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NFL Game Preview: San Francisco 49ers at Tennessee Titans

Dec 23, 2021

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Game: San Francisco 49ers at Tennessee Titans   

Time: 8:20 p.m. ET 

Odds: 49ers -3, Titans +3 

Total: 44 

Tennessee opened as a 1-point favorite over San Francisco, but the 49ers’ recent performances and the Titans’ loss last week to Pittsburgh did a number on the line for tonight’s game. Now, it the Niners who are 3-point road favorites and there’s a good reason why. 

The 49ers are headed in a different direction than Tennessee. San Francisco has won five of its last six games and has forced itself right back into the thick of the NFL playoff race. At 8-6, the 49ers are currently the No. 6 seed in the NFC behind the 10-4 Rams and ahead of the 7-7 Minnesota Vikings. 

San Francisco has been playing extremely well. The offense has scored at least 30 points in the five wins in the last six games. The 49ers won three of those games by at least 18 points, so it’s no surprise San Francisco is also 5-1 ATS in their recent six-game streak. 

One of the big reasons for the Niners’ success is WR Deebo Samuel. He has been outstanding with 61 catches for 1,088 yards and five touchdowns this season. Samuel has also been very active in the 49ers run game having carried the ball 39 times for 269 yards and seven more touchdowns. He’s averaging 6.9 yards per carry and, along with QB Jimmy Garoppolo, is one of the reasons why the San Francisco offense is peaking at the right time. 

The 49ers will have a hard time catching the Cardinals and Rams, both 10-4, for the NFC West title making their best bet at the postseason via a wild card. San Francisco is in a great spot to do just that. After playing Tennessee tonight, the 49ers will close the season by hosting Houston (3-11) and then against in the Rams on the road. 

Tennessee has not been playing well as of late. The Titans have lost three of four games and two of those losses were to inferior opponents. Turnovers have killed Tennessee. In a 22-13 loss to Houston, the Titans turned the ball over five times. Last week in a 19-13 loss to Pittsburgh, the Titans held the Steelers to 168 yards of total offense but turned the ball over four times. If they continue to turn the ball over, the Titans are in trouble. 

Tonight, the Titans have more issues. WR Julio Jones has been a non-factor over the past few games. He did not catch one pass against the Steelers and left that game early with a hamstring injury. He is questionable for tonight’s game. 

A.J. Brown is expected to play but has been far from what was expected this season. Brown has 46 receptions for 615 yards with just three touchdowns so far this season. The Tennessee offense as a whole has been underwhelming the past four weeks. The Titans’ point totals were 13, 20, 13, and 18.  

Not surprisingly, the Titans have covered just once in their last five games. The Niners are 8-3 straight up against Tennessee in the last 11 meetings. In the last nine Titans-Niners games, Tennessee is 7-1-1 ATS.