NASHVILLLE – This is the live blog post from the 49ers Game of the Week 16 Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans. I will update this frequently with information and analysis.
3:02 The Titans will have their two star receivers – Julio Jones and AJ Brown. They activated Brown this week from the injured reserve list today, and Jones trained this week despite a hamstring injury last Sunday. Tennessee will therefore have major advantages over the 49ers cornerbacks.
But the Titans likely won’t have a racing game. They are missing their star running back, Derrick Henry, and they will not have left tackle Taylor Lewan or left guard Rodger Saffold. So, the Titans should be one-dimensional – pass, pass, pass. And the 49ers ‘pass rush should be feasting on the Titans’ offensive line. So I don’t expect Tennessee to score a lot of points.
I also don’t expect the 49ers to score many points – the Titans have a tremendous pass rush too. They have two good onboard rushers – Bud Dupree and Harold Landry – and an excellent indoor rusher in Jeffrey Simmons. The 49ers are also expected to struggle with handling the ball and protecting their quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
But the 49ers ‘offensive weapons are healthier than the Titans’ offensive weapons. And the Titans have frequently returned the ball in recent games, unlike the 49ers, who have not.
I expect the 49ers to win a dark, lightly scarred, ugly game on Thursday night.
Final score prediction: 49ers 23, Titans 13.
Here are the inactive 49ers:
This means that Azeez Al-Shaair is active.
5:14 The 49ers looked extremely loose and confident during the pre-game warm-ups.
The 49ers lose the toss, so they will receive the opening kickoff.
5:29 The 49ers walk the field easily and score a touchdown as Jeff Wilson Jr. runs into the end zone one yard. The Titans’ defense still looks tired from last week. Let’s see what the 49ers defense looks like.
49ers 7, Titans 0.
5:36 Defense looks great. In the 1st and 10th of the 49ers 48, Samson Ebukam sacked Ryan Tannehill for a loss of 8 yards. The Titans kick off three games later. The 49ers will recover the ball at 20 after the touchback.
5:46 At the 2nd and goal of the 8th, Garoppolo telegraphed a pass to George Kittle in the end zone and was intercepted by Janoris Jenkins. Horrible piece by Garoppolo.
5:50 In the 3rd and 3rd of the Titans 27, AJ Brown passed one end, Fred Warner tackled it for a loss of three yards and the Titans came out three and three. Their offensive line does not allow them to do anything.
5:53 The Titans had a 39-yard punt. The 49ers get the ball back at their 37th.
6:02 The 3rd and 26th of the 49ers 36, Garoppolo throws a tunnel screen to Deebo Samuel, who gains six yards and organizes a 48-yard field goal attempt for Robbie Gould, which he nails. The 49ers converted a 4th and a 1 to keep this player alive. Garoppolo also missed a wide-open Kyle Juszczyk for a walk-in touchdown. Garoppolo’s pass goes over Juszczyk’s head.
49ers 10, Titans 0.
6:11 On the 3rd and 2nd of the Titans 44, Jimmie Ward snapped a pass intended for AJ Brown, who drove a fast slanted drive. The 49ers get the ball back to their 21s after the Titans’ last punt.
6:16 On the 1st and 10th of the 49ers 22, Garoppolo throws a pass directly to Titans linebacker Rashaan Evans, who gives up the interception. Two games later, Garoppolo was sacked by Denico Autry, who beat George Kittle to the limit. The 49ers go 3 and exit.
6:18 A 30-yard punt by Pro Bowl alternate kicker Mitch Wishnowsky places the Titans 45th of the 49ers.
6:20 Jimmy Garoppolo is shaken. He had a wide open receiver to his left about 7 yards into the field when he was sacked on the 3rd down. Kyle Shanahan had better get back to racing quickly.
6:28 In the 3rd and 20th place of the Titans 43, K’Waun Williams tackles AJ Brown without gain. Two games earlier, Brown had two hands on an assist in the end zone but didn’t catch it. Ambry Thomas was all over him. The 49ers got the ball back in their 10th place with 1:20 left after the punt.
6:35 On the 3rd and 2 of the 49ers 30, Garoppolo sneaks 3 yards, then the 49ers let the first half end. The Titans will recover the ball to start the second half. They had 3 first downs and 55 net yards in the first half, and yet they’re still in the game.
6:59 On the 3rd and 9th of the 49ers 21, Tannehill throws an incomplete screen pass, then the Titans pull in a 38-yard field goal. Josh Norman gave up two catches on the first down to Brown, third and long during that stretch.
49ers 10, Titans 3.
7:03 First play, Garoppolo passes a pass over Deebo Samuel’s header and is intercepted by Amani Hooker, who returns the pick to the 49ers 18-yard line.
7:06 At 2nd and 3rd base, Titans running back D’Onta Foreman rushes towards the touchdown. It’s Garoppolo’s fault. He’s making some pathetic decisions in this game. He had an open receiver in front of Samuel during this interception. No reason to force the ball to Samuel on the first try.
7:20 am The 4th and 1st of the Titans 36, Trent Williams commits a false start. The 4th and 6th, the 49ers charge, and Garoppolo throws a wildly erratic pass to Brandon Aiyuk, who must dive to put his finger on it. The 49ers return the ball on the downs.