San Francisco 49ers
Of the three other teams left in the playoffs, the 49ers might pose the biggest threat to derail Tennessee’s Cinderella run.
San Francisco doesn’t have the best run defense statistically, but they are coming off a game where they allowed just 21 rushing yards to the Minnesota Vikings, the NFL’s sixth-best running offense.
San Francisco has a talented roster for sure, but they’re not a team without weaknesses. And one of the 49ers’ biggest deficiencies is an area where the Titans have been thriving.
On the season, Tennessee has been the NFL’s most efficient red zone offense, and it hasn’t been particularly close. The Titans have finished 78 percent of their red zone possessions this season, not just with points, but with touchdowns. The next best team has been Green Bay, who finished the year 12 percent lower than Tennessee at 66 percent.
Should they play, the Titans will put their dominant red zone offense against San Francisco’s defense, one that’s allowed touchdowns on 58 percent of their opponents’ possessions within 20 yards of the end zone, ranked 20th in the NFL.
With how good the 49ers’ defense is otherwise, finding success in the red zone would be crucial for the Titans. San Francisco would be able to force the Titans to punt more often than not, but if Tennessee could finish their more promising drives with touchdowns rather than rolling the dice on a field goal, they could be able to do just enough to win.