NFL 2017 Week 15: Tennessee Titans vs San Francisco 49ers preview and prediction

The Titans are 8-5, but head to San Francisco as underdogs thanks to the 49ers new quarterback


The Titans went to Arizona last week and lost 12-7 in miserable fashion. The offensive woes that have plagued this team continued as Marcus Mariota tossed two interceptions, DeMarco Murray managed just 3.1 yards per carry, and the whole offense registered just 201 yards.

San Francisco went down to Houston to face the Texans and won 26-16. Jimmy Garoppolo was once again marvelous and threw for 334 yards and a touchdown as he continued to show he can be the guy for San Francisco. The defense picked up three sacks and Reuben Foster continued to show his talents in the heart of the defense.

The man

There was a lot of positivity around the trade for Jimmy Garoppolo, but as with anyone who leaves the New England Patriots there was some quiet worry that everything he did was just another Bill Belichick creation. It turns out there shouldn’t have been any worries. He is averaging 314 yards in games he has started, which is more than anyone else this season, and while it’s only been two games that alone is enough to celebrate the trade.

He has already created good chemistry with Marquise Goodwin and has dispelled all ideas of Kirk Cousins coming to town in 2018.

The man?

2017 was supposed to be the year that Marcus Mariota announced himself as a legitimate and dangerous NFL quarterback. Instead it has raised a lot of questions about the future of the Titans under Mariota. He has thrown 14 interceptions to just ten touchdowns, and is once again struggling to stay healthy. The entire Titans offense has been a mess of late, but Mariota was meant to be a building block for a decade or more, and right now he is looking very shaky.

Holding on

The Titans are currently in the #5 spot in the AFC playoffs, and if they win out they will take the #3 seed. However, they are in terrible form. They haven’t played a really good game since they crushed Seattle in Week 3, and while they have edged out wins over Baltimore and Cincinnati they have also had disasters against the Steelers, Cardinals, and very nearly the Colts in recent weeks. They are not yet assured of a playoff spot, and with the Rams and Jags left on their schedule they need to win this game.

Matchup to Watch: Solomon Thomas vs Taylor Lewan/Jack Conklin

The #3 pick in this year’s draft, Solomon Thomas hasn’t quite delivered as hoped, but every week he flashes potential and raw talent. This week he will see a tough test in the Titans offensive tackle pair of Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin. Lewan has been struggling with lower back spasms but returned to practice on Thursday. This should be a good battle all day.

Fantasy Tip: 49ers WR Marquise Goodwin

Goodwin has seen 20 targets in Jimmy Garoppolo’s two starts, and has caught 14 of them for 205 yards. While the two haven’t connected in the endzone yet it’s just a matter of time with that kind of volume.

Betting Tip: 49ers (-3)

The 49ers are flying high, they’re at home, and the Titans have been miserable on the road, with four of their five losses coming away from home.

Prediction: 49ers 26 – 20 Titans

Another good game for Garoppolo, another bad one for Mariota. The Titans have struggled somewhat up front this year and the 49ers front seven is really playing well right now. This could be the start of an epic collapse for the Titans.

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Toby Durant

Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.

 

I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.

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