NASHVILLE – The halftime ceremony was great.
The game result, well, not so much.
On the day the Titans honored a pair of legends, they lost to the Colts. But there’s no time to sulk – the team plays another game on Thursday vs. the Jaguars.
Let’s pass the time in another mailbag.
David Stalder from Albuquerque, New Mexico
Question: The Fat Lady is clearing her throat on Marcus Mariota's career. All the impassioned athleticism in the world can't make up for consistently poor decisions. Brady can barely move, but he doesn't make mistakes.
Jim: I had a feeling my inbox would be packed with Mariota bashing, and as everyone will see, it was. I get it -- it wasn't his best game. But please spare me with the Brady comparisons. It’s unfair to compare any QB in the league to him.
Mike Temple from Birmingham, Alabama
Question: Another disappointing and frustrating loss to the Colts! Great job by the Titans organization in honoring Eddie and Steve, but unfortunately the team didn’t deliver in the 4th quarter. My question is - why doesn’t Marcus throw the ball down field over 20 yards? Our O-line is a little suspect, but Marcus seems reluctant to push the ball down the field. Welcome your thoughts, and here’s hoping that we can finally beat the Colts someday in the future?!
Jim: Hey Mike. Fair question. And we agree on all fronts. The ceremony for Eddie and Steve was nice, but the game was a disappointment. I also agree with you on the need for more downfield passing. We saw a deep ball to A.J. Brown in Cleveland, but no big plays downfield vs. the Colts. The team has players capable of stretching the field. I suspect you’ll see OC Arthur Smith take more deep shots moving forward.
Sergio Escobar from El Paso, Texas
Question: Hey Jim. Big question after the tough loss to the Colts: Jalen Ramsey is unhappy and wants out of Jacksonville. Do we have a shot at trade to acquire him since Nashville is a place he said he would like to play in? His shutdown ability would be a great asset to our defensive backfield. Thanks for the articles.
Jim: Hey Sergio. My opinion: If the Jaguars end up trading a disgruntled Ramsey, I seriously doubt they’d trade him to a place he wants to play, especially when that team is a division rival.
Thomas Booth from Thorofare, New Jersey
Question: Well another brutal game against the Colts -- 1 for 10 on third downs defense can’t get off the field on 3rd downs same old story the loss vs Colts totally diminishes the big Browns win. If you can’t win at home against division opponents it’s going to be another 9-7 or 8-8 campaign. By the way, where is our big fa wr? Underwhelming again. One good thing: Only 14 more weeks of the Mariota experiment. Cant’ wait!
Jim: Hey Thomas. Man, what a difference a week makes. Last Tuesday’s mailbag was packed with positivity after a blowout win in Cleveland. Now you make it sound like everything is broken, and no one knows what they heck they’re doing. It was a bad game on Sunday. Losing to the Colts again stinks. But 16 teams lost in the NFL this weekend. It’s a long season. Let’s see some more things unfold before going with the the sky-is-falling lecture.
Henry Key from Arrington, Tennessee
Question: It is so painfully obvious that Mariota is simply MEDIOCRE at best as an NFL quarterback. The Titans must find that franchise guy, as other teams have. In the meantime, why not play Ryan Tannehill?
Jim: Tannehill was signed to be the back-up. We’re two games in, so I’m assuming the GM and HC’s stance hasn’t changed after one loss. Marcus is on the injury report with a quad injury. Based on how he was walking after the game, it didn't look serious. Let's see if he practices on Tuesday and go from there …
Joquez Richardson from Nashville, Tennessee
Question: We have the weapons and have the deep threats, why can’t we throw the ball down the field more? I look at everyone else offense and see them take at least 10-15 shots down the field. Why not give our guys a chance or even and opportunity to try and make a play? Or is it just that Marcus can’t throw that far down the field?
Jim: Marcus can throw it that far. As I mentioned to Mike, I think you’ll see the team take more chances moving forward.
Dave Passoni from Taylorville, Illinois
Question: I have been an Oiler/Titan fan since 1969. Watching the Colt game Sunday, I am convinced the problem isn’t the offensive line. Mariota was too slow making decisions and even gave up before sacks. They need to bring Logan Woodside back and move Mariota to 3rd string or trade him. What do you think?
Jim: Well, I can assure you this isn’t happening. Woodside was placed on the practice squad injured reserve last week. He’s done for the year.
David Kennedy from Scottsboro, Kentucky
Question: All this talk about going from good to great! Heck we aren't even good! Try Tannehill, can’t be any worse!
Jim: We've officially reached the one-liner segment of this week's mailbag ...
Zack Weiford from Massillon Ohio
Question: I still believe Mariota is the perfect QB for this team and the weapons that surround him. So my question is: Will the team be looking to get a better offensive line as soon as possible because clearly they just are not enough? And why are they still trying to run with Dion when Henry is clearly the big dog and needs to eat.
Jim: Hey Zack. Well, getting left tackle Taylor Lewan back from his suspension will certainly help, but that’s not happening until October 6 vs. the Bills. Until then, guys will have to step it up and perform even better. The options are inside the building. We’ll get to Derrick and Dion a little later in this mailbag, along with a Nate Davis inquiry.
Lydia Faleafine-Nomura from Iliili, American Samoa
Question: Contrary to what many fans believe, I think Marcus is capable of making explosive passing plays down the field. We rarely see these types of plays called. I think if we had gone to a passing game in the fourth quarter like we did in Cleveland, we would have been more successful against the Colts. Is it because the coaches do not trust Marcus or the receivers?
Jim: Hi Lydia. The coaches trust Marcus. What needs to happen moving forward is the team needs to get into better down and distance situations so things aren't so predictable. As Mike Vrabel mentioned on Monday, the Titans have been faced with third-and-ten or more in 13 of their 20 third-down opportunities. That makes it hard to be successful.
Antonio DeBruce from Augusta, Georgia
Question: Not a question but I just wanted to say being that I’m in the Navy and underway all the time I never get to catch games but reading you mailbag kinda gives me an idea of how the game went. I read it as much as possible and I’ll be looking forward to next weeks.
Jim: I really appreciate you sharing this, Antonio. As you can tell from the questions/comments this week, the game didn’t go so well. And thank you for your service.
Sean DeMello from Carterville, Illinois
Question: Derrick Henry was looking good the first three quarters averaging over 5 yards a carry. He once again got pulled out of the game for Lewis. The commentators covering the game on television and many of us at the game saw him wearing down the Colts defense. Coach Vrabel in the pos game gave a convoluted answer as to why he substituted him commenting on the heat of the day Henry himself says he loves playing in the heat having played in high school ball in Florida and college ball in Alabama carrying over 30 times in games with high heat. Indeed, Henry himself put his hands in the air upon being removed. Is there something we are missing? Titans articles on this site asked two hall of famers the key to success for the Titans and they both agreed feed Henry the ball more. Well fourth Quarter would have been a good time to keep pounding him especially when the passing game was not at its best. Don't you agree?
Jim: I hear ya, Sean. Derrick and Dion were each on the field for 30 snaps on Sunday. Vrabel was asked about it again on Monday, and he said the long down and distance situations cut into Henry being on the field. Vrabel said he’s been on the field significantly more on 1st and 2nd down compared to Lewis. I’m with you on this – the offense is more effective with Henry out there. The good news is he's been good against the Jaguars in his career, and they're up next.
Dolores Scott from Wilsonville, Oregon
Question: I am a novice at football but I hate to see Marcus getting sacked all the time. They did a good job on the on first game of defending him, but terrible on the Colts game. What happened to those protectors? Were they the same players as the first game? Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett’s defenders kept the Titan defense away from him giving him plenty of time and space to make a good throw. How can we win games if you can’t keep the quarterback upright? I expect I will hear the usual comments that it is all Marcus’s fault.
Jim: Hi Dolores. Well, I think the blame can be spread around here. Protection failed Marcus on some plays, and he was sacked. But he’s also been guilty of holding the ball too long, and that's led to more sacks. Brissett wasn’t kept out of harm’s way as much as you make it sound either. He was sacked three times and pressured on numerous occasions, but he managed to break tackles on several plays to avoid sacks.
Patrick Sweeney from Roselle Park, New Jersey
Question: Being from New Jersey with no ties to Houston or Nashville (thanks to the amazing Earl Campbell) I want to thank our great owner Amy for retiring #9 and#27 (long overdue). I think it is also time to recognize some of the great coaches of the organization for the ring of honor. Bum Phillips, Jerry Glanville and Jeff Fisher are all long overdue. I’ll never forget Bud Adams crying at the press conference when he fired Jerry. (classic). They are all part of the history of this franchise that has brought me joy and tears on football Sundays. They deserve to be recognized.
Jim: Appreciate the perspective, and for taking the time Patrick.
Jordan Newbury from Cushing, Texas
Question: Hello Jim. I hope you're doing well, sir. Sunday's game was frustrating to say the least. I’m sure you'll be asked at nauseam about why the coaching staff didn't put the ball in Derrick's hands more; so I will not ask about that. What I would like to know is the status of Nate Davis? The Jags most likely have a Texas sized chip on their shoulder after the way Derrick has performed against them throughout his career! I would imagine their main focus is to stifle our running game and make Marcus beat them with his arm. If they succeed in slowing Derrick, can the current o-line personnel protect Marcus or is Nate getting close to a start? Thanks and God bless
Jim: Hey Jordan. Appreciate the question. Davis has been inactive the first two games, and Vrabel has said he’s still catching up after missing so much time in training camp with an injury. But he's pretty much been a healthy scratch. This is just my take: I don’t get the sense right guard Jamil Douglas, who is playing ahead of Davis, has been a big problem. And I’d be a little hesitant to throw Davis in there on a short week. With that said, I know some folks have been happy with the progress Davis has made in recent weeks.
Derek Reese from Imperial Beach, Florida
Question: Jim. Mariota is on the injury report. How serious is his quad injury? Will he play Thursday vs the Jags?
Jim: Hey Derek. I mentioned this earlier. Marcus is scheduled to speak to reporters on Tuesday, before practice. The team is scheduled to practice from 2:15-4 Tuesday. Pay attention to the practice report coming out of Tuesday’s work. That will tell us a lot.
Have a great week everyone!