Oct 13, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs with the ball during the second quarter in a game against the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
On Oct. 20, the Tennessee Titans (3-3) host the San Francisco 49ers (4-2) at LP Field in Nashville at 4:05PM EST. This game has some interesting appeal and could potentially be the game that sets the tone for the remainder of the season. The Titans enter the game at .500 after a two-game skid against two of the NFL’s best teams this season: the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks. Next week, the Titans have a bye. It couldn’t come at a better time, nor could it be more deserved. The Titans hope to get back the potential surprise quarterback of the year in Jake Locker.
The Titans have another tough game to play against a 49ers team that’s headed in the right direction. It is up to the Titans to be able to slow down the speedy Colin Kaepernick and to be able to keep up with him at the same time. Kaepernick is undoubtedly one of the NFL’s most captivating players. He is the dual-threat quarterback that can just as easily burn you with 50-yard passes as he can with his lightning speed on a QB draw.
As the Titans enter their third consecutive game with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm, they have to get off to a quick start and set the tone fast. The Titans cannot afford to get off to a slow start. The 49ers defense is filled with Pro Bowl-type players but have shown some signs of weakness against the run. Hopefully, the run game can get established.
As we enter Week 7, Chris Johnson has yet to see pay dirt out of the backfield. This is very alarming. Johnson went from showing great explosiveness and awareness in the preseason to getting stuck behind his offensive line and conceding after the first hit. I think I can speak for all of Titans Nation… we need a game-breaking performance from CJ. Johnson can provide that spark. We need it now more than ever.
Titans must attempt some big plays. I know that Fitzpatrick isn’t going to win games by putting the team on his back and throwing 40-plus times like a Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers, however, we need some big-play attempts.
Tennessee must open up the playbook. The Titans can only play so much conservative football. The conservativeness has us on a two-game losing streak in games that we were very competitive in. We cannot expect Fitzpatrick to not make any big plays with his arm in the first three quarters and then expect him to save the day at the end of game.
The best thing about Titans football this season has been an amazing upgrade in defense. Every season, there are a lot of moves by coaches and coordinators. The addition of Gregg Williams cannot be overstated. This team is hitting hard, fast and with purpose. If the Titans can apply that same intensity and focus this week, the Titans have a good opportunity of getting Kaepernick flustered and committing turnovers.
If the defense can contain Kaepernick and give the offense good field position, the Titans will enter the bye week on cloud nine—with a great chance of Locker returning the following week.