The San Francisco 49ers lost some high-profile games earlier this season, putting a significant damper on what was supposed to be an encore performance after last year’s Super Bowl run. The 4-2 team has largely put those losses behind it as it travels to Tennessee today to take on a Titans team 3-3 Titans team that some people say may not be as good as its record indicates. There are a few things to watch for as you watch Titans vs 49ers online free streaming live using the links below, and we’ll break down those storylines here as well.
Since dropping those two consecutive games, San Francisco has quietly won three straight by a 67 combined points. For comparison, that margin of victory is more than the total number of points the Titans would’ve likely scored in three games (they average 21.3 points per game). Last week against the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers finally put up some big passing plays, but that may be harder to do against the Titans and their 10th-ranked defense. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick hasn’t had the biggest season, going 90-161 for 1,221 and 8 touchdowns, but again, that reflects some off games earlier this year. And while the Titans have that top-10 defense, they allow almost 224 yards passing per game, which may allow Kaepernick to open things up.
The big quarterback story, though, isn’t likely to be about Kaepernick’s quiet return to form, although he has thrown five touchdowns and one interception over the last three contests after throwing four picks and no TDs against the Seahawks and Colts. Instead, the big QB narrative is likely to be about Titans quarterback Jake Locker returning to the field. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday that Locker is expected to start today against the San Francisco 49ers. If that’s true, it would be an incredible comeback story for a QB who was carted off the field three weeks ago against the New York Jets with knee and hip injuries.
It’ll be interesting to see how Locker performs, because although he won’t be 100%, he was having a solid season before he left, having gone 69-111 for 721 yards and six TDs in three and one-half weeks. Had he not lost those games to injury and maintained that pace, he’d likely have far better stats than 49ers QB Kaepernick. If Locker does start, you’ll want to be there for the opening kickoff from Tennessee (4:05 EST / 1:05 PST), because there’s no guarantee how long he’ll stay in the game. The game’s live on FOX or you can watch Titans vs 49ers online free streaming live using the link above or the DirecTV link below.
The defensive matchup will be intriguing as well, with the 49ers having the NFL’s 9th-ranked defense and the Titans coming up one spot later at 10th. The Titans have won the last two times these teams met, and the Titans defense could go a long way to seeing if they can make it three. As noted on ESPN, the Titans’ defense has been particularly good on third down, as strong safety Bernard Pollard and Ropati Pitoitua — a run-stopping end who leads the team in sacks — have anchored a defense that gave up a ton of yards in 2012. “The biggest thing for slowing 49ers running back Frank Gore is getting a crowd to him and tackling well, and the Titans have been pretty good at both. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick running could be a bigger concern, as Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson really hurt the Titans more than RB Marshawn Lynch did last week.”
In spite of the moral victory and morale boost of Jake Locker returning for the Titans, ESPN is still picking the 49ers to win. To see if they pull it off, you can catch the game in high definition on FOX or watch Titans vs 49ers online free streaming live on DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket Package. Although the package itself requires a subscription, anyone can watch the live streaming version free if they have one. Can the 49ers make it four in a row, or will the Titans manage to avoid their third consecutive loss by winning at home? It should be an entertaining game.