49ers Take Down Titans 31-17
Success in Music City- Colin Kaepernick brought his tool kit with him to LP Field in Nashville Sunday and put it to good use. Kaepernick completed 13 of 21 passes for 199 yards and rushed for a 20 yard touchdown as the 49ers handled their business in a 31-17 win over the Tennessee Titans. With the win the 49ers up their season mark to 5-2 with their fourth consecutive victory which allows them to keep pace with the NFC West Division leading Seattle Seahawks. Frank Gore rushed 24 times for 70 yards and scored two touchdowns to help the 49ers create a good deal of separation over a team that generally plays all opponents tough. The 49ers defense had a big game in their own right as they did not allow the Titans to move the ball past the 49ers 25 yard line until the fourth quarter.
Using The Clock- The 49ers made the most of a number of their offensive possessions in the game as they retained the football for 35:46. This would help the 49ers defense stay fresh while at the same time keeping the Titans defense busy for a good portion of the afternoon. The 49ers first scoring drive in the opening period which ended in a Phil Dawson field goal consumed over six and a half minutes of the game clock. The 49ers defense benefited from the rest and would often times get the Titans offense off the field within five to six plays. In the second quarter the 49ers had a scoring drive that was aided by a game changing penalty to Tennessee. Kapernick on an attempt to get the ball to Vernon Davis saw his pass intercepted by Bernard Pollard. However Akeem Ayers was flagged for unnecessary roughness on a late hit to Kaepernick giving the 49ers a free 15 yards and an automatic first down. Three players later Kaepernick on a read option would run the ball in from 20 yards out to give San Francisco a 10-0 lead. This 49ers drive would use almost five more minutes of the game clock. The 49ers would add to this lead late in the second quarter as Frank Gore scored his first of his two touchdowns form a yard out. Again the 49ers would eat up over three minutes of the clock utilizing six plays. This drive was made possible after Titans' QB Jake Locker threw an interception to 49ers safety Tramaine Brock. In the third quarter the 49ers took the opening kickoff and embarked on a driver that ate up 7:40 more of the game clock and ended with another short Gore one-yard run. During these drives the 49ers got several contributions from Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis and Gore out of the backfield who combined for 11 receptions for 170 yards.
Defense/Special Teams Step It Up- The 49ers defense was solid for the majority of the afternoon as they kept the Titans offense at bay up until the fourth quarter. Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman again were the leaders of the defense combining for 13 tackles while assisting on two more. Carlos Rogers, Justin Smith, CJ Spillman, Eric Reid and Donte Whitner combined for 14 more tackles and gave Locker and the Titans offense problems all afternoon. Kassim Osgood, a one time wide receiver who has been converted to a special teams player had one of the games biggest contributions late. Osgood chased down a muffed punt that bounced off Tennessee returnman Darius Reynaud and rolled into the end zone, out hustling two other Titans to the ball. This gave the 49ers a commanding 31-10 lead with 6:16 left to play.
Titans 4th Quarter Rally Not Enough- The Titans made a late comeback attempt as they scored all 17 of their points in the fourth quarter. A field goal by Rob Bironas early in the quarter got Tennessee on the board at 24-3. Later in the quarter Locker would get a screen pass out to Chris Johnson out of the Titans backfield. Johnson would then run though a gauntlet of 49ers defenseman and scamper 66 yards to the end zone to bring Tennessee to within two touchdowns with over seven minutes remaining. Late in the contest Locker found former 49er Delaney Walker in the end zone for a 26 yard touchdown strike to pull again within two touchdowns. However by the time the Titans were out of time outs and the 49ers upon recovering the onside kick were able to kill off the remaining time on the clock.
Long Road Trip- The 49ers with the win take the first game of their two game road trip which may be different from the normal road trip. Within two hours of the end of the game the 49ers were flying out of Nashville and on to London, United Kingdom to where they will face the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday. It will be the second game of the NFL's two game International Series which Commission Roger Goodell has pushed very hard for. The 49ers will be the visiting team in this game which will be carried on FOX next Sunday at 10am Pacific Time (1pm ET; 6pm in London). The 49ers will have their bye week after this game.
Follow me on Twitter @Kingshark49