Before this season, the San Francisco 49ers got their head coach and general manager in Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch. The 49ers were going into rebuilding mode, but with the intelligence of an ex-player in John Lynch, whose job is to evaluate talent and bring that talent to San Francisco, the 49ers were probably only a couple of years from competing and making a run in the playoffs. From the very start of the season, the 49ers looked and played much better, but the inability to get a win started to get to the team.
In five of their first six games, the 49ers lost by three or fewer points. Instead of being a possible 5-1, the 49ers were 0-6. At this point, the record started to affect the 49er players, which resulted in getting blown out by the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. Brian Hoyer started the season for the first six games, then the 49ers made a change to rookie quarterback, C.J. Beathard, in the game against the Washington Redskins.
Beathard shows some good qualities that an NFL quarterback needs to have, especially toughness. He was able to help in getting the first 49ers win of the season, beating the New York Giants in Week 10. C.J. Beathard is a good backup to have, but early in his career as only a rookie, he is probably not a starter for the NFL, at least not yet. The defense has shown great signs of getting better, particularly because the front seven isn’t getting run all over like last year. Rookie Reuben Foster is a huge reason why that is not happening.
On October 30, everything changed. The San Francisco 49ers traded with the New England Patriots to acquire quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Since Garoppolo has taken over at quarterback, the 49ers are 2-0. With a defense that forces the quarterback to make throws, the 49ers really only needed a quarterback to be able to compete for an entire game.
Now, with the 49ers being 2-0 as a team with Garoppolo, who showed great poise and leadership, the energy level and confidence is at an all-time high. Jimmy Garoppolo is heading into Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans with excitement as he will be playing in his first home start for the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium.
Though the 49ers are out of contention to make the playoffs, they are still playing for pride and try to win out with Garoppolo under center. Running the table, or at least, winning most of the games will also make Garoppolo realize that he should, in fact, sign back with the 49ers. On the other sideline, Tennessee has a special quarterback in Marcus Mariota, who has really impressed in his first two years, but in his third year, has regressed a bit, with some of the blame going toward the coaching staff.
This will be a very tough game for the 49ers, but the Titans’ defense isn’t great, and Garoppolo should continue to make strides in his new offense. However, the 49ers’ defense will be greatly tested. Mariota is dual-threat quarterback, who hasn’t been playing well and will look to get back on track. The Titans also have the running back duo of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. The front seven of the 49ers will have their work cut out for them when they have to face the three-headed monsters of Mariota, Murray, and Henry.
Tennessee is in an interesting position, as they are in second place of the AFC South at 8-5. They are one game behind the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the Titans beat the Jaguars in their first meeting. Playing the 49ers and Rams before finishing the season with the Jaguars will be crucial as all three games will be tough.
The 49ers are looking to beat their final three opponents, Tennessee, Jacksonville, and the Los Angeles Rams. It will be a very tough game for the 49ers, and Tennessee needs this game to stay alive in the AFC South. The difference maker in this game will be quarterback, as Garoppolo is riding high, while Mariota has been struggling the last few games.
Expect Jimmy Garoppolo to do more than Marcus Mariota, and the San Francisco 49ers continue to roll as they beat the Tennessee Titans, 26-19.
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