything we need but a solid QB and kicking game. Arthur Smith stated last week that he would keep Matt Ryan because he knows that having a near washed up QB is better than the one in Tennessee. Now 40 plus years of disappointment. I chose this team over the Packers organization. Looks like I'm the fool as well. Good job on the fans showing up to support our team but don't expect it to continue.
Mark Mccullough from South Padre Island, Texas
Comment: This team is cursed....
Paul M from Shelton, Washington
Comment: Hi Jim. Second time writing in. Always enjoy reading the questions and comments and you keeping all of us connected with the team. I've been following the Oilers/Titans for almost 40 years. I don't believe I've seen a more suspect last 2 minutes of football played by this team ever! With the Championship on the line, a tied game and having only to get into field goal range for the win and they did nothing. Where was the sense of urgency and Vrabel on the sideline hurrying up the offense? I can't believe what I saw. Completely stunned Mr. Jim. Disappointing to say the least. Anyway we still love the blue here in the PNW like that guy down there in Battleground. Have a great offseason and look forward to hearing from you in the spring! ✌️
Sydel Petty from Nashville, Tennessee
Comment: Hello Mr. Jim. After reading your lovely segment throughout the season, I am finally writing to you humbly heartbroken. I'm not coming from a place of anger and I am not going to pretend I have all the solutions for what's "wrong" with our team. I'm hurt for our team that worked so hard to get into this position. I hope their pain eases soon and our future is bright. I love them and am incredibly proud of what was accomplished this season even if my heart hurts now. Also AJ BROWN IS THE INCREDIBLE!!! <3 Thanks for reading my overly sappy letter.
Dakota Houston from Knoxville, Tennessee
Comment: Jim, This loss really hurts, I think worse than the AFC Championship loss- I really thought it was our year. I'm proud to have Coach Vrabel as the coach though and do believe that he will get us to the Super Bowl and win, I love what Jon Robinson does also and think that they are a strong duo. Defense did a phenomenal job and I hope we get the players back who are leaving, offense did a pretty decent job, excluding the standout three int's and some other mistakes- it was great to see Henry back out there and I'm glad he is healthy and look forward to seeing him back on the field (hopefully with Foreman as a backup!) now to Tannehill… man, I know he is taking some heat, people are probably taking it too far, but I am just not sure about him… I want him to succeed and I want him to be our franchise QB but dang, he just can't seem to be clutch in the playoff games.. I don't know, I guess I wouldn't be upset if we decide to find someone else but also who?? A draft pick? It's hard as a fan to not want the guy to succeed but also we just don't see the consistency. My opinion doesn't matter though and we'll leave it to Robinson and Coach Vrabel to do what's best for the team but I'll be rooting for us no matter who we have next year! Here's to a hopeful great re-signing of players and strong off season! As always, TitanUp!
Jose Padron from Conroe, Texas
Comment: I've been a fan since the oilers, feel i bleed blue but this loss hurts way to much. Tannehill should be fired for a poor performance and last year the same. You awarded him with more money and he did horrible. Why does he still have a job.
Reinhard Schiendorfer from Fosdinovo, Italy
Comment: Then I'll just have to add another heartbreaking L to my collection.
The team has given me many exciting hours. Many thanks.
Now I'm looking forward to next season and hope that JRob can keep the gang together.
Chris Berry from Cleveland, Tennessee
Comment: Unbelievable gut-wrenching game to watch. Our defense played amazing again, only to be let down by inexcusable turnovers and tough to watch offensive coaching decisions. It seems like everyone I watched with had the same comments, so no need to repeat what is likely in the mailbag dozens of times. 1 comment: Our defense has given up an average of 14 points over the last 6 games. Who would've thunk it?
Chris Rhoten from Kingsport, Tennessee
Comment: I would like to start by thanking our Titans for their efforts this year and Saturday. The Defense was unreal, great effort. You tell me we would get that effort and lose I would not believe it. I don't want to blame Tannehill for the lose. I will be the first to say he did not have a good year or game. The first INT was his fault. The next 2 he tried to force the ball. The line protected good opened holes in the second half. My biggest complaint was our OC's game plan and play calling, 3rd and 1 and you have the QB pull the ball for a keeper. Get the first down you was driving. That is where I feel we need an upgrade to get over the hump. Thanks Jim for keeping us up to date this year.
Joshua Cooper from Millbrook, Alabama
Comment: Ouch, this one hurt. I do have a bold statement. Despite the bad performance by him I still don't think it's time for us fans to give up on tannehill. He's a great leader and guy, though he may not be as flashy as the toms and Aaron's, he is our qb. The backlash is a part of a bad performance. Though it felt like our year I still think there are many improvements we can go forward with and some good things did come out of this game. Our defense was AMAZING with record tying sacks and being able to hold such a stellar offense low and even get a pick even with certain mistakes there were shining moments on offense with aj Julio and the king and I feel off-season can improve that. I hope that some defensive players like Harold will come back with us on our new journey through the offseason and next year. But long story short the question here is what are some encouraging words you can give titans fans to look forward to this off-season? Give all these getaway guys a hug for me and thanks for all you and they do!
Christopher Allen from College Station, Texas
Comment: No question. A couple of statements. My brother and I really enjoyed our time in Nashville for the Titans vs 49ners game!! Our defense was Superbowl caliber in the Bengals game. Dear JR and MV, please do your magic and get Deshawn Watson as OUR QB!! Dear Amy Adams Strunk I hope all legal issues with Deshawn have been settled but this is the type of caliber QB we need!! We Must Have An Elite QB to win the Super Bowl! Tannehill, I'm an Aggie and Love Everything you have accomplished for the Titans. 2 interceptions were your fault. Unacceptable. I love the Titans, lets continue to improve!!!
Franky Markle from Dyersburg, Tennessee
Comment: Wow!! Jim, that was heartbreaking. The worst part of it being over is our D is playing at a championship level.
Tell everyone Thanks for the great year. Lots of great wins and a couple of bad loses. Hopefully our D plays this well next year, if so … we will be there again. TitanUp
Dalon Krzemien from Omaha, Nebraska
Comment: I've been a titans fan my whole life growing up in the midwest my family was all chiefs fans and some reason I chose the two tone blue as my team instead. Anyways when a lot of people are saying we laid some type of egg or are disappointed which I get the narrative Jrob and Mike have made is a super bowl contender and anything less will break hearts. I wanna say thank you this was one of the hardest years a team probably had to endure and I found myself rooting 91 different players on and when some of our fans my not be as appreciative I wanna say titans up. Now my question with so many different players potentially moving on this year what are our priorities in keeping players or drafting to fill positions I mean I'm trying to stay up beat and say this is a heck of a team but with a lot of them maybe gone I'm kinda scared ?? This defense really needs to be replicated tho
Craig DeCuir from Houston, Texas
Comment: Is it time to move on from #17 and offensive coordinator? Hey Jim! Long time fan since I came out the wound in 83" I was in Oilers gear! So I'm a long time fan! Today is a sad day but life goes on. First I want to give a big shoutout to the entire organization! Great season considering the things we endured. DEFENSE !DEFENSE! If we have that performance to look to the future with then we're in great hands! I was excited for the return of the KING but clearly he wasn't the King of old he was gassed and it's completely understandable no real football action for over 2 months. We should've used Foreman more but the game has been played so would've, should've, could've didn't matter. The only thing that matters is it didn't happened. So to my question above I believe it's time to move in another direction for QB1 and OC. This is the second playoff game in a row that we have lost off of a #17 interception. His decision making is what kills us. Same with the OC he calls the most questionable plays at times and it really be a the wrong times to. I hear Russell Wilson wants out of Seattle. Let's pull that trigger and make that change! Well Jim it's been a great season! Thank you for all the information you've been providing for us! #TitanUp!
Jonathan Hess from Roanoke, Virginia
Comment: Hey Jim I just want to say it sucks to lose but as a huge fan I'm really proud of our team for all they went through this season titan fans everywhere should be proud and I think we will be back next year Mike Vrabel done a great job and should get coach of the year I just wanted to thank you and the Titan organization for everything that y'all do watching the Titans play every week was a bright spot after watching the Titans go through all the adversity they went through gave me and my wife hope after loosing our house and Everything in it we both knew when it happened it was time to titan up and work even harder I guess what I'm trying to say is THANK YOU AND THE TITANS for the inspiration to overcome
Rodolfo Vázquez Rodolfo from Dominican Republic
Comment: Hola Jim soy un mexicano viviendo en Repubmica domincana fiel fanatico de los Oliers/Titans y de verdad que duele y molesta el que teniendo un gran equipo ofensivamente y defensivamente, no temgamos un QB que este a la altura de este equipo, la defensiva jugo un partido casi perfecto, pero el QB que tenemos no creo que tenga los pantalones para este equipo, usted sabe que cada año hay camboo de jugadores y que algunos de ellos no regresaran para la siguiente temporada, cree usted que habria la posibilidad de canjear al QB por alguien que si tenga los tamaños para llevar a este equipo al lugar que se merece la franquicia
Saludoa y gracias por leer mi correo electrónico
Davor Blagojevic from Knoxville, Tennessee
Comment: Our quarterback that you and I defend all the time just got smoked by a second-year guy Joe B. Is it time to say he may not be good enough to win a championship? He didn't lose to Tom B or Mahoomes , we always make excuses for him, He lost this game, period
Kenny Ospital from Fairborn, Ohio
Comment: Sorry in advance for the hate mail you're about to receive. The ugly truth is the Titans have to upgrade the quarterback position. Could the Titans do worse? Yes, they could do worse. Could the Titans do better? Yes, without a doubt the Titans could do better. Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers might be available next year.
Do you think Amy, Jon, and Vrabel will do whatever it takes to win a superbowl? This is an important question that deserves more than a simple yes answer. This roster is good enough to win if they add a top tier quarterback. Shout out to the defense for playing one of the best games I've ever seen them play. Tannehill seems like a great guy, he's definitely above average; however, today he proved definitively he's not the guy. Time to move on.
Dick Clodfelter from Bell Buckle, Tennessee
Comment: With exception of their usual very loose and mostly ineffective pass defense, the Titans played enough great defense to win against Cincinnati. However, I hope the coaching staff learned that it doesn't pay to remove any score that's been posted, even if just one point, especially in a playoff game. I cringed when they decided to go for an unnecessary two point conversion that early in the game. That one point given away, if it had been retained, would most probably have totally changed the way the end of the game was played, and most importantly the outcome would have ultimately favored the Titans in spite of their offensive shortcomings.
Rick Bruce from Nashville, Tennessee
Comment: Jim, where do the Titans go from here. They clearly have an elite team with the exception of the QB position. I tried hard to argue in favor of Tannehill but that can't be done anymore. They can't win with him as the leader. Do they go after Rodgers? Wilson? They have the talent at the other 21 positions to be elite but can't win with current circumstances.
Travis Storie from San Diego, California
Comment: Jim, first off, I appreciate everything you do for this team, as you are a consummate professional and I thoroughly enjoy reading your work each week! I've been a fan ever since the team moved to Tennessee and I can distinctly remember watching their Super Bowl against the Rams as a young Private First Class in my barracks at Pensacola, FL. I also remember waking up every Monday morning at 3am while stationed in Korea to watch the games during the terrible 2015 season and many times in Iraq during the 2005, 2006, and, 2007 seasons. That said, while still serving in the Marine Corps after 22+ years and being a die hard Titans fan for the entirety, I have to ask if you think the team will make any changes regarding the OC position. There is no doubt that Amy, Jon, and Mike have changed the culture of this team for the better, but I would be remiss if I didn't express my concern for the team's lack of aggressive offensive play calling. It seems too often that we win the games we're not supposed to and lose the games we're favored. Again, I appreciate everything you do for the team and look forward to next year's season - Titan Up!!! And for my fellow Marines out there in my particular job field - IYAOYAS!
Alberto Armando Téllez Salcedo from Durango, México
Comment: Buenas tardes Jim aquí expresando mi sentir después de esta dolorosa derrota contra un joven y gran equipo los Bengals.
Primero quiero felicitar a toda la institución desde la dueña y todos los que trabajan para Titans por lograr un segundo campeonato divisional y lograr un primer sembrado de la Conferencia Americana.
Felicito especialmente a la dueña Amy Adams Strunk, al GM JRob al HC Mike Vrabel por el tremendo trabajo que hizo en la temporada lidiando con las lesiones y utilizando a 91 jugadores y a ti Jim por mantenernos siempre bien informados.
Del partido destacó el trabajo de la defensiva principalmente de la DL los edges y linebackers por los 9 sacks.
De Ryan Tannehill no fue su tarde y no podemos decir que por el perdimos, ya lo dijo el entrenador una persona sola no pierde un partido. Espero que el año que entra regresé con ánimo de alcanzar a llegar a ganar un Súper Bowl.
Espero que se queden D'Onta Foreman, Dontrell Hilliard, Harold Landry debe de quedarse, también Ben Jones, David Quessenberry.
Una cosa que no me gustó fue el llamado de jugadas del OC Todd Downing que pudo jugar más corriendo el balón mezclando a Henry, Foreman y Hilliard en lugar de pasar el balón y arriesgarlo. Creó que el HC Vrabel tendrá que analizar la selección de jugadas de este partido con equipo completo.
Ahora sí Jim dos preguntas una irán a utilizar el jersey rojo está temporada que viene? Y la otra irán a utilizar el uniforme retro de Houston Oilers soy fan de la franquicia desde 1978 y seguiré con el equipo por todo lo que me reste de vida. Titán Up y ojalá se diera que pudiesen jugar en México en las próximas temporadas. Y bueno seguimos Titans 365 24/7 se viene la agencia libré y el Draft.
Omar Parker from Bay Area, California
Comment: What a devastating loss. I swear sometimes this franchise feels cursed.What a hard way to end the season after everything the team has been through. They worked so hard to get the #1 seed and were in a place to only need to win 2 games in to make it to the big game. I would like to give a shout out to the team for all the heart and guts they showed this year. I know many fans will want to blame Tannehill but you win and lose as a team. The tips weren't necessarily his fault. There are many other plays which could have led to the loss. Blasingames drop, the defense was incredible but they missed a few open field tackles that allowed the Bengals to advance the ball,Downing with the 3rd and 4th down play calls near the Bengals 40. A few different plays by the team led to this. A few strange calls by the officials as well. What was up with the free timeout for the Bengals at 5:08 of the 4th QT? Anyways Jim,this one just stings because it was a special group of guys this year who had a chance to do something great. Now I guess we just watch the rest of the playoffs from the sidelines like the rest of the fans who's team have been eliminated and get ready for the draft and off-season. And hope next year we break the curse. Still Titan Up!
Jordan Newbury from Cushing, Texas
Comment: No use for knee-jerk reactions. No use in calling for the heads of OC's or QB's because we all know that these mailbags serve no other purpose than for us fans (who don't get paid to cheer) to vent or rejoice. They are most certainly not a means of advice for coaches to scan…….and we know Vrabel is loyal perhaps to a fault. Downing will be the OC next season folks, so save your breath. The reasoning will be "well, it took Art Smith a couple seasons to get the Offense going". For myself, I'm finding the NFL less and less interesting, mainly because I would nearly bet my left ear that we're going to see Brady vs Mahomes in the SB again, after all, that's a marquee matchup the NFL will profit greatly from. Perhaps some fans marvel at Bradys longevity, while others feel wowed by the heroics of Mahomes. I recon those acknowledgments are well deserved, but neither Brady nor Mahomes are Tennessee Titans. After 30 plus years, and seeing games like today over and over again, I honestly don't know if we'll ever win the big one and should probably resign myself to simply appreciate the occasional impressive stretch of wins against tough teams or rushing titles, etc. It's just a game, and I'm not a gambler so I didn't lose money, yet this one stung. The Tennessee Titans are like a roller coaster that takes you on highs and lows then breaks down right before the big loopy loop. I'll never change teams, I am two toned blue through and through, but Jim, after all these years, this felt like the one. I'd normally be saying "we'll get them next year!", but for some reason, I can't bring myself to proclaim such this time. I now realize some teams are title contenders, while others are simply the gauntlet the contenders must run through to achieve championship glory. Having zero interest in the rest of the teams remaining, I recon the draft is the closest thing to look forward to…….On to the draft to hopefully grab some uninjured talent that can come in and help immediately. Sour grapes are sour.
Benji Fanikos from Knoxville, Tennessee
Comment: Hey Jim, This game is just devastating for the titans players and especially the fans to get their first home playoff win since the Music Cuty mulligan in 2003. I was critical of Tannehill earlier this year when I wrote in, but I don't think he is the main reason we lost this game. After our third straight playoff loss, I think the blame falls not on individual players or just execution, but on the foundation of this football team. The idea that we are just going to consistently overpower other professional athletes and only throw 15 times a game is wrong and perhaps a little arrogant. Defenses know they can be aggressive and tee off on our bulky and predictable run run pass punt offense. Of course running the football is always the preferred thing to do, as it involves less risk than throwing, but any team with big strong d-line, i.e, all of them, can stop the run if they fully commit.
Joan D from Cerritos, California
Comment: Hey Jim the game just ended and we are all so disappointed. Tannehill's interceptions were not necessarily his fault. All three were tipped which is part of the game. I really thought this was the year! I can only imagine how the organization must feel. I would like to thank the entire organization for a thrilling year! Just wished it had turned out differently. I guess next year and see how the off season develops. Keep us informed the n the off season thanks!
David Brown from Las Vegas, Nevada
Comment: Great season and despite the way it ended I really feel this team improved as this season progressed. By the end of the year the defense was healthy and really improved. 9 sacks was incredible and the defense played good enough to win. The offense just wasn't there. Henry was not a king today. I get Vrabel playing Henry, the star of our team, but if we play Foreman as the lead back we win this game. Obviously if Tannehill plays just a little better we win as well. Tannehill was off all year. He looked like the Miami Tannehill. With the salary cap the way it is and the lack of viable options he should be our starter 2 more years. The hardest position in all of pro sports is quarterback. At any given time there are only 10-12 people that can do it at a high level. There are about another 8-10 people that might get to that level or are legitimate solid game managers and then everybody else. At best Tannehill is a solid game manager. He will never be a top qb.
Johnny Long from Bowling Green, Kentucky
Comment: What a season. Vrabel deserves coach of the year, even if we did lose our first playoff game even though we were the #1 seed in the AFC. All season I doubted Todd Downing, and the offensive play in the divisional round only confirmed that. We need to find an offensive coordinator that knows how to call plays and not run our offense into the ground. Also Tannehill is good, however he is not a championship QB. He's had multiple years to show us his potential and they all end with losses in the games that truly matter. I'd love to see the stat on how many teams have 9 sacks in a game and still lose. That speaks highly on how poor the offense performed. That falls on the OC and the QB. Titans fans need to stop talking about "respect" and "national media coverage". We'll get respect if we win a Super Bowl and show we deserve it. I hope the team realizes our OC and QB is not the answer and figures out where to go from here.
Don Wirth from Nashville, Tennessee
Comment: Hi Jim! What an excruciating and also painfully exciting game to be at and watch till the end. This season was a "Blessing" in that the team played beyond expectations and won both the Division and AFC regular season Championship. A further "Blessing" was having the week off allowing injuries to further heal and giving the TITANS a chance to put a team on the field that was physically ready. The "Curse" was a few key missed tackles, a decision to not kick the PAT, and most importantly, missing a week of fast game action when QB decisions are made in fractions of a second. RT made a few poor decisions so I wonder if not playing and missing the speed of the game for that week effected his decision making? Lastly, except for a few missed tackles, the Defense played well enough where the Bengals should not have scored any points so this loss is not all on our QB. The loss was a TEAM loss. Not knowing anything about the individual player's contracts. I hope the existing team remains intact because the Titans are really good!! Thanks for listening. Don Wirth. Season Ticket Holder Since Day 1
Matt Myers from Round Rock, Texas
Comment: Not going to complain very much, but I do not understand why that just happened, running the ball down hill and we try to get cute, pick, third down and again we try to get cute then run the least inspiring fourth down play pretty much ever. Then our last drive again very unlike what we have done all year. I am not going to call for firings and rant and rave about it all, but that was a squandered opportunity to move in with a great team! Very disappointing for them and the fans!
Neil McGeehan from Dungannon, Ireland
Comment: Jim, lot of hurt out there in titan land. The offense has to own that defeat. Simply not good enough.
Eli Decko from Youngwood, Pennsylvania
Comment: Well, our defense progressed this season and our offense regressed. I expected it to regress some due to all the key players and the loss of Arthur Smith, but this in not what I was expecting. Tannehill looked very Miami Tanny this season. Arthur Smith only used routes that Tannehill could throw and simplified combinations so he didn't have to do so much. I mean he looked lost many times this season. With all the trade talks of big name QBs I would really love to see the Titans finally do what it has never done....take the shot at acquiring a franchise changing talent at QB. Our franchises Best QB is McNair and for as much as I love him, he was right around average. We have to get a QB Jim. It has to be done. This team is in a prime championship run window and we can't let "loyalty" stand in the way of winning. Robinson and Vrabel both know that from being with New England.
Peter Tsomides from Saco, Maine
Comment: To say this stings is an understatement. We just got out coached and outplayed by the Bengals. I think we all know that the Coach of the year was present today and his name is Zac Taylor. Time will tell where this team goes from here. It's no secret that we need a Quarterback. The draft class is weak. Once again an opportunity lost. I'm not sure how many more times King Henry can do this but one thing is certain, Steve McNair is not walking through that door. It's a shame that as bad as Tannehill was the game was decided by the decision to go for two rather than one.
Terry Anderson from Glasgow, Kentucky
Comment: Jim good season, came up short in the end. Three years running the Titans make the playoffs. Hosted playoff games. Lost to Baltimore and now Cincinnati. Both games had the ball chance to win in the last two minutes. That's all good. Tannehill throwing 3 interceptions when the defense played championship defense. Tannehill loses the big games on the big stage. I believe it's 2-3 in the playoffs over a three span. I know only fan base and team are happy at the end of the year but Tannehill has to go.
Teisha Adams from Saratoga Springs, Utah
Comment: What was that!!! This was one of our worst games yet!! Our quarter back really? Replace him this is crazy playoffs and out again first game!!! Really sad fan
Jack Walker from Calabasas, California
Comment: Hey Jim. Thanks for the great reporting this year.
Can't say I'm not disappointed but I prefer to look at the bright spots. Derrick Henry will be ready to go for 2k next year, our defense is quite good and we have AJ Brown and Julio Jones returning and hopefully healthy.
I'm not going to take shots at Tannehill like others might. He's been very good and the Bengals game wasn't typical.
But if I were in charge I might look closely at the Offensive Coordinator position.
When do we start talking about the 22/23 season? The draft? Trades and contracts? Crazy thing is, I don't see any glaring holes on this team. Maybe a better kicker? Draft OL and depth in the secondary?
If there's a Titan of the Year award, I select Jeffery Simmons.
Gabriel Erb from Donelson, Tennessee
Comment: So if Vrabel would have chose to kick the extra point for the titans first touchdown, giving us the lead 7-6, we would have been leading 17-16 at the end, and then only had to run 2 minutes off the clock for the win at the end of the game. A few handoffs and it would have been over! No stress. Simple. But nope, Vrabel lost the game because he's a mathematical moron! I went BALLISTIC here at my house when Vrabel made that decision to go for 2 on that first touchdown for I knew being up 8-6 verses 7-6 made no difference! The only thing you were risking was NOT being up 7-6 and leaving the game tied at 6-6. And that's what happened! That decision ALONE, one STUPID decision, can easily be blamed for why we lost the game. Please, I beg you, hire a mathematician to help Vrabel understand football math. He's HORRIBLE !!!!!!
Ray House from Honolulu, Hawaii
Comment: Tough ending to a tough season for a tough team. They will bounce back. To be fair, the only INT that I would blame on Tannehill was the first. The 2nd was by a blitzing DB leaping to bat his pass; just a very athletic play by the DB. On the third one, our WR was clearly held around the waist before the football arrived. I could see it in realtime on TV, and verified it on YT videos posted by others. Should have drawn a flag. With all that, we needed to play better; it seemed the Bengals just outplayed them in critical moments of the game. And Burrow is an incredibly poised QB; despite those 9 sacks, he never got flustered at all.
Mike Coslet from Norwalk, Connecticut
Comment: THUD...... Well, we did again. Disappoint the home fans and collapse. By the way....all you optimistic morons. Do we need a new QB now????? That is two years in a row the offense failed in the playoffs. Way to have them ready Vrabel..... It was ugly from the start and Tanny set the stage. This group is all done. Back up the truck!!!
Manuel Cordero from Ferrol, España
Comment: Me encuentro mal, me gustaría despertar mañana y que esto que siento sea sólo el producto una mala pesadilla. No quiero tener esta sensación nunca más en la vida, estoy hundido. No quiero hablar del horrible juego ofensivo, sólo voy a darle las gracias al grandísimo trabajo e intensidad de nuestra defensiva y meterme en cama y con suerte no despertar.
Un abrazo compañeros, lo nuestro es sufrir. Ojalá empezara la siguiente temporada mañana, porque nos quedan 8 meses de depresión total. TitanUp amigos!!! y gracias por todo Jim.
Greg Smith from Hohenwald, Tennessee
Comment: Thank you, Jim, for keeping us informed all season. We needed Tannehill to play better. A lot of this is on him. One more season like this and it's time to look for the next guy. He can do it, but it's in his head at this point. Pulling for #17 to have a bounceback year in '22. Play calling on 3rd and short and 4th and short was also suspect. Total momentum killer. 1 for 8 on third down and three turnovers were the kiss of death. Foreman was more effective today than Henry. I wish they had given #7 the ball more in the second half. Great play by the defensive line. Too many missed tackles by the linebackers and secondary. Thank you for letting me vent my frustration. On to the next season. Titan Up
Rusty Yates from Portland, Oregon
Comment: Mr. Wyatt, I've been reading the comments and analysis about the Titans loss to the Bengals. Look, I know it's disappointing but people are acting like the Titans got blown away 50 to 9. That didn't happen. They lost 19 to 16. It was a very close game and they came close to winning the game. If the Titans' offensive line blocked better on two crucial back-to-back plays on 3rd and 4th downs with the Titans only needing a single yard to get a 1st down the team would likely be celebrating in the winner's circle right now. And the Titans had another chance to win the game when Ryan Tannehill threw a perfect pass to Westbrook-Ikhine who let the ball bounce off his hands and into the hands of a defender, who kept control of the ball. If Westbrook-Ikhine secured that perfect pass the Titans would likely be celebrating in the winner's circle right now.
Your defense is rebuilt, so you don't need to bring in new defenders. You can afford to let go of Jayon Brown AND either Rashaan Evans or Zach Cunningham. You might be able to let go of Jackrabbit Jenkins since Caleb Farley should come back next season but since Caleb Farley missed almost all of 2021 it might be best to keep Jackrabbit Jenkins one more year. Also letting go of Jackrabbit Jenkins will only save you a few million dollars. At any rate, you can move on from a few defenders to create some cap space. You could also let go of one or more of your TEs, who have been inconsequential all season long and completely disappeared in the loss to the Bengals. Then you could move on from either Ben Jones or Rodger Saffold, whichever is more of a liability, to create some more cap space. With all that created cap space + the cap space you already have, you can sign your Free Agents that you want to keep, especially Harold Landry and either Rashaan Evans or Zach Cunningham.
You only have two picks in the 1st and 2nd round but you can use those 2 picks to grab a WR (1st round) and a TE (3rd round). Then you can secure an interior offensive lineman in Free Agency PLUS hopefully you can coach-up Dillon Radunz to turn him into an NFL offensive line player who is capable and ready to start in the NFL.
Today's loss is sad but it's not the end of the world. The Titans need to pick themselves up and do the smart things to succeed when the 2022 season starts.
Robert Haye Brampton, Ohio
Comment: Hey Jim, long time oiler / titans fan, since the 70's, seen a lot of heartbreak and exciting moments watching both those teams over the years. So this year looked like a team that had so much promise, an offence many talked about it's potential, a defence that on paper looked average at best, but surprised so many with how they responded over the year, but yet again our season ends in heartache like so many others. Saturday's game was so typical of a titans game, they just simply let teams hang around, and we end up making the costly mistake that leads us to yet another loss.
Fingers can and will be pointed at many for who did or didn't do what they needed to, to come away with a win, my only question or comment is, I think they out coached themselves in key situations. 2 point conversion attempt vs kick extra point, 7-6 vs 8-6 what's the difference. Titans would then have lead that came all the way down to the final 2 minutes and made CINCY have to change their game plan.3 and 1 and we try running shot gun to gain a yard and lose yards on 3rd down and turnover ball on 4th down as we get stopped. Final 2 minute drill and were throwing incomplete passes and helping stop clock vs running the ball, forcing bengals to use their time outs and worse case, we get stopped and kick it way and let them try and march 80 yards down the field for game winning field goal. A lot to be proud of for the 21-22 season, but not the outcome that should have been, given the talent on this team.
Bit of a rant I guess, but I am sure your mailbox blew up with many of these this wknd, deservedly so.
The FANS have spoken.
Kelly McDowell from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Comment: Howdy Jim. I know we just had a rough loss this Saturday. Especially when the defense racked up 9 sacks! Just astounding!! On the other side though they couldn't punch it in the end zone on multiple occasions. We really should of won that game, oh well though. We didn't win, now time to prepare for next year. My question is more about what we can change on the offensive side of the ball to help produce at a higher level. Now I like a lot of our offense but I feel like we really need to improve at the TE, WR for a reliable 2nd or 3rd target, and I hate to say it but QB. I feel like if we had an elite QB we would be at that next level. Maybe if we could trade for A. Rodgers or R. Wilson or heck if the legal stuff drops maybe D. Watson?
Scott A from Shawnee, Kansas
Comment: Hey Jim. It's been often asked what is the worst playoff loss in Titans History? The 2000 Season loss to the Ravens in the divisional round is an easy answer. We had the best team in the NFL, mostly dominated the regular season at 13-3, and white washed the Ravens from a statistical standpoint in the playoff game. Field Goal misses, turnovers and the Ravens scoring a special teams and defensive TD did us in.
However, while the 2000 game can be argued was our best team and best shot to win a Super Bowl, it isn't the worst loss in franchise history. Saturday is our worst loss and has nothing to do with recency bias.
You see, Saturday wasn't just about being the better team and following a similar script as the 2000 divisional and 2008 divisional losses. It is about the weight Saturday's loss adds to this fan bases shoulders. When the clock hit .00, the fans felt the added weight of being the better team and losing, yet again, after building 6 years of momentum under J-Rob. The fanbase felt the weight of supporting terrible or below average Titans teams, from 2009 through 2015. The weight of swinging and missing on VY, Locker and Mariota. Saturday's loss was about the 08 loss to the Ravens, the dropped pass by Drew Bennett, the 02 AFC Championship loss to the Raiders, and as previously mentioned, the 2000 Ravens loss.
For so many Titans fans like me, Saturday's loss goes even deeper than just the Titans losses. It is amplified by the 93 divisional loss to the Chiefs as the 2 seed, the greatest implosion in NFL history to the Bills, and the 91 blown lead to the Broncos. 99 Was simply amazing and I try to remember the joy, that Super Bowl run provided. As crazy as it sounds, even losing in the fashion we did, so much pride and joy came from being one yard short. But Saturday wasn't just a single divisional round loss as the favorite. It is a loss that set an additional brink on top of a fanbases shoulders, who's legs are already shaky from past playoff grief. Saturday is a gut punch, and I have to deal with the joy of Chiefs fans looking forward to hosting a game this weekend, that we should have.
I like all Titans fans will recover in time for next season, with the hope of a Super Bowl Title. I promise though, the next time the Titans host a playoff game as the favorite, with a legitimate Super Bowl team, it's not longer about one playoff game to this fanbase. It's about the fear and hurt of the Titans playoff past.
Chris Rone from Dallas, Texas
Comment: First time writer, long time reader. Always enjoy your work.
Let me ask you this, early in my football career(HS) one thing I learned was, "if something is working, don't change it till it's not"… gashing them on the ground is something we are all familiar with and it was working, really well. What "big brain" move made Downing decide once we got in the RZ to change it up? Also this isn't the first time this has happened, seems to be pretty consistent then year and I never understood why.
Please ask the coaches who get paid millions why they can't stick to this concept sometimes.
John Cox from Camden, Arkansas
Comment: Well, our guys let it happen again……another painful playoff loss at home. I do not understand why the this franchise seems to just be jinxed in the playoffs at home. The wins we have were miracle finishes (Bills in '99 & Steelers in '02). The Oilers always did better on the road rather than at home.
We had a house full of Titans fans down here in south Arkansas for this game……the air just deflated out of all of us on the first play. But there were some bright spots, make no mistake. Defense played great, I thought, and only gave up 13 earned points. The first and last Bengal FGs were gifts from the offense. I thought Henry played well, and Foreman & Hilliard did too.
I have a friend who is a high school football coach and he commented on taking the extra point off the board AND the pass play call after Foreman's long run into the red zone. WHY? We were all just dumbfounded at both decisions. In my opinion, the Titans play caller & decision makers are to blame for this loss more that Ryan Tannehill.
OK, so the season is over so let's move on……gotta go get a kicker like McPherson and being from Arkansas, I hope the Titans draft Razorback WR Treylon Burks in the first round. He would complement A.J. Brown and could be a guy like Chase is for Cincinnati. Take care everybody
Jimmy Dee from Battle Ground, Washington
Comment: Jim, Aaron Rodgers lost so does that mean everyone will be talking about getting rid of him like people are talking about getting rid of Ryan Tannehill? Also I hope coach Vrabel is joking when he suggests that the Titans got too many sacks. Remember each sack means a lost offensive play for the opposition along with a loss of yardage. If coach Vrabel is serious he needs to rethink that idea IMO.
Reuben Alvear from San Francisco, California
Thank you for all that you continue to do for Titan fans. Your fair assessments of the team, absent of any
condescension or negativity, are refreshing. And your witty remarks and humor are always welcome :-)
The loss to the Bengals stings. Yet, I'm proud of the Titans for fighting their a$$es off, as they've done all year.
I don't believe the Titans organization needs to sulk or hang their heads. A good number of guys made plays,
AJ Brown was fantastic, and the pass rush was exhilarating!!! They had a chance to win with 30 seconds left,
which is all you can ask for.
In numerous situations this season the Titans rose to the occasion and made more clutch plays than the opponent.
In Saturday's game it appeared it was Cincinnati's turn to do that. Sometimes it isn't your day. Gotta tip your hat
and move on.
Bud Stein from Jacksonville, Florida
Comment: Bud here in Jax. Talk about a gut punch understated still cant digest it but been thru this before being longtime Oiler Titan fan I know we dont try to blame 1 person but Ryan didnt help us much
and great to Kings return but so much for that. Always next yeat but that gets old. I was and still am a big Marcus Mariotta fan. Anytime I saw him when I could this year whether 1 2 or 3 plays with the Raiders he was great. I think he got a bad rap when with Titans , Cant xcuse the injuries but I dont think coaching used him to the fullest. Heres a statisitic you wont find anywhere else . Im a bigtime SU Orange basketball fan for years. Since I started keeping track when the Titans and SU are on TV same day its 0-11 they both lose. Maybe I need the schedule gods to get together LOL. Thanks for another year and the worn out theres always next year. Take Care
James Cummings from Beavercreek, Ohio
Comment: Can we now get rid of Downing? This is second chance as an OC, and he has proved that he is not good at the job. In my opinion, Vrabel needs to be given the same option that Mularkey was, replace the OC with someone from outside of the organization or be fired.
Luis Alberto Figueroa from Poza Rica, Veracruz
Comment: Jim Primera vez que te escribo, felicitaciones por tu gran trabajo, te sigo desde 2016, fan de la franquicia desde 1978, época de los oilers Dan Pastorini, "Rose Tyler" Earl Campbell, Bruce Matthews, Warren Moon, Ernest Givins, Ray Childres, Steve Mcnair, Eddie George, Javon Kearse, Frank Wycheck, Frank Wycheck, realmente triste y decepcionado, por todas las derrotas de play offs de local, temporada 1993 jefes, 2000, 2008 y 2020 cuervos aparte a mas dolorosa contra los Bills 1992, muchos años de derrota de la franquicia, hasta que Jonh Robinsón enderezó el equipo, gran trabajo junto con la directiva, que encabeza Amy Adams Strunk, gran equipo equipo lideareado por "EL TRACTORCITO" now " THE KING" Derrick Henry, gran frente 4 con Jeffery Simmons, Harold Landry, Denico Autry, Bud Dupree, se desperdicio una gran temporada con malas llamadas de OC Todd Downing y algunas decisiones de Mike Bravel, Henry estaba oxidado, pero Foreman en gran forma sólo 4 acarreos, lo más triste que Tannehill estuvo fatal igual que el año anterior contra cuervos, el no va a llevar al equipo a un Super Bowl. No se el rumbo que tome la directiva la siguiente temporada, pero duele el corazón y el alma con esta derrota 😥, saludos Jim.
Jim Williams from Lubbock, Texas
Comment: Hi Jim. Big disappointment yesterday. Tanny is taking all the heat for the loss but there were a couple of crucial mistakes by the coaching staff. I think everyone watching the game knew that the Titans' first play was going to be a play action pass with a fake to Henry and short toss to A.J Brown. Every Bengal defender was waiting for it. The interception was inevitable. Then there was the reliance on Derrick Henry even after it became apparent that he was rusty and didn't have his quickness back yet. It was a mistake not to bring him back for the Houston game first. They should have stayed with Foreman and Hilliard, the duo that helped them be 6-3 while Derrick was out. The biggest mistake was not kicking the extra point on the first touchdown, and then relying on a rusty Derrick to power his way through defenders that were waiting for him. Had the extra point been kicked, the Titans would have been up by a point in the last few minutes of the game and that last drive could have been a lot different. Let's remember that the team wound up the # 1 seed and a final record of 12-6 when at the beginning of the season most experts had the T-men struggling just to make the playoffs. Let's get the bad taste out of our mouths and realize that this team is still very good and start looking forward to the 2022 season. Titan up!
Mike Tate from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Comment: Let me start by saying I was so wrong about our DC he really turned the D around this year. And I apologize. But I was right about everything I've said about our OC ol Todd. This team is way more talented than last year's but this clown gets the job and the qb numbers drop dramatically doubled interceptions and piss poor play calling all year. We can start with the play action on the first play or the pass play after Henry ripped off nine yard chucks back to back then Foreman goes for almost 50 to the ten it's obvious they can't stop the run so what does he do call a pass play what a clown. Yes I understand tanny made the throws but he never should've been in those positions to. Call a two yard pass play to Julio when you need three yds , why weren't the TE's involved especially that play or stopped on 3&1-4&1 who didn't know the King was getting it. Downing play calling is to predictable I been saying it all year and also that he would ruin Ryan's career just like he almost did Carr's. It's some real OC's out there available let's see if we can get one.
Charles Johns from Hermitage, Tennessee
Comment: First of all I want to say it was a great season for the Titans. What a job by our head coach and front office during a season with so many key injuries.
I do have concerns with a couple of things going into next year. The OC was a problem from start to finish. He never seemed to be able to consistently keep the offense in any kind of rhythm. He didn't show any signs of improvement throughout the year and seemed clueless about the flow of the game. Every time we had something working he decided to go in a different direction. His pass concepts tend to force defenders into areas where we're trying to throw the ball which is never a good thing.
What's wrong with our secondary? Is it personnel or coaching? It's been a problem for a while and didn't look much better this year. I mean how does a secondary give up 350 passing yards in a game where the front had 9 sacks and harassed the quarterback all night? I know bad tackling was part of it against Cincy but DB's have to tackle as well.
So the OC and secondary are my biggest concerns heading into next season. We need another explosive weapon or two and hopefully we can hang on to our key free agents heading into next year. Enjoyed watching these guys and looking forward to talking the next step in 2022. Thanks for what you do Jim.
Adrián Lopez from Caracas, Venezuela
Comment: Hey Jim espero la depresión te trate mejor que a mí!!! Debo agradecer a TODA la organización por esta gran temporada de football considere desde la temporada baja que esté era el año de ganarlo todo y a pesar de los altibajos el equipo se colocó en una gran posición para lograr la meta... Lamentablemente no fue un buen partido y con todo y eso lo tuvimos al alcance... MUY DURA está perdida... Creo en Tannehill y lo respeto por sus victorias para el equipo pero este juego pareció pesarle... Nada que venga la temporada baja y esperar que nuestra ventana de campeonato no se haya cerrado... Pregunta Situación contractual de Foreman y Hilliard? Es prioridad retener a Landry a Simmons y Brown. Punto y aparte gran partido de Hooker salvo un TD e hizo un atrapadon para meternos en el partido es el heredero de Byard...Siempre TITANS UP...
Suzi Reyes from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Comment: Hello Jim. Thanks for all of your hard work this season. I enjoy reading the mailbag weekly. What a huge disappointment for the team and the city of Nashville. I feel particularly bad for the defense who played at a SuperBowl caliber level. They were outstanding! I like Tannehill and he made some good plays. And he also cost us the game. He is a seasoned QB yet couldn't be clutch during the most important game. These opportunities do not come along often. All the time, money and effort we as season ticket holders put into the season only to watch our QB literally throw it all away. He is not the singular reason for the loss as Todd Downing also bears responsibility for some very poor play calling. I know Tannehill will stay, and as much as I don't like to see people lose their livelihood, Downig really should be let go. We've seen Tannehill at his best when he had a great OC (Smith) and we've seen Tannehill at his worst under Downing. Downing doesn't have the football IQ to play to Tannehills strengths nor work around his deficiencies. What a waste of a season and the only AFC playoff bye-week. So disappointed, so sad. This one will hurt for a long time.
Douglas Wiggins from Kettering, Ohio
Comment: Another tough playoff loss! The Titans need to change their philosophy on being a run first offence. They need to go from a run/run/pass offence to a pass/pass/run offence. Even though Henry is the best back in football, they cannot continue to run the ball when he is not effective. Look at the Bengals, even though Burrow was getting beat up and Mixon only ran good in the second half, they continue to throw the ball. The Titans cannot continue to throw the ball 15-20 times a game for 150-200 yards. They need to go back to the run and shoot mentality. Even though he did not play well yesterday, I think Tannehill can do that. They need to find an oc who is a passing guru. Hopefully training camp will be open next year and we will see you walking around.
Tom Angora from Rochester, New York
Comment: I think you have already captured the disappointment in referring to the gut punch of this loss. It's not an easy to win any games and we squandered a Super Bowl caliber defense. That said I am proud to be a Titans fan and will always be. The team plays with heart and toughness and I appreciate that just as much as the victories. So sometimes you win with grace and accept defeat with dignity. My only real concern is how we manage the game sometimes. As great as Coach Vrabel is with situational football sometimes we do things that make me scratch my head. Was there any discussion about why we went for 2 after the first TD? Penalty or not being up 8-6 rather than 7-6 didn't seem to be worth the risk (conceivably if we had the XP we would have been up 17-16 at the end which changes some things). I also wonder about the play calling when it was 3rd and inches in the 4th quarter. Why get cute? A QB sneak likely gets the 1st down. In addition we were in a no man's land but a FG attempt to take the lead would have been no worse than the turnover on downs. Finally, it feels like we rushed through the final 2 minutes with the coaching staff looking to kill as much time as possible to not leave the Bengals time….but why not a quick discussion to reaffirm with Ryan that a punt is ok if we have to do so and to take a check down rather than risk any type of turnover especially given how his day was going? It felt like Ryan saw time slipping away and felt like he had to go longer to give us a chance to win in regulation and he forced a bad ball. Just felt he was on a different page than the coaching staff.
Noah Turner from St. Louis, Missouri
Comment: Hi Jim, hope you are well, but moreso I hope the Titans' players are recovering from their heartbreak, as we fans must.
I really hope this makes it into your mail bag because I'd like to offer a different perspective. I can only imagine how much hatred and vitriol is being thrown around. Everybody wants to fire Tannehill, fire Todd Downing, fire Mike Vrabel and so on. I don't mean to make excuses for them but I do think that everybody needs to consider one or two other things.
1, in terms of the quarterback, did Tannehill play great? no. But neither did Jimmy G and his team won.
2, is Aaron Rodgers a superstar, elite quarterback and probably going to win the MVP this year? Yes to all. But his team lost on a special teams disaster. Would we have rathered to lose like that? Mike Vrabel is too good of a coach for that to have happened to us.
3, everyone's mad about our portrayal in the media, and how we don't get respect. Would we rather be like the cowboys? They've been frontrunners all year and the media gushes about them. But they lost in an arguably worse embarrassment than we did. Would you switch Mike Vrabel with Mike McCarthy? I would not. Not in 10 million years.
The way I see it the Titans have an excellent culture. I love the team because of their personality. For all the people out there who said they're done with the Titans and they're done being fans - you never were fans.
We all are heartbroken and disappointed, but if we have decent perspective, we will realize the things we love about our team aren't going away.
Jay Reynolds from Los Angeles, California
Comment: Tannehill gets a bad rap? No. The media outside of the building called him the worst QB in the playoffs before the first snap of the ball. He did nothing to prove them wrong. 2 years in a row his inability to be an effective NFL quarterback that can make good decisions in high pressure situations has been on full display. The real unfortunate part is this team is strapped to him due to his contract he isn't earning. If you feel he gets a bad rap go give him a participation ribbon and thank him for being able to at least tie his own shoes.
Mortimer Sneed from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Comment: Oh Jim. It was right there for us to take. We were in charge of our own destiny with enough time for us but probably not enough for Cincinnati, even if we didn't make it.
That pass could just as easily have been knocked to the ground instead of perfectly floating in a slow tumble around four (! why so many?) of their defenders. There could have been pass interference, even though I can't recall a single PI call for the entire game (how weird is that?). Our guy could have reached a bit further toward Tannehill and caught it. Tannehill could have thrown the ball lower so that only he could catch it.
Could have. But. Here we are.
Deflating disappointing close losses like this always lead to questions. Do you have any answers you can share, Jim? Why didn't we throw to the tight end (was there even one target all game)? On our last play our tight end was wide open. When we rolled Tannehill out of the pocket it seemed we always moved him to his left. Why, when he is right handed? Why didn't we have Tannehill run the option some so he could keep it once in a while? It seemed like Tannehill was hesitant all game. Why didn't we run more quick slants or receiver screens to get him in the rhythm of getting the ball out of his hands quickly? Those routes where the receiver just stops in a spot and waits for the ball were what got us in trouble.
None of those things may have made the difference. Who knows. I really hate it for this team, because they will never be together again. Contracts are expiring. Regardless they certainly have a lot to be proud of this season. They overcame so much. I count the season overall as a success. Titan Up!
Bob Leonardi from Luzerne, Pennsylvania
Comment: well its deja vu all over again last year home game loose to ravens this year no.1 seed home game loose to bengals. plenty of blame to go around but i blame two things. first this is all on tannehill. two years in a row in this first round our defense played lights out and our qb let us down. we have to look at this situation and see if changes need to be made. the other thing is on that first touchdown. if vrabel went for 1 instead of 2 we would've been up 17-16 at the end and with 2 minutes left could've just taken a knee game over. i'm not even mad. i kind've expect this every year. i'm used to the titans upsetting me.
David Buck from Germantown, Tennessee
Comment: 6-6 and a penalty takes it to the 1. I'm screaming at the TV to kick the extra point to take the lead and not go for 2. Couple hours later in the 4th with the extra point we would be up by 1 under 2 minutes. Run the clock out or down and punt if necessary with little time left and we have the Chiefs at home next Sunday.Games you've been playing since childhood and now are paid $$$$$ should not be that difficult to figure out. See you next year. DB
Kenneth Tripp from Daytona Beach, Florida
Comment: I wrote in a few weeks ago complimenting our team executives and players. We win as a team and lose as a team. I appreciate our Coach and his commitment to family and team. I remember too well the fans getting upset with Billy Buckner when he missed a ground ball in a very important game. No need to point fingers at a player they contributed to get to that important game, the team would not have been there at that game without all who contributed. So all the fans need to appreciate a fun season, yes with a disappointing end. Let's turn our focus on bringing back the family members that fit our culture and drafting new ones that love football and play hard. Thank you to all the team and management for your hard work and bringing us all a team that makes us excited to be a fan of.
Alan Kane from Savannah, Georgia
Comment: You should have added a 7th takeaway: "Mike Vrabel." A terrific coach but a bad game Saturday: 1). Henry was courageous and willing but obviously rusty, not big game ready, broke essentially no tackles (the touchdown was deception, not Henry-type power); the 4th and 1 "run" in late 4th qtr was certainly not vintage DH; same comment on 2 pt conversion try; Vrabel should've spotted that early on. 2). why give up CERTAIN lead at 7 to 6 with possible; wouldn't 17 - 16 near the end have looks a mite better than tie game? 3). why barely utilize Foreman who was and is at top of game. 4). And go easy on Tannehill; sure the interceptions hurt but only the first one was truly a miss; he had basically no running game yesterday so Cinci could key on passing and tipped, then interceptions, are as much bad luck as poor play.
Bobby Dreke from Page County, Maryland
Comment: No surprise , the defense was taken care of, just for the offense that had been great for 2 years to be wishy washy all yr. I'm just a armchair QB, But Westbrook-ikihne at this point is not a clutch WR ...we went and got Julio Jones and had AJ brown but in too many clutch moments this year plays were called for players like nick and it came back to bite us. Todd Downing , if he's back he needs to learn to not be so "cute" with the play calling. If Tannehill is back, we shouldn't ever be In A situation where we put the fame on his shoulders. He does a great job but 3-4 of the 6 losses this yr were on his decision making. If we are a running football team then act like it. If u wanna be aggressive in the passing game , get a stud (deshawn watson, etc) and not a game manager. The offensive play calling did us no favors in each game we lost. Watch the film and we shall see never an open receiver.....always tight windows(double edge sword). Thanx for ur time....like always we'll hopefully get em next yr.
Doug Goldstein from Las Vegas, Nevada
Comment: Hi Jim. Some of the players comments after the game....stunning, shocking.....well not for me, I've been a Titan fan 20 years so I'm used to the big losses. Sadly I didn't even have any confidence before the game that a win would come. Been disappointed too many times.
Anyway, I'm hopeful for next year to be successful. I mean as long as Downing gets canned, there is hope.
I know you will defend him, but 1st and goal from the 9 and he calls for a pass instead of ramming it down their throats? Does he even know this is a run first team? I'm assuming you will say it was just a great defensive play for the interception, but nope, it was just a bad offensive play call, among others this year.
Rick Smith from Union, Tennessee
Comment: Hey Jim let me start by saying thank you for all your hard work this year and for keeping us out of towners up-to-date.Jim I would like to answer a question that you have received often over the past few weeks from a fan's perspective. The question pertains to why the Titans do not get the respect from news analyst etc. Well yesterday is a perfect reason why,, nobody cares that we beat the Chiefs and the Bills the Dolphins and even played a good game against the Rams. What people do remember is that we lost to a winless Jets, Texans team which almost came back and won the second time. Now we play a game where our defense gets nine sacks holds the Bengals to 19 points and we can't beat them with some of the best WR and best RB in the NFL. Respect is something that's earned not given and as much as I hate to say it, we have not earned any respect. Again Jim thank you so much for all of your hard work this year you did a great job.
Bill Slack from Hixson, Tennessee
Comment: great season for the two tone blue. defense became a real wrecking force over the season. offense played well except for way to many turnovers. take away the turnovers and we would still be playing. not ready to toss the towel in on Tannehill just yet but he needs to fix his turnover problems. loved the stadium being so loud and mostly titans fans.
Randy Lincoln from Hermitage, Tennessee
Comment: What a disappointment. I mean, c'mon, the Bengals did not have an elite defense and we can only muster 16 points? There were quite a few bad calls from our OC, like why not a quarterback sneak on 3rd and 1, and why didn't we target Firkser at all? I know Vrabel is loyal to his coaches, but there was not creativity in the play calling. Yes, Julio and A.J. were playing pretty well, but the tight ends have to be a part of picking us some yards in trying to pick up first downs. The defense certainly played well enough for us to win but the offense was terrible. This was our year to go to the Super Bowl, and I feel like we will never be in this position again. I love the Titans, but our window has closed.
Christian King from Canada
Comment: What else do I have to say Jimmy? I called it a couple weeks ago in a previous email. Tannehill is awful,, horrible. Vrabel and JR should be fired for thinking Tannehill was going to come to TN and perform miracles. He was let go from Miami for a reason. Look at most of the wins TN had this season. You can not go back and say " Tannehill was amazing.". No, the losing team beat themselves. Dolphins, Chiefs, Bills, Rams. The other team fell apart and gave the win to TN. This is going to continue to happen as long as RT is in TN. Choke, lose.. Rinse, Repeat
Until the ownership realizes coaching, and the GM need to be changed, this is what we can expect in TN. Lets continue to pick up broken players and pay them large amounts of money for them to sit. Julio hasn't played a full season in years. Time to get rid of Taylor "Boss Hogg" Lewan. Who's idea was it to make him the highest paid in the league? Whoever that was should be fired immediately. This team needs a major makeover, starting from the top.
Joe Romero from Brownsville, Texas
Comment: Sorry display of coaching and why keep on using Henry he was never an issue, and then Tannehill he is no asset he is a liability number one home for field advantage and for what, pathetic execution so the question is what is going to happen from coaching to players ?????????????????????
Jim Williams from Shelton, Connecticut
Comment: Hey Jim, What do we do at QB? This is a Championship caliber roster. Yesterday was painful to watch the combination of a Qb with reckless decision making and a OC that is clueless. Bye they way on that last interception Firsker was wide open on a block and release so why eye ball your receiver that's bad decision making. Then on 3rd and a half yard no qb sneak with a big boy behind you pushing the pile instead you run a play from the shotgun that's plainly stupid. 3rd quarter drive your running the ball down there throat to the 10 yard line and then call a stupid pass play that gets tipped and intercepted I'm lost for words. I've been a fan since I was 5 years old sitting in the endzone in the Houston Quarterback club at Jeppesen Stadium with my older brother so this isn't a front running fan here venting. Thanks for your time you do a great job keep it up and stay safe!
Dylan Nissen from Arizona
Comment: Hey Jim, tough loss. I know this mailbag is about to be full of people coming after Tannehill…maybe rightfully so…but there were a lot more problems than him! That fourth down miss was big, and even though our defense played lights out, joe burrow still threw for 350 yards despite 9 sacks. They gave up some huge plays at bad times. It's easy to pick one guy to focus on but it's a team effort. That being said, you can't throw 3 picks, especially there at the end like that we had them on the ropes. Listen, if we are gonna blame anyone, we need to blame whoever put "Ryan Tannehill game winning drives" stats and highlights on the board before the drive started!! Jinx city! P.S. I ended up making it to Nashville for my first game and it was incredible despite the ending. Great fans, amazing hospital city. Just a great time! Thanks Nashville! Except the scoreboard guy…
James Wright from Los Angeles, California
Comment: What happened on Saturday! We did sack Joe Burrow 9 times but we loss.And don't get me started on the first play of the game! We played bad, but I'm still a Titans fan.The thing is everybody put in so much support and we couldn't beat the BENGALS.
Have a great week everyone! And thanks for taking the time.