In a game where they were expected to win, the 49ers took care of business against the Tennessee Titans in a 31-17 win. This game wasn't even close with all of the Tennessee's points coming in during the fourth quarter. The 49ers are now 5-2 and remain one game behind the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West standings.
The defense made the game changing play with Tramaine Brock intercepting Jake Locker in the second quarter. This was Locker’s first interception of the year as he returned for the first time in three weeks from an injury.
After the turnover, Colin Kaepernick would scramble for 20 yards again and a key 20-yard pass to Vance McDonald would put the 49ers on the 1-yard line. The ball was caught after being tipped by the Titans’ defenders. Frank Gore would finish the drive with a short touchdown run and make it 17-0 49ers at halftime.
What put the exclamation point on this game was the first drive of the second half for the 49ers. Similar to last week’s 18-play drive, the 49ers engineered a 12-play, 79-yard drive that took 7:40 off the clock which resulted in a touchdown. Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis had two receptions each on the possession and Frank Gore scored his second touchdown with a one-yard run to make it 24-0 and put the game away.
"Everybody has to respect [our] running game," said Jonathan Goodwin. "It opens some things up, including things that might be covered by the defense. Colin Kaepernick can make plays with his legs."
Throughout the game, the 49ers were continuously pounding the ball on the ground. Gore and Kaepernick combined for 138 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 35 rushing attempts. Five of Kaepernick's runs were off the read-option.
The 49ers started their first offensive drive with a 44-yard field goal by Phil Dawson. The Titans could not generate any offense in the first half.
They were able to utilize Anquan Boldin for receptions of 25 and 12 yards. The Titans gave them a break when Bernard Pollard intercepted Colin Kaepernick, but a roughing the passer penalty on Akeem Ayers kept the drive alive. Kaepernick would score off the read-option with a 20-yard run to the left to put the 49ers up by 10 points.
In the fourth quarter, the Titans would add 10 points including a 66-yard touchdown pass to Chris Johnson. Jake Locker also threw a touchdown to former 49ers TE Delanie Walker late in the game.
An interesting play that happened in the fourth quarter was when Darius Reynaud muffed a punt as Darryl Morris knocked the ball to the back of the end zone. Kassim Osgood fell on the loose ball for the touchdown which gave the 49ers their final touchdown of the game.
"[Darryl Morris] was down there to disrupt the ball and I jumped on a pot of gold," Osgood said. "It's rare and far between to score a touchdown on special teams like that. Once you get one, it's free money on the floor."
At the end of the game, there were several scrap fights with players becoming physical. Kenny Britt and Tarell Brown had a confrontation while players from both sides were shoving each other on a separate play. Penalties were minimal near the end of the game, as it was wrapped up when everything happened.
"[We have] physical games sometimes, but we were able to keep our cool for the most part and leave without problems," Goodwin said. "We were able to get out with a [win before we head to London]."
The 49ers will travel to London and play the Jacksonville Jaguars in Wembley Stadium for Week 8.
-Quinton Dial played a few snaps in the fourth quarter. His movement was positive when disrupting the offensive line.
-No wide receiver outside of Anquan Boldin had a reception. Only Kyle Williams was targeted once while Jon Baldwin was on the field for a handful of snaps.
-This is the fourth consecutive game where the 49ers have scored 30 or more points. They also scored 14 points off turnovers in this game.