NASHVILLE – Well, it was a heck of a run.
The Titans finished just one win short of the Super Bowl, losing to the Chiefs on Sunday in the AFC Championship Game after winning games against the Patriots and Ravens in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
When I opened up my inbox for the Titans mailbag, it was loaded with comments, and questions. So, I decided to put the questions on hold – we have a whole offseason to discuss – and instead let fans have their say about the 2019 Titans.
A lot of folks sent in some heartfelt comments.
Thanks to everyone who took the time all season, and we'll continue this throughout the offseason.
Tom M from San Antonio, Texas
Comment: Hi Jim. Well I wrote for the first time this year early in the season. I asked why when we had coaches, linemen and others we couldn't seem to do anything right. This was before Ryan T. was given the starting job. Well sometimes crow taste really good. I just want to say how proud I am of this team I didn't think we would even win 8 games let lone go to the AFC Championship game. losing doesn't really matter. Making the Super Bowl would have been great but the fact these guys came together and played like they did is really what counts. Like I said in my first letter I have been an Oilers/ Titans fan since since the days of Ed Biles, and have never been prouder to be a fan. Good, bad thick or thin this is my team. Titan Up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Alejandro Contreras from Jupiter, Florida
Comment: Too sad our Titans won't be coming to the Hard Rock. It's a good sad, you know, that bittersweet feeling of losing at the goal line (remember Dyson?). The head up high with pride and great expectations for all those bright promises years to come hold. I for one, am confident Vrabel and his crew are going to give the Titans their first World Championship, just give 'em some time. I don't really have a question right now, I just wanted to thank you for the great work you put in day in and day out and thank our team for a great year. Those two playoff wins will forever live in our memories!
Reinhard Schiendorfer from Pfäffikon, Switzerland
Comment: Titan up. Thanks a lot to the coaches and the players for a wonderful season. It has been great fun. Kanto sho and best wishes for the contract negotiations in the offseason (:-)).
Michael Scusselle from Horn Lake, Mississippi
Comment: Hey Jim. Great year and no question. Just want to thank Vrabel and the team for everything!
Wrote a limerick:
Here I sit in my Titans gear
Smiling from ear to ear
Being dismantled by the Chiefs
Who are backed up by the referee thiefs
What a great friggin year to wear my gear!
Looking forward to next season! #TITANUP
Matthias Schuster from Scottsville, New York
Comment: Heck of a year! We forgot how to tackle vs the Chiefs but played a tough team. I must say, we need to have the King on the field as long as he isn't hurt. 3rd down, 4th down, i do not care. He can catch the ball, he can block, he has the best chance to take the ball all the way at any distance. At very least he is a huge decoy. Art did an amazing job this year. So proud of this team. Faced adversity all year long and overcame so many odds! Excited for the off season to see how JRob continues to build.
Rob Cuellar from Laredo, Texas
Comment: Jim, I want to let you know that I was bummed out and felt sad having Titans not reach Superbowl. :(
Believe it or not even my wife, my daughter and her boyfriend who had never watched the Titans before, are now caring Titan die hard fans. But I was even more impressed of my son Bobby, who doesn't really watch football went to his room to get the "number 1 foamy hand" to cheer on for the Titans even though they were losing. Wow it was a nice scenery to have all my loved ones watch the game with me rooting for the Titans and hoping they beat the Chiefs. But that didn't occur. Then afterwards, I went in to see Coach Vrabel's post game interview as well as the player's interviews and I was touched by this as well. What they continued to echo and say is a couple of statements that stood out and I paraphrase— believe in each other, we are family who love each other and the chemistry that has been built and when others that counted us out, we made it through and almost reached that goal... These words struck me and I pray that Coach Vrabel and all players be blessed always and know that eventually at the rate they were going— there is no need to stop now from reaching your ultimate goal!— win Super Bowl! Hope the Titans are confident and remain Throughout the playoffs and championship to remain Remain alive and Take Everthing.. in Super Bowl 55!"
Randy Porter from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Comment: Hi Jim. After having some time to accept the heartbreaking defeat, one step from pro football's biggest game and ultimate goal, I wanted to reflect on this fairy tail season and it's realities. When this group of players, coaches and staff started the 2019 season, they did so with struggle and doubt. They struggled to find their identity, as the too-familiar doubt came from every direction. After only a few early looses, analysts, critics and many fans, began to shake their head in disgust and turn their back on this team. Media attacks quickly mounted, social media demanded the heads of coaches and players, as month-old jerseys and hats were cast into piles, destined for yard sales. Home game seats were abundant, to the delight of opposing fans, robbing Titans players of welcoming home field support. Still, pride and determination of players grew, players leaned on each other and the continued to work hard. As they battled on to the playoffs, winning improbable games along the way, the doubters filtered back. Through it all, true fans believed in this team and the players believed in each other. They turned the expectations of the NFL upside down, playing the role of "giant slayer" masterfully. One giant however, they would meet again and the spell of the magical season would finally be broken. In the end, the Titans would leave no doubt, they gave everything they had and though painful, this loss would be different. The Titans had captured the hearts of fans across the league and the respect from opponents and doubters everywhere. Like every fan, I would have been so proud to wear the "AFC Champion" t-shirt and cheer them on in the Super Bowl. A dream come true. BUT, in a strange way, I'm even more proud of this team and to be a Titans fan right now. This team has given fans and this city real pride and the belief that we have a respected championship caliber team once again. It didn't take another win to prove that. The Titans didn't let us down, they raised us up. I'll be there next season, win or lose, proudly supporting this team, remembering the magical season, when the Titans did what many said was impossible.
- I want to offer my prayers to the family of legendary sports columnist David Climer. I've loved his work for decades and respect him greatly.
Franky Markle from Dyersburg, Tennessee
Comment: Jim this my 3rd time writing you this year and sorry to say it'll be the last. Wow. What a run!!! Thanks to you for all you do and thanks to the players and coaches for all they do and have done. Everyone in that locker room should have their heads held high. When we were 2-4 and you told someone we'll see you in the AFC Championship, you would've been laughed at. I have been a fan since 97 ( Memphis) and I can't remember more fun than this year, well maybe 99. Great job & Great year!! Now we'll get ready for the draft and a huge season next year. Thanks again and TitanUp!!!!
Mark Nevar from Port Colborne, Ontario Canada
Comment: What a great season!!! Hats off to Mike Vrabel and his staff for getting the guys to stick together and believing in each other. Thank you Titans! My three boys and I enjoyed the run. Looking forward to next season and coming down for a couple of games in the great city of Nashville!!
Jesse Cano from Corpus Christi, Texas
Comment: Hey Jim...this is Chuy coming all the way from South Texas. We are about 3 hours south of Houston. Originally a Oilers fan and now a die-hard Titans fan...all my friends ask why aren't you a Texan fan if u liked the Oilers. I said my team moved...so does my faith and loyalty....I am REALLY PROUD of my team! Nobody ever gave us a chance going into the playoffs and then look at what we did. Took out the reigning SB champs..#1 seeded Ravens and went to the AFC championship! I love this team! My wife bought me my a Derrick Henry home field Jersey and I hope some day we can make it up there to Tennessee and have him autograph it! I love his strength..dedication in the run and love watching him play. I am excited for next season already for what Ryan, Henry and everybody will bring to the table. If you see Henry please let him know....I STILL AND ALWAYS WILL BELIEVE IN HIM!!! GREAT JOB GUYS!!!
Dean Choy from Kaaawa, Hawaii
Comment: Aloha Jim. I'm a first-time writer from Kaaawa, Hawaii and started reading your posts since Marcus Mariota got drafted in 2015. First of all, a shout out to you for the amazing body of work you've crafted over those years. Your precision, grace, and humor has entertained and enlightened me about the spirit and business of the Titans. I watched the Denver game when Marcus was pulled and I understood. Marcus was having about the worst game I'd seen as a Titan. Shout out to Ryan Tannehill for seizing the opportunity, running with it, and never looking back. He earned the starting position. It was hard to watch the games with Marcus on the sidelines, but I had gotten to know and take to heart the entire 53 man roster through you. Shout out to the Titans for a tremendous season! You gave so much happiness and pride to your fans in your run to the AFC championship game! I had the privilege of attending the Jets and Jaguars games in Nashville last season, so I got to see Marcus lead a comeback victory against the Jets and Derrick Henry go wild against the Jaguars. I couldn't believe what I was seeing as Derrick's 99 yard run unfolded! Shout out to the people of Nashville I encountered. I told my friends after returning that Nashville had some of the nicest and most hospitable people I had ever encountered and that they could teach the locals a thing or two about the aloha spirit. I have a lot of Titans branded stuff all over the house and I will sadly start to replace them with the team that will sign Marcus off of free agency. I thought Marcus would be a Titan for life, but business is business and I understand. I just hope he can seize his next opportunity anywhere close to what Ryan Tannehill accomplished. I'll follow Marcus for his grace and character as much as his football skills. Shout out to the organization for the many moments of pure joy I will remember when you gave Marcus the privilege to be your quarterback!
Steve Roberts from McMinnville, Tennessee
Comment: I just want to say TITANUP BABY!!! So close! Just a player maker away from being there.
Cedric Williams from Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia
Comment: Thanks Jim for providing a fan zone for our Tennessee Titans and I'd like to thank Titans Organization for their assessment and assembly a roster plays with highly discipline what a season Remember the Titans we have put 31 remaining Team on notice 'I will be back" on to the draft hey Jim can't wait to hear reports on the Titans enjoy short break end of season.
John Cox from Camden, Arkansas
Comment: Hello Jim. Feeling a bit disappointed after Sunday's loss to the Chiefs, but I feel like the Titans really made great strides this season and made us all proud down the late season stretch and taking us with them on a deep run into the playoffs. The Chiefs are darn good and I think they'll represent the AFC well in the Super Bowl.
As far as the Titans go, I really like what Coach Vrabel is doing. I also hope we keep Henry around and pay the man well as he has earned it. I also think the Titans need a rock solid kicker and more O-line help. I think the Blankenship kid out of Georgia is reported to be the best kicker in college football.....what do you think the chances are of the Titans choosing this kid in the draft instead of bringing in more kickers cut loose from other teams? Had we had a solid kicking game this season, we would have won a couple more games and may have hosted a playoff game. But had that happened, we wouldn't have had the great road playoff wins over the Patriots and Ravens. Both games were especially enjoyable for me as a fan since the 1970s. This year's playoff run reminded me of the 1978 run which had big road wins at New England and Miami before losing to the eventual Super Bowl Champion, Pittsburgh Steelers. I believe Kansas City will go on to win the Super Bowl.
Alan West River from Pearl City, Hawaii
Comment: First, congratulations to the Titans players, especially Derek Henry! Because of the "King" Ryan Tannehill will have a starting job next year. Versus the Chiefs, suspect line play, no running game in the second half, brings back memories of the start of the season. However, the difference this time around is national media is not pointing the finger at the quarterback! Everyone talks about having to sign Tannehill, the two most important players that need to be signed is Derrick Henry, and Jack Conklin! Two players that the organization didn't really "TRUST" prior to the season and now will have to pay them big time to stick around. No Henry, and Conklin next year, and you will not be talking about New England south, but Miami north. Enjoy the offseason boys, you derserve it! Wish it could have been a couple weeks down the road with a "W".
Ryan Mumaw from Northwest, Ohio
Comment: Hey Jim. First off, congratulations to the players and the whole organization on a good regular season, a GREAT postseason, and an unparalleled amount of effort and heart from beginning to end. The AFC championship game: substandard, confusing, encouraging. All three, I believe, sum it all up; the whole season really. The past is exactly that, the past. And for THESE Titans, another 9-7 season was substandard. And In my eyes, the game plan and execution of tonight's game was also substandard, especially compared to the last 2 weeks. The season had its fair share of confusing moments, but they were rightfully shadowed by our post season push. The Chiefs game was the first time I found myself scratching my head in weeks though. Why were we so quick to lean away from not only Henry, but from the run game all together? Our defense appeared to have corrected its first half mistakes on the Chief's first drive of the second half. The offense just seemed to make more, while veering even further from the Henry heavy attack that got us to this point. The frustration began to mount at this point as I began to ask myself: what the H* happened to our O Line, our NFL leading rusher, our game plan??? Then all at once frustration turned to worry as I watched Mahomes and company start moving the ball at will yet again on their very next drive in the 3rd. I couldn't help but wonder, what's the excuse for our DB's going right back to looking complacent playing soft a, 2 hand touch football? For allowing the moment to get too big? For allowing their lack of focus to cost the team a timeout so early in the half? From there it was ugly and concerning, but somehow not over yet. We managed to stay in the fight a little longer. I personally feel The game was far from out of hand, until the Chiefs big gain-first down, helped by a questionable pass interference call; i believe around the 5-6 minute mark of the 4th. By that point though, I just can't help but feel like the coordinators already felt defeated, and a good portion of the players had all but thrown in the towel. The Chiefs are a great team no doubt, but there's no reason we shouldn't have been able to take care of business tonight in KC. With all that said, ENCOURAGING is the adjective I keep finding myself back at. Our team has accomplished so much this season. We left little to be desired; and as a team displayed more resilience, passion, heart, and integrity than the organization and fans have seen in sooo many years!! We destroyed the negative narrative around this team and confirmed our place in the upper echelon of the NFL. And although there's never a shortage of Critique in the NFL, we definitely quieted any and all critics. We fell short of the main goal, but everyone in the organization, every single player, and especially every fan should be so proud of this year's team and its accomplishments. This year has ended in defeat for our Titans. But I truly believe this is the first glimpse of a long time powerhouse in Nashville. Possibly even a dynasty! From a devoted, passionate, lifelong Oilers/Titans fan; i'm beyond proud of this team and season.THANK YOU SO MUCH! To the ownership, staff, everybody within the organization, and ESPECIALLY OUR PLAYERS, for a GREAT season of Tennessee Titan Football. Can't wait to see Lombardi trophies start finding their home in Nashville in the coming seasons!! TITAN UP!!!!!!!
Jimmy Dee from Battle Ground, Washington
Comment: Hey Jim. I just have a comment here I just saw a video of Mike Vrabel being asked if the Titans should have stuck with Henry longer in the AFCC game and Vrabel said, "I don't know. I guess there were a lot of things we could have done differently." He looked pretty dejected. I'd just like to say that the Titans had a pretty good season and they came back from a 2 and 4 start. He should be proud of this accomplishment. And IMO it was pretty clear that the Chiefs were going to force the Titans away from the run game sooner or later because the Titans' defense simply could not stop the passing game of the Chiefs. The Titans know, or should know, where they need to improve, and it's the pass-rush. They need to improve the pass-rush enough that it can put Mahomes under a lot of pressure. Cameron Wake wasn't the answer so the Titans need to bring in some guys who can get to the opposing QB. Mahomes had too much time in the pocket.
Micah Layne from Coalmont, Tennessee
Comment: I'd like to say congrats to the Titans on a great season. Those guys outperformed all expectations that people had for this team. I feel that this playoff run has been Great for the fans and the organization . I for one am very proud of the way this team preformed thru all of the injuries this year. I am a lot more excited for the future of this team than I have been in years.
Jay Haddock from Chatham, Ontario
Comment: Why? This is a question I have been asked for 20 years now any time I've said I'm a titans fan.
I'm a 31 year old man from a small city in Ontario called chatham. One hour from the border city of Detroit. Chatham is no usual city though. There are many many fans, very few you would call Lions fans. It's patriots, steelers, cowboys, packers, eagles and some variety of other "spotlight" teams sprinkled in. Anytime someone sees my jersey, hat, shirts etc they look at me and say why. Why the Titans? I have had a variety of answers. I love the jerseys was my first one. Or I loved the way McNair shakes defenders and plays through injuries. I loved how Eddie George would fight for every inch. Many of these answers would be correct and I probably have used them recently.
I have watched or listened to every game for 20 years. I've traveled to Nashville 5 times to watch my favourite team battle. I've gone to as many road games in some hostile environments. My children's baby photos have Lewan's jersey hanging in the background of the photo. I read every article, and watch everything.
However, all that about what I do does not answer the question as to why.
Some teams just speak to you.
There are so many where were you moments...
- Kenny Britt against Arizona
- Beating the Eagles in OT
- The shootout vs the Lions
- Beating the patriots in 2018.
- Coming back from 21-3 vs the giants courtesy of VY and Pacman
- CJ getting his 2k
- Watching a blocked FG live for the win vs the jags.
- Henry's 99 yards
- Marcus scoring his own td catch
- Bironas from 60 to beat the colts
That's just off the top of my head.
We as fans have endured a lot. I brought my best friend into the football world just as we went 13-3 and lost to the ravens. Followed by some tumultuous times.
VY going off the rails. McNair passing. Jake Locker. Zach Mettenberger. 59-0. 2-14. Yet we both stuck through it. People again ask why? However, we got through it.. and here we are now. Mike Vrabel and the culture he has brought to this team have exemplified the perfect reasons why.
Work ethic, brotherhood, love of the game, accountability, success. When you are a fan of football, it's not just something you say you like. It's a passion. It's you exemplified in a team. Being a fan of the titans for this long and to grow as an adult the way the franchise has grown. Sure theres been some rough spots, but guess what. We are peaking now. We may not always go noticed but we are gonna make ourselves noticed. Work harder than everyone else. Show loyalty, respect and honour. Prove others wrong. Most importantly, believe in yourself when no one else does. That's why. It's because for 3 hours every week we see that same passion in a group of players that we bring to our lives every day. We few who are titans fans know why. Honestly, that's all that really matters. Thank you to the entire organization for giving us something to believe in as the little guy!
Darin Wood from Bountiful, Utah
Comment: What an amazing season! So proud of the boys! Couldn't have asked for a better season after a 2-4 start! Killed the Patriots dynasty and got revenge on the Ravens!
Have a great week everyone!