NASHVILLE – Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my.
The Titans face the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Nissan Stadium, and it will cap off games against teams with zoo animals for nicknames during the regular season.
The Titans, of course, are looking to bust their way into the NFL playoffs, so they can't afford to be bitten. 🦁
Heading into Week 15, there continues to be plenty to roar about.
Let's end this corny intro and get going …
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE
Gary Marsh from Old Hickory, Tennessee
Question: What is the Titans current record in the new uniform variations? I'm thinking the white uniforms have the best win %.
Jim: Hey Gary. The Titans will wear navy blue jerseys this weekend, and they're 2-2 in those this season. The team is 6-0 in the white jerseys, and 1-2 in the light blue jerseys.
Brendan Schultz from San Rafael, California
Question: Hey Jim. Hope all is well, I'm curious as to who you believe is more valuable to the Titans franchise, Ryan Tannehill or Derrick Henry? Now if we're judging purely by in game value I think Tannehill is the obvious choice but I think Derrick brings in a lot more attention from outside the normal titans fan base and is more of a contributor in getting the team nationally televised games as well as being an absolute monster on the field. Would love to hear your thoughts.
Jim: Hey Brendan. This is a tough, and I'm not going to pick one. I'll just say these guys work very well together, and benefit from one another. There's no question Tannehill benefits from Henry's success, in play action, and with how teams defend the Titans. But Henry benefits from having a really good QB in Tannehill, who can throw is all over the place with accuracy. I will say I think Henry gets a lot of credit for his success, and deservedly so, while Tannehill gets slighted a lot nationally because too many folks think he's riding Henry's coattails, which is far from the truth.
Johnathan Conway from Cottonwood Heights, Utah
Question: Hi Jim, I'm sending you and the Titans warm wishes for the holidays. The Boys played a great game (vs the Jaguars)! Defense looked better this week. How close are we to getting Adoree' back on the field? How is the defense looking in practice? I have faith they will get better every day. Titan Up!!
Jim: Appreciate it, Jonathan. Best to you. Adoree' is getting closer after practicing two weeks in a row. He's listed as questionable for Sunday's game, which is better than being ruled out on a Friday. And I really think the defense is starting to come together down the stretch, but still with plenty of improvement needed.
Tayvin Hughes from Baxter, Tennessee
Question: How close were the Titans from the end zone when they were in the Super Bowl with Dyson?
Jim: One yard. Google it.
Chris Dugger from Johnson City, Tennessee
Question: If we keep playing real good like as well as we did against the Jags with the running and passing game, is it a possibility that we could beat the Packers?
Jim: Need to beat the Lions first…
Jesse Ray McMurray from Hermitage, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim, hope all is well with you and yours! Long-time fan!
What are the Titans planning to do about the defensive struggles? Mainly the lack of QB pressure. Titans are currently last in the league in sacks with only 14 which is downright atrocious! Even if Jackson and/or Fulton come back, are they prepared to cover their butts off every single play! Take care my man.
Jim: What's up Jesse Ray? Hey, it needs to be better – we all agree on that. The Titans are in the bottom ¼ of the NFL in total defense, 32nd in third down defense, 21st in points allowed, and last in sacks per pass attempt, with just 14 sacks in 13 games. The team is working every day to improve, and if it's going to be a special season, the defense is going to have to be better. I was encouraged with what I saw last Sunday, but let's face it, it was against the Jaguars. The defense need to be more consistent – and better – and that's what everyone is striving for each week.
Robert Thomas from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: I enjoy watching Derrick Henry run with the ball and make touchdowns. However, I worry about possible injury when he gets tackled by multiple opponents. I would rather see him sitting on the sidelines more so he is at less risk of injury as the Titans make the playoffs to get back to the Super Bowl. Here's my question: Is it more important for Derrick to break the rushing yards record and risk him getting hurt trying to get to that record or to sit him on the sidelines more often to keep him from being injured to get the team through the playoffs??
Jim: Well, Robert. It's more important, in my mind, to have him healthy for the playoffs. But believe me, there's a healthy debate on this topic, because a lot of fans have written me in recent days and weeks expressing displeasure about him coming out of games. A lot of folks want to see him get to 2,000, and the team would love to see it, too. But at what expense? The reality is the Titans are going to need to lean on Henry to win down the stretch – they always do. It would be nice to see him reach milestones while the team is winning games, but priority No.1 will always be to win games as team, and have your best players available to do it.
Stephen Smith from Newburgh, New York
Question: Any chance the Titans can/would use a clip of Mike Donegan's "Thiiiird dooowwwnn" in the future? I can't imagine going to a game and not hearing it.
Jim: Hi Stephen. Well, this is an interesting thought. Not sure what is in store. For those not aware, Mike "Duke" Donegan is retiring after this season as the team's public address announcer. He's worked every game since the team moved into Nissan Stadium in 1999, and even did all the games during the 1998 season when the Tennessee Oilers played at Vanderbilt Stadium. He's going to be the Honorary 12th Titan at this Sunday's game. Duke has done a great job, and he's a great guy. Here's the story I did on Duke this week – CLICK HERE.
Colt Wesson from Jackson, Mississippi
Question: If the Titans host a home playoff game will Mike Donegan call it?
Adam K from Herndon, Virginia
Question: Hey Jim, nice to write to you again. I know this is a TITANS mailbag, but as a former Titan, and seeing how many Titans players discussed it on social media, I am curious of how you think Marcus played on Thursday night. My opinion is this: Marcus is a heck of a player and even better person. I always felt bad for him as a Titan because he was thrown in and expected to be THE guy. I don't know that he was the best fit for our offense and needed more freedom to roam. I also think it would have helped had he been under a veteran at first (like he is now getting with Carr). As a regular fan, I thought his decision making, progressions, confidence and accuracy all looked much better, I just wish he didn't put his body in harm's way so much. I'm happy for the guy and want to see him succeed.... what did you see?
Jim: Hey Adam. I thought Marcus looked good, and fresh. Hard to believe it was his first action since last year. There's no doubt Marcus is a great guy. He's one of the classiest people I've ever been around. He lost his job in Tennessee because he just kind of lost his way, and his accuracy. Injuries slowed him down. Looking back, it's very clear the Titans made the right decision to move forward with Ryan Tannehill. There's absolutely no debating this. But I hope Marcus can have success moving forward, whether it's in Las Vegas or somewhere else. I don't know of a single person who isn't rooting for him.
Kilroy Caldwell from Blues Hill, Tennessee
Question: Thanks to my brother-in-law for the birthday gift, we will be attending Sunday's game. I'm dusting off my lucky, Inaugural Season, Air McNair jersey looking forward to seeing King Henry and the 2 tone blue boys, get the job done! My question is, besides the mask and socially distancing, are there any other COVID-related guidelines I should know? Keep up the great work and see you at the game.
Jim: Good for you, Kilroy! You've hit the big ones as far as gameday requirements go – masks are required, and there will be zip ties on seats that aren't available to make sure the seating is done in a way that's safe with social distancing. Have a great time – you'll get a scarf as a giveaway item.
Michael Birch from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Jim, if anyone knows how to get this poem to A. J. Brown, it might amuse him.
by Michael R. Burch
(Lines written after the aptly-named Eric Eager said, "A. J. Brown is Terrell Owens.")
I'm young, I'm big-hearted,
but I'm just getting started.
I'm running my own race
at my own pace.
T.O. belongs in fabled Canton town,
but I'm A. J. Brown.
The second stanza was actually written by A. J. Brown, a budding poet, and published in the form of a tweet.
Jim: I'll just leave it in here, Michael. I'm sure A.J. reads the mailbag. So, you're a poet, and I didn't even know it … 😎
Have a great weekend everyone!