The San Francisco 49ers haven’t been the dominant team everyone expected then to be, but they have still been solid.
However, against a stellar Tennessee Titans team with its quarterback returning , solid might not be enough.
San Francisco will have its first challenge in a long time against the Titans, which are coming off of a tough road loss against the powerhouse Seattle Seahawks. Tennessee was 3-1 with Jake Locker starting, but it lost two tough, otherwise winnable games in his absence.
Still, the defense kept the Titans in those games, and it will do the same against the 49ers. Tennessee has playmakers like Bernard Pollard and Alterraun Verner, and it has thrived on the defensive side of the ball.
Verner has intercepted four passes and defended 13, both of which lead the league. He will likely be matched up with Anquan Boldin, so Kaepernick will need to be careful about where he throws the ball.
If the 49ers are to best the Titans, they will need contributions from many wide receivers; Boldin might be shut down. That is unlikely, so Vernon Davis will be key. He will have to get by Tennessee’s safeties and linebackers, and that will be key to San Francisco’s success.
On defense, the 49ers can definitely stop Tennessee. Chris Johnson has been ineffective, and Locker still isn’t 100 percent. If the 49ers can shut down Tennessee’s ineffective receiving corps, they will have defensive success.
Expect an incredible defensive battle, and expect a good game. The 49ers have to play well to beat a good, hungry team on the road, and I don’t think they will get the job done.