Wednesday morning, the folks at Music City Miracles put together a look at under-the-radar-players to watch for this Sunday. As we've done through the first six weeks of the season, I contributed my thoughts on 49ers players to watch.
Today, we're back with a look at why each team will win. The folks at MCM put together their offensive and defensive thoughts on why the Titans would win, and I've got some thoughts on why the 49ers will win. First up MCM.
Music City Miracles: Why the Titans will win
There will not be many people picking the Titans in this game because the offense has been so bad with Fitzpatrick under center, but the defense has been keeping this team in games. Anything can happen.
On offense, the Titans absolutely have to get something going in the ground game. They announced this week that Brian Schwenke will be taking over for Rob Turner at center. That should help open some things up inside. They also hope to get Shonn Greene back this week. He can sustain some drives by getting yards that Chris Johnson just isn't getting right now.
If they can get the ground game going it will open up some things down the field. Fitzpatrick will need to hit one or two throws down the field in this one. If he does, the Titans can win the game.
On defense the Titans will need to take away the run game. They should be able to do that with the way their defensive line has been playing. The next challenge will be taking away Vernon Davis. A combination of Zach Brown and Michael Griffin (can't believe I am about to say something positive about him) could be up to the challenge.
Niners Nation: Why the 49ers will win
On the offensive side of the ball, it will come down to the 49ers imposing their will in the run game. Even if the Titans defensive line is playing well, they will have to deal with the overwhelming physicality of the 49ers offensive line. The Titans defensive line is actually 30th in adjusted line yards, so look for the 49ers to continue their recent physical rushing attack.
The 49ers do need to get the passing game going to some extent, but the Titans secondary has been solid thus far. Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner have both been playing well this season. I wouldn't expect the 49ers wide receiver woes to improve anytime soon, so it really makes all the sense in the world that they stick with the run game. Of course, Greg Roman's game-playing sometimes leaves us wondering about his sense, so we'll see!
On the defensive side of the ball, nose tackle Tony Jerod-Eddie is likely going to be the key to this game. Starting nose tackle Glenn Dorsey is dealing with a hamstring strain. He says it is not as bad as first expected, but I would not be surprised to see him sit out. If that's the case, TJE will make his first NFL start. When he replaced Dorsey early in last week's game against the Cardinals, Arizona found a good deal of success running up the middle.
Even if a banged up Dorsey plays, the Titans are going to test the middle of the line. The 49ers will need to hold steady. If they can keep the Titans from establishing the run, they will win this game.