NASHVILLE – It's time.
The Titans are back in the playoffs, and the team is set to host the first playoff game at Nissan Stadium since the 2008 season.
The Ravens, the team's long-time rival, will be the competition on Sunday.
I know everyone is excited.
Let's pass the time in this weekend's Titans mailbag…
Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE
Jamie Konitzer from Manitowoc, Wisconson
Question: Hi Jim, I've been listening to the experts this week & all I'm hearing is will the Ravens be able to take out the Chiefs in the 2nd round! Really? If you're the Titans, why even show up to the game this week against the Ravens?? I'll tell you why! Because the Titans have beaten the Ravens twice in the same calendar year & this time it's in Nashville! I'm tired of listening to these so called 'experts'! It's time to prove them wrong dammit & let's make a run to the Super Bowl! #TitanUp
Jim: Hey Jamie. I've seen and heard a lot of the same stuff. Frankly, I'm a little surprised the Ravens are the favorites in this one considering what happened in the previous two meetings. But that's OK. The games are won on the field. Hey, it's not going to be easy – the Ravens are good. Sounds like you're ready to suit up…
Kendal Barker from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim. Appreciate all the work that you do. Since the Titans are in the playoffs at home will there be more fans allowed to come and watch or will it be the same amount as in the regular season? I think it would help crowd noise a lot more! Thanks Jim.
Jim: Hey Kendal. The Titans, and the city of Nashville, increased the attendance figures during the course of the season. The same number allowed for games at the end of the season will be allowed on Sunday – 21 percent of 69,143, so about 14,500.
Cory Yates from Pekin, Illinois
Question: Hi Jim! Long time reader. I've always wanted to send you a message so I figured now is the time. My question for you Jim is what do you really think about this defense? I think they are better than the statistics show. I know a lot of people are frustrated with the defense this year but I just want to say that this team has some dogs on it and I believe they are going to step up big time in the playoffs. Regular season is over now. Let the analytics people say what they want. I know these men are going to show up. I want to give a big shout out to Malcom Butler. I love all of our players but that guy takes serious pride EVERY...SINGLE.....PLAY. I'm giving him the name "The Executioner" because he breaks elite players apart with his physical play an executes his job as good as anyone. I also want to say that we have a great, great coaching STAFF here (hoping Arthur Smith sticks around for the long haul), the best GM in the league, and an owner that puts her money where her mouth is to support the team. Even though the big roster moves didn't work out we STILL are division CHAMPS! It's a great time to be a Titans fan. I liked your comment from the last article...at the end of the season it's going to be Remember the Titans.
Jim: Hey Cory. Thanks for reaching out. Like everyone else I think the defense has struggled mightily. Heck, the Titans are ranked 28th in the NFL in total defense, and 32nd on third down. The Titans are last in sacks per pass attempt, with just 19 sacks in 16 games this season. But does that mean the Titans can't win with this defense? Well, no. The Titans won 11 games this season, and they won the AFC South. What has to happen now is the group needs to be able to get stops in the red zone, get stops on third down, and create some turnovers. They used to say "Defense Wins Championships," and some still say that. But I think we all know offenses are winning games in today's NFL, and the Chiefs won last year because of their offense. Now let's see if the Titans can rise to the occasion in the postseason.
Derrell Lyles from Lanham, Maryland
Question: Hey Jim. I wanted to know if the team plans to keep the 615 logo on their helmets throughout the playoffs? I think it would be a great way to continue to honor all of the important EMT workers in the country and show people who are not familiar with the team how the Titans promote community, family, and honor.
Jim: Hey Derrell. Yes, the Titans players will continue to wear the "615 Strong" helmet decal in this weekend's game, honoring Nashville's resilience and the six officers. The "6", as you know, is highlighted in Titans light blue in their honor.
James Cheek from Tuscumbia, Alabama
Question: Go Titans!!! As a huge Alabama fan since age 5 and a huge Titans fan I'M super Proud of Derrick Henry! Super Proud of King Henry. Would love an autographed football from him one day. Roll Tide and Go Titans!!!
Jim: I hear ya, James. Might be a line about 2,000 yards long after the pandemic ends to get Derrick's autograph. Roll Tide. (My daughter goes to the University of Alabama).
Mark Gartrell from Milton, Indiana
Question: Hey Jim. Long time Oilers/Titans fan. Very excited with winning the AFC South and the chance of knocking the Ravens out of the playoffs again, they have been our kryptonite in the past and it appears we have flipped the script on them and looking forward to Sundays big game!! It has been an exciting and interesting season, especially. Watching our offense both in the passing game and of course watching King Henry destroy opposing defenses!! He is the best closer since Mariano Rivera!! My question is, do you think the Titans will be able to retain Arthur Smith, I sure hope we can and also with Jim Schwartz and Greg Williams available for DC position, do you think the organization would be interested in bringing either one back to the Titan family. Thanks Jim and go Titans!!!!
Jim: We'll see on Arthur – he's a great coach, an impressive guy, and he's already drawn a lot of interest from teams. As for the possibility of Gregg Williams or Jim Schwartz as DC, as another Titans defensive coach, Dave McGinnis, likes to say, you might want to keep your powder dry on that….
Jonathan Ewton from Dunlap, Tennessee
Question: Hello Jim. First, I want to thank you for the job you do. This is my first time writing and I just wanted to say what a first-class organization we have. Has a season ticket member, my wife Cresta and I have experienced getting to root for our team on Sunday's. We have also had the privilege to meet and talk to several players, plus Amy Adams Strunk, Mike Keith, and Jon Robinson. Very nice, approachable people, who are very appreciative of the Titan fan base. Our players or humble, selfless, hard-working, blue collar, and Tennessee Tough. I'm tired of reading about all the negativity. This team is special, and has the chance to prove it to the world. I want our fan base to be loud and proud come this Sunday vs the Ravens. They need to hear us supporting them at Nissan stadium instead of being negative on social media. Let's get rowdy and let folks know this is our house and our team. Titan Up!!
Jim: I really appreciate you taking the time, and for the kind words, Jonathan.
Michael Young from Newberry, South Carolina
Question: Whassup Jim! This is my first time ever writing in, ive been wanting to do it for awhile but just haven't had the time. I was there in Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium when the Titans clapped the Ravens the first time. I will never forget walking out the stadium high fiving other titans fans and looking at gloomy raven fans lol, and my big brother is a die hard ravens fans so being able to watch the game there with him and have bragging rights is bitter sweet. I think we have Lamars number, knowing how to play him. Force him to throw the ball by clogging the run, and making him throw into tight windows. I guess my question for you for this postseason is, Do you think Tannehill has the capability to just put the team on his back, and will the titans way to victory? I'm not saying he hasn't had those moments, but i guess you could say when the defense is horrible, and henry isnt having the game he usually haves, we havent seen him win the game through the air, especially in either big games, or playoff games. We are very reliant on King Henry, and i have just been waiting for that game, that silences the doubters of tannehill, and he wins the game with his arm. Just wanted to write in and ask that question. Was planning on going to a home playoff game this year but covid had to jack it up of course. Keep up the great work Jim of keeping titans fans updated, and #TITANUP
Jim: Whassup Michael?! You're fire up, too. I like it. Yes, I think Tannehill is capable, but with Derrick Henry and others on the team, he doesn't have to put the team on his back. He just has to keep doing what he's been doing, which has been more than good enough. Heck, Tannehill has developed into one of the top quarterbacks in the league, and his numbers back it up – 3,819 pass yards, 33 touchdowns, 7 INTs and a 106.5 rating. Have you seen this stat?: Tannehill is just the fourth qualifying QB in NFL history to produce consecutive seasons with a passer rating of 106.0 or greater. The others are Drew Brees (2018–2020), Russell Wilson (2018–2019) and Aaron Rodgers (2011–2012).
Shannon Samuels from Palo Alto, California
Question: Hello! I'm wondering if there is going to be a game day program for fans, or at least one we can print at home? (PDF version) Thank you!
Jim: Hi Shannon. There will be, in fact. We've been doing a digital program each week. Check my Twitter feed (@jwyattsports) and the @NissanStadium feed over the weekend, because we always tweet it out, and the team account (@Titans) does as well. Derrick Henry will be on the cover this week, and it will be packed with gameday info.
Bradley Fields from Portland Oregon
Question: Hello Jim, life-long Titans fan here and third year submitting a question to you! As someone that spends time close to or in person with the team, what's one thing that's stood out during this particular season? I hope everyone from JRob to Amy to Coach Vrabel and the players know how much their efforts are appreciated. Rooting for this means everything. And thank you for providing such genuine coverage of the Boys.
Jim: Hey Bradley. I'd say the team's resiliency, and the offense. I've covered the team from Day 1, and this year's team has the best offense of any Titans team.
Arthur Williams from Franklin, Tennessee
Question: Hi Jim: You know I love Derrick Henry, but I hate the Ravens!! What would it be like to switch things up and throw the Ravens completely off their defensive game plan by initially giving the game to Tannehill and his amazing wide receivers? Build a nice lead and then letting Derrick close it out?? GO TITANS!!
Jim: Hmmmm… Not a bad plan…
Richmond Srey from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: What is wrong with A.J. Brown? When he gets tackled and is slow getting up? Looks kinda like cramps or a tweaked ankle. It happens in almost every game and I worry about him.
Jim: Hey Richmond. A.J. has been battling through injuries all season, starting with a knee injury. He's had an ankle injury, and he's also on the Injury Report with a hand this week. But he hasn't let it stop him. To quote him on Friday, Brown said: "I've got breath in my body. I'm going to play."
Dr. Julie Coyle from South Bend, Indiana
Question: Why will they not continue give MyCole Pruitt more reps, he has helped a great deal, with blocking to help get Henry those 2000 yards- the TE's have done a great job- but I feel they are not using MyCole to his potential- also he catches the ball very well!!!
Jim: Hi Dr. Coyle. I'm sure MyCole appreciates the love. MyCole is doing everything right, he just happens to be on a team with good depth at the position. But he's played a nice role, and is among those who deserves credit for the team's success.
Robert Deutchman from El Paso, Texas
Question: Happy New Year Jim. What a season it has been for this Titans team, us fans have waited a long time to be able to call our team the AFC South Champions. I know there is still some big football games left to play but with the regular season being over, I was wondering how you view the season that the King, Derrick Henry just had. My argument is that it has to be one of the best performances by a running that we have ever seen. All season long, teams knew that we were going to run the ball and they tried everything they could to stop it and still Derrick Henry led the league in rushing and finished in amazing style and breaking the 2,000 yard mark. He also led the league in touchdowns. What makes his season so amazing to me is that we aren't living in the NFL of old where the running game is the focus. This is a pass happy league now and seeing these types of performances are going to become fewer and farther between. With that, and the number of other records and accomplishments that he surpassed this season, where would you rate this season in terms of best performance you have seen by a running back?
Jim: Hey Robert. It's the best performance I've ever seen, and I witnessed every game during Chris Johnson's 2,006-yard season as well. Derrick Henry getting to 2,027 yards when everyone knew he was getting the ball makes it so impressive. And he did it while the Titans were in the chase for the AFC South crown, in an offense, like you said, that also throws the ball around plenty. C.J's run to 2K was fun, too, but that team was primarily focused on getting 2K at the end. With all of that said, we can't ignore the fact a guy like O.J. Simpson got to 2,003 while playing just 14 games. And Earl Campbell got to 1,934 yards while playing in 15 games. And we also can't ignore the fact Barry Sanders averaged 6.1 ypg during his 2,053-yard season in 1997, and Adrian Peterson averaged 6.0 yards per carry during his 2,097-yard season in 2012, compared to a still impressive 5.4 average per carry for Derrick. Still Derrick's run to 2K was a thing of beauty. I'm lucky to say I've witnessed two of the eight 2,000-yard seasons in NFL history.
Michelle Moore from Jersey Village, Texas
Question: Hi Jim, I am a long time Oilers/Titans fan and season-ticket holder. I love our Titans and Coach Vrabel. I see a Lombardi trophy in our near future! Just wanted to share something a friend of mine said, who happens to be a fan of the Detroit Lions. I think he was somewhat jealous when he said the Titans got the "pick of the litter" of the Belichick pups (I think he may be right on that one). Now I refer to Coach Vrabel as the "pick of the litter"! Titan Up!
Jim: Thanks Michelle. I'm sure he's been called a lot worse. 😊
John Chubb from Lyles, Tennessee
Question: Jim I'm an old 74 now but one time when I was working (IBEW) during a game I met Jeff Fisher and I told him I'd replace Thigpen and keep the bench warm for half of the salary they were paying him...LOL Jeff said No thanks didn't want me to get hurt while sitting on the bench LOL. Serious now, Just have to say I really don't want them to go out and get ahead by 2021 touchdowns and then quit playing! I'm sure you know what I mean...
Jim: Good to hear from you, John. I do think a 2021-touchdown lead would be safe, though...
Randy Porter from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Happy New Year Jim! I've sat back for a while and enjoyed the Mailbag in silence. But, after reading Tuesday's edition, I had to offer my thoughts. First and foremost, congratulations to the Titans organization and players, for a hard fought, division title win. No, it wasn't perfect, nor were any of the wins that got us here. But, we're here, because they found a way to win every game that put us on top. Second, a big congratulations to Derrick Henry for his amazing accomplishments. Derrick sets an example that makes me so proud. He's humble, has class and is just a good man. That's the ultimate praise for any of us and we're lucky to have him. Also, I have to thank "Alan" in the last Mailbag, for sharing his delight with Sunday's win and for detailing his distain for the Colts. His summation made my day and I suspect many fans could wholeheartedly relate. And last, I had to comment on "William J's" tweet, suggesting "Vrabel find another job". I simply point out to W.J. that as nice of a compliment as that may be, the G.M. job is nicely filled and it's unlikely that Miss Amy will give up her position anytime soon. So, I'm thinking Mike Vrabel is exactly where he belongs. Nice thought though and I know the coach appreciates his continued .. (ahem)..support. As always Jim, thank you sincerely from all of us, for giving us an ear and a voice! - Titan Up !
Jim: Well said, Randy. And thank you.
Have a great playoff weekend everyone!