NASHVILLE – It was a disappointing result on Sunday for the Titans.
After wiping out an early deficit, the Titans couldn't close the deal in a loss to the Texans.
But they're not done yet, even if it sounds like a few fans have thrown in the towel.
Let's discuss it in this week's mailbag…
David Stalder from Albuquerque, New Mexico
Question: 9-7--if they're lucky--and out of the playoffs. Wow...just...wow. Wondered when they'd fall back to earth and return to the Titans we all know and abhor.
Jim: Well, I think you're in the minority here, David. It was a gut-punch of a loss with a lot on the line, but you can't say the Titans didn't fight to the end. The team lost to a good Texans team, by three points. It snapped a four-game winning streak and ended a run of six wins in seven games. Did it hurt? Yes. But the Titans "we all know and abhor?" Where's Randy Moss with his "C'mon, man!"
De Zitter Karl from Paris, France
Question: Hi Jim. As a big Dolphins fan (unfortunately), I'm really happy to see Tannehill doing in Nashville what he never did in Miami, play good games week after week. Anyway, now I really support the Titans and wish them to reach the playoff despite the lost against Houston at home on Sunday. Now we can't say it's already playoff for the Titans cause another loss would mean good by for this year. That will be hard against the Saints next week. But I really believe that the Titans can finish strong and with little help from the Bucs next week everything can happen... Go Titans 👍🏈
Jim: Thanks for weighing in from France. The Titans are definitely still alive. Now they just need to take care of business and hope to get a little help. The AFC South and a Wild Card spot is still up for grabs. Root for the Titans, and against the Texans and Steelers.
Joe Arcudi from Merrimack, New Hampshire
Question: Disgusting.... Out played.... Out coached.... and Out toughed…… That's a wrap on another mediocre season. Well...… Same ole Titans. They tease us and make everyone think this year will be different -- but as usual they lay an egg in a big spot. Worse yet at home when the fans do come out. We all want so bad to believe but we get fooled time and time again. So disheartening and depressing. With this loss it will be virtually impossible to make the playoffs. The 2-4 start was just too much to overcome.... you had to be pretty much perfect for the rest of the season. The Titans are the poster child for the up and down NFL. well.... baseball season is only a couple of months away.
Jim: Well Joe, I combined your back-to-back angry emails into one so we could bundle all the joy in one spot. I get the frustration. But I'm not going down the gloom and doom road just yet, and no matter what happens from here it's not as bad as you make it seem. Be thankful you're not a Bengals fan, I guess. The Titans are just two seasons removed from a playoff win, and the team is on the verge of posting its fourth winning season in a row. Sure, if the Titans miss the playoff this year, it's going to be a disappointing season, and considered a failure. But no one is throwing in the towel, I can guarantee you that.
Eddie Huertas from San Diego, California
Question: I fell in love with the team back in 2000 after a Super Bowl run when I was 10 years old, a similar story to Damien Heafey the California Titan. BTW I appreciate your dedication, time, and effort to this organization. My question is??? Well I have no question I just want to say I am proud of the front office, the coaches, and my team. No matter what I'm a Titan till the casket drops.
Jim: Appreciate you taking the time, Eddie.
Harry Sundal from Westmoreland, Tennessee
Question: We lost by 3 points. What happened to Succop? He was the best before his injury. We need a good field goal kicker if we make it to the playoffs.
Jim: Hey Harry. Wish I could explain it. Ryan has struggled, there's no way around it. He's 1-of-6 this season, and his kick that was blocked on Sunday came out low. It took him a while to get back coming off of offseason surgery, and I suspect he's not feeling like himself, but he's not making any excuses.
Daylen Bills from Salt Lake City, Utah
Question: Hi Jim, I had the chance to catch my first Titans game ever last week in Oakland and I can't help but feel like this season is special for the Titans. This week's game was tough to swallow with so many swings in momentum ending in a loss. So many good things but not without many mistakes. I'm sure it's on everyone's mind, but what is our plan going forward with kicking? Succop is clearly a shell of what he once was, we signed Santoso for what seems like a waste of a roster spot, and we've had a revolving door while Succop was on IR. It sounds like we worked out a few options this week but decided not to sign anyone in hopes Succop's issues would "work themselves out". I can't be the only one to think that isn't going to happen. If we make a run in the post season, are we riding on the hopes that Succop can pull it together? Or will we go another route? Also, if we do keep him around through the end of the season, do you think Succop will have a job next year? Thanks for your insights each week, Jim! Go Titans!
Jim: Hey Daylen. Appreciate the email. Was just chatting with Harry about this. It's crazy, since the Titans have been in town, field goal kicking has never been an issue. Aside from Al Del Greco's bad game vs the Ravens in the 2000 season's playoffs, he was money. Same with Rob Bironas and Joe Nedney and Gary Anderson and Succop – before this season. The Titans are just 8-of-18 kicking field goals this season, and that number includes kicks from Cairo Santos, Cody Parkey and Succop. Santoso, as you mentioned, didn't reach the end zone on two of his three kickoffs on Sunday, and his onsides kick wasn't very impressive. What happens from here? Well, it's the GM's call, and the HC's call. Looking ahead to 2020, well, it's hard for me to think there won't at least be another kicker in camp. Hopefully this season will end on the right, um, foot.
Douglas Wiggins from Kettering, Ohio
Question: Mine is just a comment. The Titans cannot come through in the big games, last year at Indy and against Houston. The only thing they can hope for is Pittsburgh to lose a couple and the Titans win the last two. It is going to be real difficult against N.O. It is a good possibility it will be an 8-8 season, out of the playoffs again, and even worse than the last three seasons at 9-7.
Jim: Hey Douglas. First off, the Titans need the Steelers to lose to either the Jets or Ravens, and the Titans need to beat the Texans. The AFC South title is still attainable if the Texans lose to the Buccaneers on Saturday, and the Titans beat the Saints and Texans. Yes, the Titans have work to. As for the Titans not coming through in big games, were the pretty much must-wins over the Chiefs, Jaguars, Colts and Raiders leading up to Sunday not big? Was the win-and-in game against the Jaguars on December 31, 2017, not big? How about the playoff win at Kansas City in January 2018? Yes, the Titans blew a great opportunity on Sunday against the Texans. No, the Titans didn't get it done with Blaine Gabbert playing for an injured Marcus Mariota against the Colts in the season finale last year. But in saying the team cannot get it done in big games you're neglecting to acknowledge some, well, big games.
Mike Bates from Smyrna, Tennessee
Question: Jim, Thanks for what you do. Regarding On-Sides Kicks... The NFL's lack of creativity never ceases to amaze me. These kickers are pros. That's all they got? -Lean it forward in the tee and hit it at the nearest guy's shin at 100 miles an hour and play dodge ball with him. When he jumps up, the ball hits the ground and it's game on. I don't know, kick it straight up. Try something...
Jim: I hear ya, Mike. The onsides kick was a dud.
Kev White from Salisbury, North Carolina
Question: Hey Jim, I'll start out by saying I'm a True Blue Titans fan. I'll always support my Titans. With that said, last week a Code Blue was announced. The team asked for support from fans. And the fans held up their end of the bargain, both at Nissan Stadium and I'm sure at their homes. Why didn't the Titans hold up their end of the bargain? You don't call a Code Blue and lose. This is the years long frustrations with the Titans. I understand the mistakes made but it is so frustrating. My biggest point of frustration is after every loss, key players mumble the same crap every time; starting faster, exploiting opportunities, etc. Sure all of that is true but it would be nice to hear some real passion. Give us a reason to believe.
Jim: Hey Kev. Appreciate the support. Why didn't the Titans hold up their end of the bargain? Well, the 14-point swing hurt, when the ball escaped Anthony Firkser's grasp at the goal-line and was intercepted. The missed field goal didn't help. It proved tough to slow down Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins and Co. without the team's two starting cornerbacks, but a lot of teams have had trouble with that duo. Having Derrick Henry at less than full strength wasn't ideal. I know you didn't come here for excuses, and I'm not making them. I'm just saying it's hard to win in the NFL, especially when those things work against you. There's a reason why the Texans beat the 11-3 Patriots and the 10-4 Chiefs, and it's because they're a good football team. Spare me on the no passion spiel. The Titans played their hardest to win that game, and they simply got beat.
Jeremy Rodriguez from San Diego, California
Question: Jim, Sunday was a heart breaker. Stationed in San Diego is always fun when the Titans can beat the Raiders or Chargers! Last week was AWESOME!! My question is, having to win out, knowing New Orleans will be a tough game and going to Houston will be even tougher, what do you think Vrabel needs to change to give us the best chance to finish with a two-game winning streak?
Jim: Hey Jeremy. Yep, it was a kick in the gut, no doubt. Moving forward, the Titans have to do whatever it takes. Using the same formula it did during the four-game winning streak will be a must. Getting Derrick Henry back closer to 100 percent would help, too.
Troy Rogers from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question: Hey Jim, quick observation from a charter member of the season ticket holders of 20 years now. But if I recall correctly every Code Blue we have had over the years we have lost. So maybe the marketing department needs to come up with something new because Code Blue is a jinx. thanks Troy
Jim: Hey Troy. Appreciate the email and support. You're correct in that the Titans haven't fared well in the Code Blue games. The Titans did win the first a Code Blue game on a Monday Night Football contest against the Colts in 2008, however. But yes, a lot of blue Code Blue games since. Someone needs to issue a Code Red …
Tim Leidinger from Kaiserslautern, Germany (GermanTitans fans)
Question: Hello Jim. I hope you're doing well today after the unnecessary loss yesterday. -.- After the huge success of our charity lottery last year we've started another one to help a big Titans Fan, Mike Herndon. It's called Family Matters.
I would like to ask if you could add it to your mailbag and if the Titans could help us to raise awareness for it. We've some great prices to win e.g. two tickets for the upcoming game against the Saints, gameworn jersey......
CLICK HERE: https://www.germantitans.eu/en/charity2019/
Thanks in advance and I wish you a merry Christmas and Titans Football in January.
Jim: Appreciate it Tim. Hope it helps.
Have a great week everyone!