What. A. Game. From down 10-0 at the half to winning 20-17, it was a great performance by the defense, Ryan Tannehill, and of course, AJ Brown, as he came back from IR to put the team on his back, and carry them to victory. Also, shout out to Mike and OC Todd Downing for making some big 2nd half adjustments that had to be made in order to win!
The Niners started off really well, with a great opening drive, spanning around 5 minutes, with 9 plays, incorporating every section of their diverse offense. Deebo Samuel was involved, as was Brandon Aiyuk, and star TE George Kittle. The drive ended in 6, from a 1-yard Jeff Wilson run. Robbie Gould made the PAT, to make it 7-0. The Titans got the ball, and on their first play, rookie LT, Dillon Radunz, filling in for All-Pro Talyor Lewan, got beat by Nick Bosa, who stuffed RB Dontrell Hilliard for -8 yards… That was how the drive went, as Brett Kern punted it away. Once again, the 49ers were in business, their offense humming, as they got down to the Tennessee 8, but Jimmy G made a horrible decision, and threw the ball right at Jackrabbit Jenkins, who got the pick, to bail the Titans out.
But the Titans offense couldn’t do anything, and immediately punted. San Fran had another good shot at a TD, but superstar LT, Trent Williams had a facemask call, and they had to settle for a field goal, a 48-yarder, which Gould made, to make it 10-0. Each team traded punts to close out the half. Tennessee was very lucky to be in the game, and they took advantage of it.
To start out the 2nd half, the Titans got the ball, and had a convincing drive, ending in a 38-yard Randy Bullock field goal, putting them back in the game, at 10-3. On their first drive of the 2nd half, the Niners gave the ball to Jimmy G, and he overthrew Deebo, and Amani Hooker picked it off! Momentum shift!
Then D’Onta Foreman punched it in from 3-yards out, tying the game at 10! Nissan Stadium was alive!
San Francisco got to a 4th-and-1, but Williams had a false start, making it 4-and-6. Garapaolo’s pass to Aiyuk was wide of the mark, and Tennessee held, giving the ball back to a suddenly red hot offense. On 3rd-and-23, there was an offsides, giving the Titans a free play. Tannehill launched the ball up to AJ, and he dominated the poor rookie Ambry Thomas, and came down with the spectacular catch, to end the 3rd quarter!
From that point on it was Arthur Juan’s time! San Fran could not stop him. On 1st-and-10, from the 18, Tannehill threw a dime in the end zone to guess who……. AJ Brown! He beat the double coverage, and Tanney threw it right to him, and everyone went nuts! 17-10 Titans.
Photo: The Tennessean
Both teams traded punts before Deebo said that he wasn’t done. He had a 56-yard catch-and-run to put the Niners at the Titans 6! Jeff Wilson got them to the 3, and then the Tennessee D broke down, and Jimmy found Aiyuk in the end zone to tie it. 2:20 left, Titans ball, Tannehill, AJ, and Julio. It was set up to be an epic ending! Ryan T made some nice throws, but he ended the game with his legs… On 1st-and-10, he scrambled for 23 yards, to the San Francisco 31!
Kyle Shanahan had no choice but to burn his timeouts, and with 8 seconds left, Randy Bullock trotted out for a 44-yard field goal… It was moving towards the upright, but it snuck in, and it gave the Titans a 20-17 win, in thrilling fashion.
The defense balled out. They got Jimmy G for 2 picks, and put pressure on him when needed. They made Kittle a non-factor, and limited Aiyuk. Though Deebo did well and got his yards, it was nevertheless an impressive performance.
Arthur Juan Kanobi is back. He put the team on his back when they needed him the most, and made the offense 10x better.
Julio is a decoy, but that’s fine. Julio will get attention, since he is Julio Jones, even though he isn’t that good anymore. But it will open the middle for AJ, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, and the tight ends.
The running back by committee has worked better than we thought it would. When The King went down, we thought Adrian Peterson would be serviceable, but he is no longer with the team. Instead, Dontrell Hilliard, Foreman, Tannehill, and Jeremy McNichols, combined for 90 yards and a TD.
The special teams has found their rhythm. Knock on wood… Brett Kern has been spectacular, Bullock has hitting his kicks, Chester Rogers has been a great return man, and the special teams coverage has been decent as well.
Photo: Wade Payne / Associated Press
Top Fantasy Performer
The top fantasy performer of the week goes to, drumroll, please……….. AJ Brown, with 31.50 fantasy points! What you thought it was gonna be someone else!? He had a grown man’s game, with 11 catches for 145 yards, and 1 TD. He had 16 targets, so I think it’s safe to say that Ryan’s happy that Arthur’s back.
MVP, Improvement, Breakout, and What’s Next
This week we have our first co-MVP’s, in the Titans defense, and of course, AJ “1K Always Open” Brown. AJ, and the defense are going to be huge down the stretch, as they hold our fate. My Improvement goes to the o-line. Hopefully Lewan and Saffold are back, because I want Tannehill to have some more time to throw the ball, and the run game will benefit from a stretched-out passing game. My Breakout goes to Mr. Julio Jones himself. He has been a star on this segment, sadly. Anyways with extra time off, his hamstring can get some rest, and he can mesh with AJ more, as the two haven’t practiced together for a month.
Now I have a quick question for all you Pats fans out there! Would you rather have, AJ Brown, Deebo Samuel, DK Metcalf, Terry McLauren, or N’Keal Harry? I’m sorry, but I’m never going to let Bill get away with that.
Anyways, Tennessee can win the division with a Colts loss to the Cardinals on Christmas. Go Cards! Next week, they host the red hot Miami Dolphins, while the 49ers go back to the bay to play the hapless Houston Texans. Until next time, TitanUp!