NASHVILLE – Well, that didn't go so well.
The big AFC South showdown between the Titans and the Colts took an ugly turn in the second half on Thursday night, and now the Titans have to keep the second half of the season to keep from doing the same.
There's a lot to fix, and to discuss.
Let's get right to it…
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE
Patrick Keeley from Wheaton, Illinois
Question: Jim, first off, my sentiments to Corey Davis as he is from the town I currently reside in.
Second, this game was unbearable to watch .... the defense needs a coordinator as the hc's job is to be the game manager...not calling defensive plays. I have been saying this for 5 weeks now and this is becoming too much. (The Titans) should've made it a priority over the offseason to find one to replace Pees.
This game definitely shows the true weakness of the defense as they continue to be exposed week in and week out as the bears game was a mirage.
The time of possession statistic truly bothers me as a fan too. There's no way the Titans are going to make the playoffs if the defense is on the field for this long on a weekly basis.
Jim: Hi Patrick. I'm sure Corey appreciates the kind words at this difficult time. He's a fine young man, and he's hurting right now following the loss of his brother. It's a really sad situation.
As for your comments, the whole DC things is by far the most popular question in the mailbag, running away from the competition like Secretariat. There's no doubt it was a total team failure on Thursday night, and the head coach is definitely going to need to find some answers after losses in three of the last four games – and a tough stretch coming up.
Doug Goldstein from Las Vegas, Nevada
Question: I'm trying to phrase this rant into a question, but it probably won't happen. This team should/could be 9-0 right now. Been a 20+ year fan and never commented here, but I'm so disgusted by this loss to the Colts that I can't hold back. 4 plays decided the outcome tonight. I can condone the dropped pass by AJ Brown that would've put the Titans up 14-0. I can condone the Nate Davis holding penalty that stopped a promising drive. I can NOT understand why Gostkowski is still on this team, who missed his 10th kick this year. I can NOT understand why Ryan Allen who was good last week was replaced by this clown who mustered up a 17 yard punt unabated. A high-schooler could've gotten off a 25 yard kick. Also a high-schooler could've gotten his punt blocked with the lousy blocking. And finally, why does Arthur Smith call great plays early in the game for easy scoring drives and then decide to change the game plan? When the passing game is gaining 20 yards/play and punching it into the end zone, I really don't care about getting Henry kick-started. Just stick with what is working for cripes-sake. Anyway, thanks for listening.
Jim: Hey Doug. Thanks for taking the time. I understand your frustration. It was an ugly loss. I disagree with you on one thing for sure – the Titans shouldn't be 9-0. The Colts came to town and took it to the Titans on Thursday night, and they deserved to win. Same for the Steelers, and frankly, the Bengals. The Titans have earned all three losses and, as you said, better get thing fixed or it's going to be a cold December.
Sergio Padula from Barcelona, Spain
Question: Man, am I glad I lost some sleep for this one!!!
Couple of questions for you:
- Are we ever letting our awesome kicker go? I have to say this guy is a keeper, only 8 missed field goals so far.
- Are we somehow trading or cutting Kern next year? Daniel looks like a stud, great coaching move this week after Allen's play last week. Change was needed!!!
I would say really impressed with the coaching over the last 4 weeks. Not having a defensive coordinator still seems like the right decision, the special teams coordinator is just running a smooth operation (no move needed there). I predict our outlook for the season with the schedule and the way we are getting out coached and outplayed I would say 13-3, hope you agree my friend. Take care man and best wishes for you. Read your answers every week.
Jim: Looks like sarcasm is alive and well in Barcelona, Sergio.
John Burnett from Dickson, Tennessee
Question: I just don't see any improvement in the defense. I know the team is 6-3 but they in my opinion just outlasted the opposition in most of those wins. Absolutely no pressure on QB's allowing them to go up and down the field on short passes and runs after the catch. Indy punter just punted one time all game. Any light at the end of the tunnel or are they just going to have to do the best they can for the rest of the season?
Jim: Hey John. I wish I could make a promise and deliver on it. But we're watching the same games. The defense isn't getting it done. I do expect Adoree' Jackson to return at some point, but he's not going to solve all the problems. The reality is a lot of guys are going to have to play better, and the coaching staff, as Vrabel has said, is going to need to make adjustments as well. If those things don't happen, then that light at the end of the tunnel is going to be a train.
Bobby Dreke from Prince George's County, Maryland
Question: Tough loss, we can bounce back. We have to be shocked we lost like that. Some things as this season goes on are becoming apparent. The 5-0 start is more luck than how good we are as a unit. I remember saying early in the year: "Yea we're 5-0 but we still haven't played a complete game." The offense is now yet again "predictable" making it take a backseat to the defense that has been better but is not the strong suit this year. Now in hindsight, what was the big deal with benching Ryan Allen for a practice squad punter. I know any other time this is probably not something to worry about, but somehow ur left shaking your head like Vrabel has done a few times this year because of special teams. Now we gotta go into the last half of the year. With no clear punter and a kicker that is terrible at short kicks. The defense seems to have gotten more aggressive and the offense has become to "cute" with the play calling. TITAN UP !!!!!! We can right this ship and be the team folks don't want to see in the post season.
Jim: Hey Bobby. Did you really mean to send this to me? This is for the hate mail. ☺️ I like your optimistic approach. Vrabel talked about the team being at a crossroads leading up to the Bears game. I think the team is about to hit another one soon. We'll know by the end of the month which direction this season is going.
Reinhard Schoiendorfer from Benken, Switzerland
Question: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Go Titans go.
Jim: There ya go, Reinhard.
Derek Hader from Westport, Massachusetts
Question: Absolutely ridiculous.. Undisciplined breakdowns and lousy play. Way to go Vrabel.. Way to get them ready. Great choice with the punter.....Our special teams coach should be unemployed after this mess... What a waste.
What a gutless fold job.... I wish i could say i cant believe this performance... but that would be a lie. Longtime fans are used to this nightmare. GUTLESS... got punched in the mouth and went down like lambs.
I had a feeling this team was a paper lion and now it has shown up over the last several weeks. You almost cant even count the Bears game..their offense is as bad as our defense... Back to reality. 9-7 coming and a WC birth.
We deserve better!!!
Jim: This further proves Haders are gonna' hate …
Cody Cook from Arp, Texas
Question: No Question, just a statement here: We (Titans) need help in all phases in my opinion. Lately it's been the defense, but against the Colts, we just flat out STUNK IT UP!!! We have too many weapons to be playing like this, so what's the problem Titan Nation?? Hopefully we can get our heads out of our butts quickly and get this turned around...
Jim: I hear ya, Cody.
Delfonta Kelly from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim long-time diehard Titans fan. No question just a statement. In my late Dennis Green voice "They are what we thought they were, and we let them off the hook!" The Colts are what we thought they were, and we let them off the hook! Its time for the team and staff to roll up their sleeves and show why we are Tennessee Tough!! Titanup!!
Jim: Well done, Delfonta.
Ryan Martin from Boone, North Carolina
Question: Where the heck is Darrynton Evans? I believe he could have added an additional and valuable weapon for The Titans.
Jim: He's on Injured Reserve.
Conrad Nelsen from Coeur d Alene, Idaho
Question: I was dubbed an Oilers fan when I was 1 year old. I have never wavered from this franchise. I stayed up until 3 AM to watch us lose the Super Bowl by a yard as u was stationed in Italy at the time. I have loved this team my entire life. That being said, if Gostkowski ever suits up for this team again I will look for another team to cheer on.
Jim: Hey Conrad. So you stuck with the team after 2-14 (in 2014) and 3-13 (in 2015), hung on after the 59-0 loss to the Patriots in 2009, and endured the 55-7 loss to Green Bay in 2012 .. and now you're ready to bolt if the team doesn't cut the kicker? Hey, I get your frustrated. But believe me, things have been much worse. Get some sleep, Conrad.
James Ellison from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim, I'd like to thank you for all that you do for the Home team! My questions to you would be: There are people/ESPN analysts stating that our lack of Defense is due to us not having a legit Defensive Coordinator. What are your thoughts on that, and will we be seeing a DC for next season?
Jim: Heck James. Let's keep it real: You don't have to work for ESPN to make statements like that – just look around in here.
Darin W from Pueblo West, Colorado
Casey Sells from Winchester, Tennessee
Question: Do you think fatigue is starting to set in considering this was the 6th game in a 30 day stretch?
Jim: It's a fair question. The weekend, and the long stretch before next week's game vs the Ravens, will certainly help guys get refreshed, and healthier.
Drayden Rupe from Clinton, Utah
Question: Disgusting game all around!! MARK MY WORDS!! WE WILL LOSE OUT THE REST OF THE SEASON!!! I've lost all confidence in the coach and GM. Why the hell would you bring in a delivery truck driver, did he get fired from his real job for not delivering packages on time? Our offense spent so much time on their first two trick TD plays they forgot they had only 2 days to prepare. Train wreck and laughingstock of the NFL is what the Titans are!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jim: The Jets are 0-9, Drayden. The Jaguars are 1-7. With seven games left, the Titans are tied atop the AFC South with a 6-3 record. Thursday was ugly, no one is disputing that. But more folks are laughing at this over-the-top question/statement than at the Titans.
Jonathan Lindsey from Boonville, Indiana
Question: Long time reader first time writing in. My son and I met you at the Nissan Stadium open practice, front row for all the autographs! Thanks for taking the time. I am sure you will be get more questions or comments than you deserve regarding special teams, so I wanted to go a different route. Do you recall seeing a better true goal line defense in the league? It is fun to watch those guys when their backs are against the wall ( of course I would rather them not be in that situation) but I sure do feel confident when it's anything and 1 from the goal line. So many "fans" are quick to blow it off saying in the Colts game most recently just let them score, why review the touchdown. Why? Because our guys are going to defend every blade of grass! We got the stop! Do we have things to fix? Yes, every team in the league is made up of men who know how to play the game, they know how to make plays and they have to fix things from game to game. This game is a game of inches and I don't think I would want another team on the field when we are down to just inches. Thanks for the time, hope you and your family stay safe. Titan up!
Jim: Hey Jonathan. Thanks for writing in. I must say, you get this week's award for going out of your way to find a positive from Thursday's game. You're right – this defense has shown it will rise up in some tough spots. It did it near the goal-line, just like it did last year against the Chargers. In the past two games, the Titans defense has gotten 4th-and-1 stops in the first two drives of the game. But it's hard to celebrate that after seeing the Colts move the ball at will most of the game, so I get it. Good to hear from you Jonathan and hope to see you again soon.
Dick Clodfelter from Bell Buckle, Tennessee
Question: 4th Qtr coming down inside 10 minutes against Colts, looks like this game has been blown away.
Titans awful kicking game. But the pass defense is just so bad! Why don't the defensive backs play the ball to deny the receiver a chance to catch the pass? Better to prevent a completion than to attempt to tackle the receiver after the catch. I just don't understand the Titans approach to pass defense. Can you help?
Jim: I wish I could help. But I just can't run like I used to in my 20s …
Mik Harris from Manila, Philippines
Question: Hi Jim. Greetings from the Philippines
Some questions for you:
Who thought going without a. DC was a good idea?,
Following on, who thought Vrabel, who was a disaster at DC in Houston, would be anything else in Tennessee?
We have too much talent (though none of it coming from the latest draft) to look like that
Jim: Hi Mik.
Some answers for you:
1- Mike Vrabel is the head coach, so I guess it's him.
2- See above.
Cody Wright from Great Falls, Montana
Question: I know that you are just the messenger but since you are the person closest to the team in regards to answering fan questions I figured I would give this a shot. Why don't we actually invest into special teams? I mean at this point I think we are seeing that you can't just bring anyone off the street and make it work. The Titans are 10 weeks into this season and have lost 3 of the last 4. Good players on special teams aren't available because they're on active rosters. I think it's a coaching issue. I would go into defense but honestly I don't have the time or breath. I'm tired of 9-7 year after year and with how we've played recently I'm beginning to believe that even 9-7 is out of reach...
Jim: Hey Cody. I get it – special teams has been bad. But this isn't an issue of the team not investing in special teams. The Titans have rewarded punter Brett Kern with new contracts, but he's now hurt. Things have spiraled downward since. The Titans signed kicker Stephen Gostkowski to a $2.75 million contract, and at the time everyone celebrated the move. Holding on to Greg Joseph or going with undrafted kicker Tucker McCann would have been lot cheaper. Nick Dzubnar, formerly with the Chargers, was among the team's early free agent signings, and he's well regarded for his work on special teams. So, this is not a matter of pinching pennies on special teams. The Titans have players on special teams who aren't performing up to expectations. I get that it's on everyone, and Vrabel doesn't let coaching off the hook. But again, the problems haven't been because the Titans have ignored or not invested in special teams.
Have a great weekend everyone!