The San Francisco 49ers handled their business on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, and while it was a general domination, there were some big plays that swung the momentum in the 49ers favor. Each week, we're going to use GIFs to break down some of the big plays. James is able to put together a bunch of GIFs, and we'll break them down one at a time.
Yesterday afternoon, we took a quick look at the muffed punt return that resulted in a Kassim Osgood touchdown. That was a big play, but it was more icing on the cake, as the 49ers were already comfortably ahead. A bigger play of note is this interception by who else but Tramaine Brock.
The 49ers had just scored a touchdown to go up 10-0. On this drive, Jake Locker connected with Nate Washington for 14 yards, and then Chris Johnson was stuffed for no gain, setting up a 2nd and 10. As we see above, Nate Washington ran a little stutter and go route. Tramaine Brock hesitated for a second, but he maintained his balance and stuck with Washington.
This GIF does not show Locker's angle, but it was poorly underthrown (obviously). Even if Locker expected Brock to bite, he should have adjusted when he didn't get what he wanted. Of course, given his hip and knee issues heading into the game, my guess is he tried to put a little mustard on the ball and just couldn't get the drive he would otherwise get. I can't say that with certainty, but that's my own take on it.
The 49ers followed up this play with another touchdown, and while the Titans did manage 17 points, the game was well in hand with that follow-up score.
The 49ers had their share of question marks in the secondary heading into this season. And yet, seven weeks in, the secondary is looking pretty darn robust. Carlos Rogers had his problems with Kendall Wright, but for the most part, the 49ers secondary has been solid. I think part of that comes from some solid pass rush work, but the cornerbacks and safeties have been on their game.
It's going to be interesting to see how the 49ers handle the financial side of things with Brock. He is having a breakout year, with three interceptions and generally excellent coverage since taking over the nickel role.
And he's a free agent after this season.
There is little doubt in my mind that Brock maintains this nickel role the rest of the season. That likely means more interceptions, and more great coverage. With each day that passes, his price tag climbs. The 49ers front office will have several question marks to face when the offseason hits, and cornerback is going to be one such position. Brock will have one "good" year under his belt, so what kind of price tag could we be looking at?