NASHVILLE, Tenn. – What a night at Nissan Stadium.
And what a game for running back Derrick Henry and the Titans.
Henry’s performance was one for the records books, and it was fun to witness.
Not surprisingly, it helped pack this weekend’s mailbag.
We're not stiff-arming any questions away in here. Let’s get right to it …
Thomas Moore from Lone Jack, Missouri
Question: Jim, I would like to say thank you for taking the time to read this letter as it is not a question. As a combat veteran I would like to say Thank you to Mr. 22. His strong resolve, going through the trenches to pull off what he did last night against the Jags. And let Dion Lewis get his chance for score there in the 4th quarter. As that stat plays out, 22 veterans commit suicide daily. Henry's play on and off the field is reminder to all of us what hard work and a strong resolve can due. 22 until None.
Jim: Strong stuff, Thomas. And thank you for your service.
John Kay from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, thanks for reading and sharing. Been a Titans fan ever since the Oilers made the move. This isn't a question, just wanted to encourage and praise the team and coaching staff. Sure this year has been a bit of a roller coaster, but the Titans have endured a lot of adversity and for them to still be in the hunt for a wildcard is a testament to their perseverance. I like the culture this team exhibits, always deflecting praise and directing it to the other man. They even give credit to the other team after a tough loss. I think the talent is there for this young team and I have no doubt that with this leadership and continued humble sportsmanship the Titans will grow into a formidable, championship-winning, team.
-And no I'm not just saying this because I'm high on King Henry's dominating performance. I've been saying this since the week two win over Houston after that devastating loss against Miami. Titans overcame a lot then, they can still do it now. Go Titans.
Jim: Appreciate you taking the time, John.
Thomas Morris from Kaneohe, Hawaii
Question: Hey Jim, can’t wait to read this upcoming mailbag and hear all the fans say “I told you so” when speaking about giving Derrick Henry more touches. I hope by now he’s earned them.
But what I am extremely impressed about is the attitude the team had right out the gate. The only time I’ve seen it was against the Patriots earlier this year. Did they do anything different to prepare? It seems like we had a completely different o-Line play than we did the entire year. Last question, is Mariota’s throwing hand still bothering him? I saw he had the kinesio tape on it.
Jim: Hey Thomas. No “I told you so” emails in here. I never knocked Henry – I’ve tried to explain he didn’t get as many carries earlier in the season because he wasn’t performing as well. He bashed himself repeatedly earlier in the year, calling his play "trash." But he’s earned more carries with improved play, and he exploded on Thursday night. He’s been a different guy since the bye week. He's earned more carries, and playing time. The Titans blocked well and he ran with an attitude against the Jaguars. As for Mariota, he worked through a right hand injury all week and during the game. He hurt it late vs. the Jets, and he did have tape on it during practices and during the game. But the time off now leading up to the December 16 game against the Giants should help it heal.
Jerry Walz from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, How about a game ball for "The Paving Crew". Taylor "StoneCrusher" Lewan, Quinton "RoadGrader" Spain, Ben "The Excavator" Jones, Josh "The Compacter" Kline, and Jack "JackHammer" Conklin. They absolutely paved a highway for Derrick to roll down.
Question: Oh man, what a difference a week makes. These guys have endured a ton of criticism, and now they’re getting nicknames ... Thanks for taking the time Jerry. :)
Mary Mench from Smyrna, Tennessee
Question: Great to be along Tony Dorsett, now question about that, yet this morning my husband asked: If Derrick Henry ran from 4 yds back in the end zone... Derrick Henry ran for 103 yards! Is he correct?
Jim: Well Mary, in actual yards traveled, yes. :)
But it only counts as 99 yards in the official stats. The good news is that’s a record that will never be broken. Tied again, maybe, but never broken.
Robert Bolton from Memphis, Tennessee
Question: Do you think they might give #22, Derrick Henry, more playing time after Thursday night's game? Go back to his days at AL. he got better the longer he was in the game.
Jim: Hey Robert. Coach Vrabel was asked that question on Friday.
His answer: “The one thing that s great about this league is you have to do it every week. You have to be able to consistently come out and do the things that you feel like are a strength. Just because you had one good game one week, or you had a couple of sacks, or had a couple tackles, or threw a couple of touchdown passes, you have to come back each and every week and prove it. … Derrick will have all the opportunity to continue to do that, and to help us. His attitude and his preparation has remained consistent and that was always good to see. So we’ll try and keep that going. Obviously we have to try and keep that going.”
So stay tuned...
Nick Smallwood from Lafayette, Tennessee
Question: Jim. Do you think that Henry’s 99-yard run out did the Marshawn Lynch run in the playoffs years ago?
Jim: Aw, Beast Mode. I remember watching that run. Hard to believe that was way back in the 2011 playoffs. Lynch broke eight tackles on that run, and he was throwing guys off him, too. His run went for 67 yards, so I give the edge to Henry. He threw three guys off of him. It’s one of the best runs I’ve ever witnessed.
Connor Scully from Erie, Pennsylvania
Question: Hi, Jim! I know this season has been an up and down one, but that should be expected considering they have young (but talented) players, some returning from injuries, and a whole new coaching staff. The team has shown that they can compete with the best, but also that they cannot show up to other games. My question is how do you think they can be more consistent to become true contenders? Also, from a player standpoint, where do you think the most improvement is needed from free agents / the draft? I think the interior offensive line needs big help, and I think that improvement will help all the other areas of the offense. Thanks again!
Jim: Hey Connor. Well, the team better figure it out. Another big high on Thursday with a dominant win over the Jaguars. There’s no doubt the team has looked great some weeks (vs Eagles, Patriots and Cowboys also come to mind), and dreadful in others (vs Bills, Ravens, Colts come to mind). The team can’t afford a letdown now, that’s for sure, because I think the Titans need to win out. As for areas to improve to improve in free agency/draft, well, I’ll get into more of that after the season, because right now the Titans are pretty much just going to have to win with what they’ve got, and now the team is dealing with injuries as well.
Kia T from Foster City, California
Question: Hi Jim. The new Titans uniforms are great, is there a way to a schedule if what combo they will wear and when?
Jim: Hi Kia. Follow me on Twitter (@jwyattsports) if you don’t already. The big reveal comes Wednesday each week during the season – jerseys and britches.
Chris Chapman from Hermitage, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim! 1st of all I gotta give props where are due; kudos to #22 Derrick Henry and every other Titan player who blocked for him last night! In a way last night was a complete shock but in another it wasn't. I mean, we all new #22 was capable of every single play from last night. Derrick has fared very well against Jacksonville in the past along with Marcus as well so would you say last night amounted to a "perfect storm"? I gotta say that I'm proud to call myself a huge Derrick Henry fan not because of his play but because of his selflessness and heart. While the Titans fans and the rest of the nation were all calling for him to get more carries that could've led to him breaking even more records he put his teammates 1st and asked coach to let "Dion Lewis" have a few cracks to get a TD and that to me speaks volumes as to the kinda selfless players we have here in Tennessee. I saw alot heart out there on that field last night. We have a real chance to make it to the post again next week against the Giants. Congrats to every single person in this great Titans organization, this is 1 VERY proud fan! Keep it going!
Jim: Hey Chris. You’re right on with Derrick. He’s kept a great attitude throughout, even when he wasn’t getting a lot of carries and playing time earlier in the season. I talked to him about Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts earlier in the week, and he talked about how Nick Saban gave him great guidance in college. I think he’s carried it with him. He gets along great with Dion, and they work really well together. Have a good one and thanks for firing the questions in regularly. Sorry you didn’t make the cut a few times recently. :)
Have a great weekend everyone!
The Tennessee Titans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14 of the 2018 season on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)
Titans running back Derrick Henry carries 17 times for a franchise-record 238 yards and four touchdowns in Tennessee's 30-9 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night Football. (AP Photos)