JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's come down to this.
After a long offseason, training camp, preseason and 16 regular season games, the Titans are in a win-or-go-home scenario here tonight in Jacksonville.
Beat the Jaguars and the Titans win the AFC South for the third straight year.
Lose, and the season is over.
Let's dive into a mailbag here on Saturday morning as we await kickoff…
Here's the link to submit questions: CLICK HERE
Todd Apple from New Braunfels, Texas
Question: The ups and downs this year have been tough for everyone. Players, coaches, fans. Everybody. The best part about this game...none of that matters.
Everything is in front of us. IF we want it. We have a chance to start a new season right now. Put all the other games behind us. It's all about getting a W on the road. Against a team we know well and... KNOW HOW TO BEAT.
This is the season gentlemen. We've got a chance rewrite our story. Go punch the Jags in the mouth OR start packing up lockers. How's it going to end?
Jim: Way to start us off, Todd. You'll find in here a lot of Titans fans are starting to get fired up.
Franky Markle from Dyersburg, Tennessee
Question: Happy New Year Jim! Wow!! Josh Dobbs second career start is for a division championship. As a life long TN resident, this is exciting. A great kid at UT, and by all accounts and great man for the Titans. This is the stuff story's are made of. I think the starters (not all, but a lot) taking a week off, should help. Bowen should have a plan for the second meeting, and us playing a clean football game, with #22 getting a 100+. We have a chance, a way better chance than the national media is giving us. Let's go!! TitanUp!!! Thanks Jim for the platform all year long, let's hope we get a Playoff Mailbag!!
Jim: Good to hear from you, Franky. It'll feel like a playoff game tonight. Buckle up.
Michael Miles Sr from LaVergne, Tennessee
Question: Jim hope you had a good New Year's Day. Prayers are all thru the NFL for the Bills player Damar Hamlin. I as well as millions hope the best comes of this.
Now let's talk Titans. We have to play turnover free in this game. We can not give the ball to Jacksonville by turnovers. If we had kept the ball better the last time we played them here we would be in the play offs already. Run Henry at least 25 times of not more. Keep him in on third down and short. Got to stop pulling him for a ten yard or better pass when we are third and one or two. Keep our defense on the sideline and their d on the field. Protect Dobbs. The LT has to pull his head out of his rear and play ball like he is paid so well to do. Titan Up Tennessee and get ready for a hard fought game. Hope we have more reasons to write to you. Thanks Jim
Jim: I agree with all of this, Michael.
Jayden Keene from Westmoreland, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. Do you think we will still have Amani Hooker on our team after this season? I think we should keep him because he makes big plays when big plays are needed. But injuries have killed our team his season. Few of our star players have stayed healthy this year. What do you plan to do about the injuries?
Jim: Hey Jayden. I do think Amani will be with the team next season. He has had an unlucky year with injuries, but it looks like he'll be back for Saturday's game. And, he signed a new contract extension prior to the season. Trying to figure out what's gone wrong with all the injuries the past two seasons – and trying to find more ways to prevent them – will definitely be an offseason focus.
Don Wirth from Brentwood, Tennessee
Question: Thanks for all you do to fairly cover all the Titans news. No question but just a comment. The Titans are wounded with the recent injuries and string of losses but they are the reigning division champions and I'm confident they won't give up that Title easily. If The Jags want it, all I can say is, they'll need to fight to Win it has the Titans won't give it up easily. I'm so proud to be a Titans fan and supporter! Go Titans
Jim: No doubt about it, Don. Thanks for taking the time.
Cameron Dixon from Williamsburg, New York
Question: Well, it has come down to this! I live in New York and am 23 years old and a great Titans fan and my Dad and his good friend Ian (they live in Northern California) are live or die Titans fans! They talk weekly regarding the status of this team. They have been losing their minds over the results of the last few weeks AND this upcoming game on Saturday night. Me and my parents were at the December 18th 2018 Sunday night game in Nashville where Mariota was hurt and the Titans lost the game to the Colts and missed the playoffs. I know with all of the injuries it looks to be a tall order, but I hope they can pull it out this time!
Jim: You're not alone, Cameron. Enjoy the game!
Christopher Harris from College Station, Texas
Question: Happy New Years 🎉 Titan Family!! Jim, I hope and pray you your family had a Merry Christmas! First time writing this year. It's Time for All Healthy Hands on Deck versus the Jaguars! I wonder if Titan Nation realize that Dontrell Hillard was a crucial piece to our early success?!? My question/thought is can Willis play slot receiver? Have you seen him catch the rock? He is a strong, fast, big bodied athlete that may have success against nickel corners and safeties. Yes, he's our 2nd QB, but he's too valuable and healthy to not contribute on the field. Let's teach him Hilliard's 3rd down play series and watch the young fella ball out!! I believe his YAC would push into play offs! (Don't Fumble, Willis) Just an idea. Titan's Fan till the End!! Titan Up!!
Jim: Happy New Year Christopher. Dontrell was a key piece, and it's unfortunate he's not available. … Malik needs to focus on getting better at QB. He's not getting switched to slot receiver.
Anthony Anthamatten from Franklin, Tennessee
Question: While this has been a rough season, I, as a long time Titans fan appreciate the team's effort. I hope next season we can dodge this injury bug that has hit us harder than most teams. To all the players, staff, coaches and those who cover our team, Happy New Year.
Jim: Happy New Year, Anthony.
Marcus Hester from Lansing, Michigan
Question: Jake Paul said he can beat you in a fight. How do you feel about that?
Jim: Surprised he'd say that. I think we all know Jake doesn't want this smoke.
Ricky Jacobs from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Do any of the trainers know about Qigong? it is Chinese exercise and there are many videos on
You Tube about it. Maybe this will help with the injury situation. It sure can't hurt to try.
Jim: Just Googled. Interesting …
Landon Branch from Buckingham, Virginia
Question: Hey Jim hows it going? Im writing you for the second time. I appreciate what you do by the way! Im not going to pretend to be an expert but I do have an idea on how the titans staff can fix or at least help the offense with blocking. What if they ran the jumbo package more often. Hear me out our line struggles to protect and we dont really have much of a passing attack anyways. So why dont we bring out an extra lineman to help Daley and run more on short yard situations. We can pass first with short quick throws on drag routes and Slants. Plus the tight ends will be out there to help block and catch. I just feel we could protect our qb more and be more aggressive with the run game. Just an idea! Thank you for everything you do.
Jim: Thanks for weighing in, Landon.
Marco Monter from NEZAHUALCOYOTL, ESTADO DE MEXICO
Question: Hello Jim, thanking you for your time and attention in relation to our questions.
Will Ryan Tannehill return for the postseason?
Could they bring Johnny Manziel and Will Fuller as wr?
Could they recruit a QB in the 2023 draft, a Max Duggan, Will Levis or Stetson Bennett?
Jim: Hello Marco. I'll answer with very unlikely (only one IR spot left and Tannehill couldn't return until AFC title game at the soonest), no and no, and TBD with a QB in the draft but I wouldn't bet on any of the three you mentioned.
James Cantrell from Cookeville, Tennesse
Question: Hey Jim. First time writer. Something I hope you could remind players. I read all the comments. People playing owners and coaches. I never played football when I was a kid. To little scrawny and just not good. As I write this I remember I actually hates sports. Then one day I come across a game. The 49ers are playing and I see Jerry Rice and Joe Montana. Instant fan. I started following and watching them. I remember the transition to Steve young. Watched Joe go to KC. Jerry to raiders. I watched Ricky waters record breaking touchdown day. I was a shy kid poor kid. Started making friends and playing backyard football. Remind the players they have the chance to change lives. A fan loves watching a player or team become great. Because a team can be like a big brother. They win you go to school you brag what they done. But ya know in my mind I don't remember a bad game or season from when I was a kid. But man do I remember the good ones. Let those players and coaches know. No fan remembers the downs when they get older. But they will always remember the miracles. Tell the coach in pregame to remind them for the kids watching ever game could be that next movie we're the no name players were lead by the veterans to a come back season. Fans don't keep track of there money when kids. They keep track of the stories.
Jim: Appreciate the perspective, James.
Gary Carlson from Clovis, California
Question: Now that Derek Carr's future with the Raiders is in doubt, do you think there's a chance the Titans will go after him in the offseason? Not to take anything away from Ryan Tannehill, but as a Fresno State fan and Titans fan, I see Carr as an upgrade that could last a few years longer than keeping Tannehill. I also don't think Malik Willis is ready, so I'd rather see a proven veteran with a few more years of service available take the wheel. What do you think? Too early to speculate?
Jim: Yes, too early to speculate. But personally, I wouldn't bet on it.
Tony Malgiero from El Paso, Texas
Question: I know the season isn't over and I am hoping the team does well and wins out from here on all the way to the superbowl. I've always been a "hope for the best; prepare for the worst" kind of guy. Preparing for the worst means preparing for the 2023 season due to the team starting the offseason early. For me the number one priority should be trying to figure out this injury thing. The team can have a great draft and great free agency preriod and strengthen the weak areas of the team (mainly the OL IMO), but if the team continues to deal with injuries at this rate, it won't matter. I feel like the team's injuries are a perfect storm of bad luck, poor personnel choices (signing and drafting too many players with injury histories), and something missing/wrong with the S&C program. But regardless of the reasons, if the team doesn't figure this out, 2023 is going to look much the same.
Jim: Thanks for weighing in, Tony.
Sebastian, aka Sea Bass Rockford from Culver City, California
Question: To wise Padawan Jim, warm holiday greetings, I extend to you. Most appreciative I am, for you and the time you extend to answer questions from your Mailbag in Spanish. Commend you, I do. SoCal fan of the blue boys, here, and thought I'd see if you could translate – and answer – with the language in "Yoda speak" made famous by the Jedi Master, himself also wise. About your Mailbag, a query I have. As a representative of the team, respect I have for the printing of yours regarding oft-not-flattering takes of hot about (your pick, please take) coaches, fans, coordinators of the offensive, commentators & announcers, ownership, stadium designers – basically those of any walk of life who bring out letter writer rage-du-jour. The question I pose: does ever it get to you, these takes of criticism? The team, which love you obviously have, since your time at the newspaper of print where you covered before the Titans of Tennessee payroll you joined. And invested, you are, in most of the people and entities mentioned above because personally they know you. Hard, is it ever, for the Mailbag to be read by you and responded in this forum in kind? Handle it, how do you, with feelings of personal mind set aside? May the Force be with you, and the men who play that ball of foot, clad in blue and white on the field.
Jim: May the force be with you, Sebastian.
Eric Meyer from San Lorenzo, California
Question: Hi Jim. I guess I'm starting to make writing in more of a habit. I mainly wanted to write in to comment on one thing and ask a question (for once since I usually just rant). I like reading through your mailbag because it shows a variety of feelings and opinions from other fans that love this team. I'd just like to say that its hard to read people calling out whether people are true fans because they have a negative opinion about where the team is currently headed. There are alot of us that are fanatical about this team and wanting to celebrate a Super Bowl win. I'd rather see a bunch of negativity about the product we are seeing put out on the field because it means the fan base cares. It means the team was good enough that the fans raised their expectations from "I'd be happy just to get to the playoffs" to demanding that we have a roster that gets W's in the postseason. No one should be satisfied with just a playoff berth. I remember a time not being stressed during games because the team was on its way to being 2-14 and I had 0 expectations of the team even competing for a championship during that time. Now expectations have been raised. My hope is that this explanation reaches the people that think the people who write in negatively aren't real or true fans. We all are true fans. Fans = Fanatics. We are all in this together. We just might all have different expectation levels and different ways of coping after losses (like writing in angrily right after the game ends).
Jim: Good to hear from you, Eric. Tuesday's mailbag is either going to be filled with happy fans, or angry ones ...
Michael Schlitz from Columbus, Georgia
Question: Good morning Jim, welcome to another weekend of football.
Today I have just a comment. Mostly for the team and coaches. I often hear words like "we need to be resilient, adapting, and consistent.
I don't like to bring up my service but it's out there for many people to read or watch videos of different engagements I have done over the years. And I just would like to remind the team they are playing for more than just their teammates, coaches, fans, but they are playing for everybody who has ever been on the team.
I have given thousands of speaking engagements to all kinds of crowds from huge military units, to Congress, and a schools. And I remind them that no matter where they are at that somebody always came before them. To remember that they had struggles and we're able to succeed. Here is what I would tell the team.
Being resilient isn't necessarily an individual task, but it can be at times. When the individual is still struggling then it should become a team task and everybody should do their part to help that player become the best possible person and player he can. I have seen the Titans do this over the years and it impresses me.
When I talk about this team and playing for something higher than themselves I say play for those that played before you. So many names but I'll name a few, Warren Moon, Earl Campbell, Eddie George, Michael Roos, Jared Bullock, and the names go on and on. They can no longer play the game, they have to sit and watch it from the stands for on TV, and someday but watch it from the sky above. But every time you win a game, you give them the opportunity to say I want played for that team. That was my team. So when you play hard today play hard for yourself, play hard for your teammate, and coaches, but play even harder for those that laid the ground for you to play.
This fan believes in you, I do have my days where I'm frustrated and a play call, or when a route didn't quite go the way I thought it would, and the many other things that come with football. But I do not play the game and I haven't since high school. I am no coach I am no analyst I just watch it For the Love of the Game. I watch it for you. You are my team and I am proud to be a Tennessee Titan fan in Georgia.
Go out there this Saturday with a chip on your shoulder and the men above giving you the vigilance to go out there and crush your opponents. But do it for all the right reasons. The men do you left and right and all those I already mentioned. Get the win and let's get to the next game and get another one.
This season isn't over and neither are you.
Go get the Win in a way only The Tennessee Titean can by being the biggest and tougher force on the field.
Get it done, Titan Up
Jim: Way to close us out, Michael!
Have a great weekend everyone!