NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 16 Game Recap: Tennessee Titans 20, San Francisco 49ers 17

Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) scores a touchdown against San Francisco 49ers cornerback Josh Norman (26) during the fourth quarter at Nissan Stadium Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn. Titans 49ers 181

After a slow start, the Tennessee Titans rallied to beat the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 on Thursday night. 

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The 49ers held a 10-0 lead early but couldn’t put the Titans away, as A.J. Brown became unguardable in the second half. Brown finished with 145 receiving yards and a touchdown from 11 catches.

The 49ers had chances to extend their lead at various points in the game, but two costly Jimmy Garoppolo interceptions — one in the red zone — allowed the Titans to stay in the game.

Next week, the Titans welcome the Miami Dolphins to Nashville while the 49ers host the Houston Texans.

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Tennessee Titans

Quarterback

Tannehill picked his play up as the game wore on and when he started targeting Brown. His yards per attempt (YPA) splits by quarter tell the story of the game.

Ryan Tannehill Passing by Quarter
Quarter YPA Average Depth Of Target Average Time To Throw Completion %
1 2.6 0.4 2.33 100%
2 3.4 9.6 2.48 62.5%
3 9.8 10.0 2.64 60%
4 11.8 8.0 1.87 100%
Running Back

The Titans used a committee of backs with Derrick Henry still injured. D’Onta Foreman carried the ball nine times for 17 yards — 20 of which came after contact — and forced two missed tackles. Jeremy McNichols carried the ball seven times for 31 yards — 23 of which came after contact — and forced three missed tackles while Dontrell Hilliard gained 20 yards from five rushes. 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Brown led the team with 4.83 yards per route run while hauling in 11 of his 16 targets. Julio Jones had a poor day, as he was only targeted once, which ended up as a seven-yard catch. He finished with just 0.29 yards per route run.

Offensive Line

Tennessee's decimated offensive line was allowed eight pressures. Rookie Dillon Radunz, playing left tackle, gave up four pressures and a sack. The only other player who gave up multiple pressures was Aaron Brewer with two. He also gave up a sack.

Defensive Line

Jeffery Simmons led Tennessee's defensive line with four hurries but could not sack the quarterback. Denico Autry finished with one sack and two pressures while Bud Dupree recorded a sack on his lone pressure.

Linebackers

Rashaan Evans was Tennessee's most targeted linebacker, giving up three catches for 31 yards on five targets. Nonetheless, he did get his hand on a Garoppolo pass that should have been intercepted. Zach Cunningham was targeted three times and allowed a catch each time but for only 19 total yards.

Secondary

Kristian Fulton struggled for much of the evening, as he was targeted eight times, allowing seven catches for 133 yards and four first downs. Nevertheless, he did force one incompletion. Buster Skrine gave up five catches on seven targets for 62 yards.

San Francisco 49ers

Quarterback

Garoppolo had a rough day when he tried to push the ball downfield, but he did fair well underneath. 

Jimmy Garoppolo Passing by Target Depth
Target Depth Completions Attempts Yards TD:INT
Behind LOS 7 7 78 0:0
0-9 Yards 13 16 125 0:0
10-19 Yards 6 9 115 1:2
20+ Yards 0 3 0 0:0
Running Back

Jeff Wilson Jr. carried the ball 14 times for 45 yards, finishing with 37 yards after contact and three first downs while forcing one missed tackle.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Deebo Samuel recorded five handoffs himself, gaining 32 yards, and added nine catches for 159 yards from 11 targets for 5.68 yards per route run. George Kittle finished with two catches for 22 yards from three targets.

Offensive Line

Laken Tomlinson allowed four pressures and one sack. Daniel Brunskill was the only 49ers other linemen who allowed multiple pressures, as he gave up two. Trent Williams even allowed a pressure.

Defensive Line

Samson Ebukam led the 49ers defensive line with five pressures and brought down Tannehill once. Nick Bosa recorded just two pressures while Kentavius Street and Jordan Willis each recorded a sack. 

Linebackers

Fred Warner was targeted seven times and gave up eight catches for 42 yards — three of which resulted in first downs. He finished with two tackles against the run and one run stop.

Secondary

Ambry Thomas and Josh Norman were the most targeted 49ers defensive back, as each was targeted five times. Thomas gave up two catches for 46 yards but recorded two forced incompletions while Norman gave up four catches for 60 yards and a touchdown. 

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