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Weekend Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans Before the Team's Playoff Game vs Bengals


NASHVILLE – It's time.

Well, almost.

We're now just hours away before kickoff of the Divisional Round playoff game between the Titans and the Bengals at Nissan Stadium.

There's lot to talk about, and to sweat about.

Let's get to it …

Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE

Dawn Howard from Crossville, Tennessee
Will Derrick Henry be playing this Saturday the 22nd against the Bengals?

Jim: Hi Dawn. The answer here is short and sweet: Yes.

Thomas Ginnane from Franklin Square, New York
Hey Jim! I'm 19 years old and I'm a huge Titans fan from New York. I grew up a Titans fan from my brother who's 10 years older than me so I'm a huge Chris Johnson and Vince young fan, but these new gen Titans. WOW, am I right? What a fun team to watch and cheer for. I'm excited to see Derrick Henry's return and I appreciate all that you guys do. On that note, have you seen the idea of banging the seat in front of you when they announce Derrick Henry in Nissan Stadium on game day, it's supposed to make a drum roll sound and I think it would be super cool if everyone could make that happen. One more thing! Please let Vrabel know he's doing an amazing job and we love him, even from New York!!! You are all terrific, TITAN UP!

Jim: Hey Thomas. I've seen it, and I dropped this in here just so more fans will see it. But hey, fans can cheer how they want. You can't go wrong with a standing ovation either.

Joe Fisher from Kingsport, Tennessee
Today, I scrolled through ESPNs NFL site. Not ONE mention of the Titans for the last 5 days. However, they do mention that other #1 seed from the lesser conference a few times. They also have several articles about teams that the Titans beat during the regular season (Bills, Rams, 49ers and Chiefs). Why are the Titans not getting the same amount of respect as those other teams? I say keep doubting this team, come to our house and find out what smash mouth football is all about. I think the atmosphere at Nissan Stadium this coming weekend will be more intense than it was when the Bills came to town. Plus, the KING returns this week, I can't wait!

Jim: Hey Joe. Folks who read this mailbag regularly know I'm not a big fan of the "no respect" angle. I get the frustration from fans, but it just means nothing. I can guarantee you if the Titans keep winning, they'll get respect.

Anthony Rutchena from Fremont, California
Being a Bay Area native/Long time Titans fan I'm curious, how did Klay Thompson become a Titans fan? Can we get that full story?

Jim: Hey Anthony. I actually saw where Anthony posted something about it. He said his favorite players growing up were Steve McNair, Eddie George, Jevon Kearse and Keith Bulluck. Pretty cool, huh?

Dan Baird from Nashville, Tennessee
Hey Jim. I see plenty of folks complaining about "lack of respect" from national sports columnists.
It's really easy to explain; Ryan Tannehill, our QB, is not a "sexy" player. No jaw dropping QB numbers in any one category, except enough wins to secure that 1 seed.
Personally, I think he fits perfectly with this down and dirty blue collar team and coaching staff. Tough as a manhole cover.
He's willing to do whatever is necessary to get the offense down the field. Arm, legs, and demeanor. No quit guy, like his collegiate days as position player, not a diva.
Sure, you could list the QBs remaining in the playoffs and their "better" traits, but I think Tanny is perfect for this team, sexy be damned. Let's go grind one out.

Jim: I hear ya, Dan.

Jeremy Friend from Erie, Pennsylvania
Hey Jim I remember half way through the season the titans D-Line wanted a nickname and out of the random I was watching a Facebook video and the term Smashville crossed my mind and I just thought I should share haha have a good day.

Jim: Hey Jeremy. That name is already taken in this town and I don't think they'd be tickled if we stole it

Lucas Vooys from Aldie, Virginia
Hey Jim. Will the Titans do anything about Ja'Marr Chase? I think they should put Jackrabbit Jenkins and Kevin Byard on him.

Jim: I can promise you there's a plan to defend Ja'Marr Chase. The Titans need to execute it.

Rusty Yates from Portland, Oregon
Jim, I was just looking over the Titans roster and I think that if Julio Jones and Derrick Henry can stay healthy, strong, and effective throughout the game the Titans won't have any weaknesses on offense. The defense looks strong up front and at the LB positions, but the Titans secondary has been porous this season. Only one team gave up more passing yards than Tennessee in 2021 and only one team gave up more receptions than Tennessee in 2021. That isn't good. And it plays into Cincinnati's strength - their passing game. Cincinnati will exploit this mismatch if the Titans don't tighten up their secondary. If the Titans lose to the Bengals it will be because of the Titans secondary. What are your thoughts about the matchup between the Bengals passing game and the Titans defensive secondary?

Jim: Hey Rusty. Every team that's played the Bengals has had trouble defending Joe Burrow and Cincy's receivers. It's why Burrow has thrown for 4,611 yards, and it's why the Bengals have a pair of 1,000-yard receivers, including Chase, who has 1,455. The Titans need to limit the big plays, and keep the receiving from getting behind them. It's one of the keys to the game for sure.

Tom Van Buer from Coralville, Iowa
First I wanted to take a moment and say thanks for all your information you provide to us not so local fans. I have been an Olier/Titans fan since the late 70's, and it used to be very difficult to not only try and watch a game, but hear any news at all. I greatly appreciate all the options we now have for watching, listening and reading about our beloved Titans.
My wife and I will be heading to Nashville next weekend. We wondered if there are any official or maybe not so official Titans viewing parties going on next Saturday afternoon you could tell us about?
Thank you and Titan Up!

Jim: Appreciate it, Tom. There was an official pep rally on Friday night. I saw where the Skydeck on Broadway, located on Level 3 of Assembly Hall in the Fifth & Broadway development, is having a watch party for the game, so you might want to check that out.

John Weigel from Murray, Kentucky
First time writing in, long time Titans fan.
From 99 til now I've watched the Titans play every Sunday.
I watched from Eddie George, Jevon "the Freak" Kearse, Albert Haynesworth, "pacman" Jones, and other.
The Titans could have always been a great team if the team showed up to play.
What I mean is they wasn't consistent week in and week out.
If you compare the 85 Bears offense to the 2021 Titans you can see the similarities between them.
Payton, Gault, McMahon.
If the defense shows up to play I think the Titans will win the next 2 games and show the NFL you don't need a flashy passer like Brady, Manning, Brees. Where does your opinion fit in on that?

Jim: Hey John. Thanks for taking me down memory lane. I'm not about to compare these Titans to the '85 Bears, though. I do think this offense has plenty of firepower to win postseason games, though, and a defense that's solid. But it's all about playing well and winning now, though. And leaving place in history for the 2021 Titans.

Brian Green from London, England
Jim. Just hopping all Titan fans that can make the game Saturday turn up and blast the Bengals out of town with a wall of noise and support. This is our chance to make Titan history-will be there in sprit on the big day-would love to be there. Thanks for your informative answers and keeping your English fan base up to date.

Jim: Good to hear from you, Brian.

Mike Bates from Smyrna, Tennessee
Good day Jim. After watching the national talking heads the last few days I thought we were put in there as some kind of alternate or something. I think most networks have us as the 7th or 8th pick to win it all. Behind Cincinnati. Although some of the networks are willing to state publicly we beat the Chiefs and Bills. NONE have been made aware that we may have had 2 other head to heads this year. That's half the teams in the final 8. How is this the great unknown. If I had your voice I would be destroying ESPN right now. Here is how it is going down Jim. Buffalo in Nashville in 2 weeks. Sound familiar? We tried to dust off the miracle play once this year and it was not pretty. Better put her back in the lineup. And maybe this time the lateral could be more than 3/8 of an inch of horizontal. And the Rams spank the Bucs AND the Packers. Yes, 2000 all over again baby. Titans/Rams. Stay tuned. I am just so very sad Steve will not be there to see it. Keep up the good work. And if this works out Jim, give em Hell.

Jim: We'll see, Mike. The Titans need to beat the Bengals first.

Kilroy Caldwell from Blues Hill, Tennessee
How's it hanging, Jim? Hope all is well with you and yours. Been awhile since I dropped you a line, but I'm always reading the bag, keep up the excellent work. I figure, since your in Nashville this Saturday, you might run into a few thousand Titan musicians who could do something with this...In the tune of the late, great Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues:
I hear them Cowbells a comin'
Landry and Bud is a coming around the ends
Burying Burrows backside
Time, and time, again
The Bengals are stuck in Titans Country
Suffering to the end
Oh, by the way, my question is for the national media- Are the Tennessee Titans in the playoffs?

Jim: Well done, Kilroy.

Jose Rodriguez from Alamogordo, New Mexico
Jim my second time writing and again our Greek mythology, the Titans were more powerful than the gods. Let us rule Nissan Stadium with power. Play on words from a good football movie.

Jim: Good thinking, Jose.

Jared Vaughn from Nashville, Tennessee
Hey Jim, as the Tennessee Titans #1 fan, it brings me great pride and joy when I came to the realization that the College Football National Championship game would be the only playoff football game played in Lucas Oil Stadium this year! As the Titans lead correspondent, can you convey how the organization reacted when you realized this? As the Colts are arguably our biggest rival, did this in any way bring a morale boost in the locker room?

Jim: Hi Jared. There hasn't been one peep about the Colts in the Titans locker room. The Titans are focusing on themselves, and this week, the Bengals.

Mitchell Jackson from Goodlettsville, Tennessee
I have news for the NFL: Don't make our defense angry {you will not like them when they are angry}. I think #22 is angry not at any one just ready to rock & roll. Let us fill not just the seats but the whole CITY with our fans GOD bless & TITAN UP......

Jim: It's going to be a fun one, Mitchell.

Hunter Phelan from South Pasadena, California
Hi Jim. Hope all is well with you. I want to lead off by saying Congrats to the team for second straight division title. What an amazing and wild season, not for just the Titans, but for the entire NFL with one of the wackiest final weekend ever finishing with the Raiders vs Chargers should have been tie game lol. Seems like every team has had a bad loss or some kind of bad stretch. I really think Coach Vrabel deserves coach of the year! Miss Adams Shrunk congrats as well for all that you do!Titans have Come along way since 2-14 and 3-13. 4 out of 5 years to the playoffs. Well done and one of the best stretches in team history. As a fan We all want more, we have been here before all three times even as the (Oilers vs chiefs) the home field advantage didn't go well. All three games were tough and seemingly games that Titans kinda controlled but as we all know lost because of really self inflicted mistakes. One thing I LOVE about coach is he's so detailed about not doing the dumb things to get your self beat as it's hard enough to win without self inflicted wounds. The Pittsburgh game Im sure all of us saw how those types of games turn out. So let's make this fourth time count!!! Wish I could be at the game this weekend going nuts with TITANS Nation. The crowd in Buffalo and in Cincinnati were unbelievable for wild card weekend. Lets out do them and make Nissan stadium the loudest its ever been and Help the Fellas get to the AFC championship for the second time in three years!! In closing yes we all want more!!! One game at a time! If it doesn't go our way, let's be proud of this team no matter what. To the haters out there if it doesn't go our way coach meat head won't be fired, trash Tannehill will be our quarterback next season. The Oc and the Dc have had a heck of a year. So try not to hate so much!
No questions here Jim, thanks for the therapeutic fandom platform to rant!! GO TITANS!!! TITES Nation BELIEVES YALL CAN GO ALL THE WAY!!!! Lets do this!!!

Jim: Good to hear from you, Hunter. Thanks for taking the time.

Have a great week everyone!

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