65 degrees/ 17 MPH wind
Key Decision #1:
- The 49ers gameplan was clearly to throw on the Titans. It would be easier said than done as the Titans front had played pretty well and are currently fifth in the league in sacks. The 49ers ran the ball sporadically and ineffectively. RB Carlos Hyde carried the ball 16 times but only generated 25 yards for 1.6 yards per carry. Backup RB Matt Breida carried the ball five times but managed to gain 16 yards for 3.2 yards per carry. It was clear that the game plan centered on 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo throwing the ball downfield. San Francisco gained 414 total yards, yet only had 51 yards rushing.
- Even with an absence of a running game, the 49ers were 50 percent on 3rd down conversion attempts and had seven drives of seven plays or more. This is pretty rare in the NFL when you can non run the ball.
Key Decision #2:
- Both teams lived and died by the blitz. The Titans used run blitzes effectively and blitzes against the pass, well, not as effectively. The 49ers offensive line picked up the blitz well at times, giving up only three sacks, but Garroppolo was still under pressure. He was highly accurate during these periods of pressure, which was about a third of all snaps on passing downs.
- The 49ers used run blitzes during the game to slow down the Titans running game.
Key Decision # 3:
- Early in the second quarter, Titans Head Coach Mike Mularkey challenged a WR Marquise Goodwin catch that he believed was an interception. He lost that challenge. That was not a good challenge. The Titans lost a timeout. Luckily for them, they would not need it later in the half as they scored a touchdown at the end of the half.
Key Decision #4:
- After the 49ers went on a drive that allowed them to take a 22-20 lead on a 48-yard field goal, the Titans answered back with a 50-yard field goal off an 11-play drive to take the lead. However, the 49ers came roaring back to win the game with a 45-yard field goal as time expired. On the game winning drive, San Francisco took over at their own 25-yard line with 1:07 remaining. This much time was remaining as the Titans were snapping the ball with plenty of time left on the game clock on their final drive.
- For example, on 2nd and 9 from the San Francisco 39 and with 1:27 time left in the game, the Titans snapped the ball with 18 seconds left on the game clock. Then after a 7-yard completion, Tennessee called a timeout, stopping the clock before a 3rd and 2 with 1:12 remaining. The Titans ran a run play that fell short of a first down. The 49ers called a timeout, thus letting them get the ball back with over a minute left. San Francisco still had a timeout that they used with three seconds left to set up the 48-yard game winner.
- The Titans offense continues to struggle. The Titans appear to settle on one running back one week, and then give carries to the other running back. This week, RB Derrick Henry had nine touches (seven carries for 19 yards and two catches for nine yards), and one of those carries was in the first half. RB DeMarco Murray had 18 carries for 59 yards. Murray was in a nice rhythm, but they would get away from him at times inexplicably. The Titans need to look at running the ball as a staple of their offense instead of something they occasionally do.
- The Titans veteran wideouts, Rishard Matthews (six catches for 95 yards and a touchdown) and Eric Decker made timely catches over the course of the game. TE Delanie Walker saw the end zone after an early drop. The young wide receivers need to get on track for the Titans to win their next few games and make noise in the playoffs.
- The Titans made adjustments throughout the game that allowed them to cut a 13-3 lead down and take leads during the game and on the road.
- Speaking of the playoffs, two consecutive road losses to NFC West teams have the Titans reeling, and now probably need to win games against 10-4 teams (Rams and the Jaguars) to make the playoffs. By contrast, the 49ers have won four of five games and three in a row.
- The San Francisco offense went no huddle and/or up tempo at various points in the game to some success.
- Clearly the 49ers have found their answer at quarterback. Garoppolo completed 31 of 43 passes for 381 yards and a touchdown.
- The 49ers offense is finding that a good QB makes everyone better. Wide receivers Marquise Goodwin finished with 10 receptions for 114 yards Sunday. Since Garoppolo’s has taken over as starter, Goodwin has caught 24 passes for 319 yards. Trent Taylor is now a factor in the offense and the running backs and fullback are catching the ball out of the backfield.
- K Robbie Gould is on fire. He kicked six field goals against the Titans and has kicked 15 field goals in the last three games.