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San Francisco 49ers vs. Tennessee Titans: A Prospector's Guide

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The 49ers come home this weekend to face the artists formerly known as the Houston Oilers.  The Tennessee Titans have struggled mightily this season, but finally notched their first win of the season last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.  The Titans finally decided to roll the dice with Vince Young after settling for a bit too much mediocrity with Kerry Collins.  Young wasn't a superstar last week but he did exactly was required of him and executed that much more or less to perfection.  He finished 15/18 for 125 yards and a touchdown.  It'll be interesting to see if the team expands his role, or is wise and continues riding Chris Johnson.

The 49ers host the Tennessee Titans in what will be the 12th meeting between the two teams, dating back to 1970. The last time San Francisco faced Tennessee was in 2005, when they were defeated by the Titans, 33-22, in Nashville.

The 49ers look to snap a three-game losing streak after falling to the Colts, 18-14, in Indianapolis last week. After jumping out to an early 7-0 lead on a 64-yard touchdown run by RB Frank Gore, 49ers QB Alex Smith connected with TE Vernon Davis on an 8-yard touchdown pass late in the 2nd quarter to give the team a 14-9 advantage heading into halftime. The Colts went on to score nine unanswered points in the second half to claim victory. Gore recorded his third touchdown carry of over 60 yards this season, while Davis posted his seventh touchdown reception and continues to lead the NFL in receiving scores.

The upcoming game showcases a tough San Francisco run defense (84.9 ypg. - 2nd in the NFL) against a high-powered Tennessee ground attack (162.3 ypg. - 2nd in the NFL).

49ers-Titans Connections
Coaching Connections

• 49ers head coach Mike Singletary and 49ers pass rush specialist Al Harris were teammates of Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher with the Chicago Bears from 1981-84. Although on Injured Reserve in 1985, Fisher still won a Super Bowl ring along with Harris and Singletary during Chicago’s Championship season.
• 49ers DC Greg Manusky and Titans DE David Ball were with the San Diego Chargers for two seasons (2004-05). Manusky served as a linebacker coach.

FORMER TITANS - PK Joe Nedney played for the Titans from 2001-04 ... WR Brandon Jones was originally drafted by the Titans in the 3rd round of the 2005 draft and played for Tennessee from 2005-08 ... Video operations assistant Mark Preto served in the same capacity with the Titans from 1999-2004.

FORMER 49ERS - Head coach Jeff Fisher served as defensive backs coach for two seasons (1992-93) with the 49ers ... Special teams coach Alan Lowry served in the same capacity with the 49ers for five seasons (1992-95) ... DE Larry Birdine spent half of the 2008 season on the 49ers practice squad ... DT Tony Brown played with the 49ers during the 2004 season.

TENNESSEE TIES– 49ers WR Isaac Bruce played for the University of Memphis for two record setting seasons (1992-93) ... 49ers LB Patrick Willis was born and raised in Bruceton, TN, and was a standout athlete at Central (Bruceton, TN) High School, where he lettered in three sports (football, basketball, and baseball) ... 49ers LB Parys Haralson played at the University of Tennessee from 2002-05 ... 49ers NT Aubrayo Franklin hails from Johnson City, TN. Franklin also played at the University of Tennessee for two seasons (2001-02) ... 49ers inside linebackers coach
Vantz Singletary served as the defensive line coach at UT-Chattanooga from 2006-07 ... 49ers offensive assistant Jason Michael served as tight ends coach while at the University of Tennessee.

CALIFORNIA CONNECTIONS – Titans TE Craig Stevens and WR Lavelle Hawkins both played together at Cal-Berkeley from 2005-07.

TIGER TANDEM – 49ers DT Justin Smith and Titans WR Justin Gage were teammates at Missouri for two seasons (1999- 2000).

WOLFPACK - 49ers LB Manny Lawson and CB Marcus Hudson were teammates of Titans LB Stephen Tulloch and C/G Leroy Harris were at North Carolina State University from 2003-2005.

TEXAS TWO-STEP - 49ers CB Tarell Brown was a teammate of Titans S Michael Griffin, FB Ahmard Hall and QB Vince Young at Texas.

TARHEEL BRED - 49ers Dre’ Bly and Titans TE Alge Crumpler were teammates at North Carolina for two seasons (1997-98).

TROJAN TIES - 49ers G Chilo Rachal and RB LenDale White were teammates during the 2005 season at the Univ. of Southern California

Series Highlights
Matchups: 11
Series Record: 49ers Lead Series 7-4
49ers Home Record vs. Titans: 49ers Lead Series 3-2
First Meeting: 11/15/70, 49ers win, 30-20
Last Meeting: 11/27/05, Titans win, 33-22
Current Streak: Lost 1
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 4 (12/13/81-10/7/90)
Longest Oilers/Titans Win Streak: 2 (12/7/75-9/17/78)
Most 49ers Points: 34 (10/21/84), 34-21, at Houston
Most Oilers/Titans Points: 33 (11/27/05), 33-22, at Tennessee
49ers Shutouts: None
Oilers/Titans Shutouts: None

At Nashville, TN, November 27, 2005

The San Francisco 49ers could not hold on to a 14-9 halftime lead, allowing Tennessee to take control of the game after scoring 21 3rd quarter points en route to a 33-22 Titans win. The 49ers played well in the 1st half and seemed to have the momentum after CB Shawntae Spencer returned an INT 62 yards for a TD with just :38 seconds to play before halftime to give SF a 14-9 lead.

Tennessee QB Steve McNair, who finished the day with 343 yards passing and 3 TD passes, directed a big 3rd quarter that helped give Tennessee the win. McNair completed 5 of 7 passes for 142 yards and 3 TDs in the 3rd quarter. McNair completed TD passes of 41 and 50 yards within 80 seconds of each other on Tennessee’s first two offensive plays in the 2nd half. The San Francisco defense opened the 2nd half by holding the Titans on three straight plays, forcing them to punt from deep in their own territory.  WR Otis Amey muffed the punt return and Tennessee took over at the SF 41-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, McNair connected with RB Chris Brown on a short pass that was turned into a 41- yard TD.  The 49ers were held on the ensuing drive, and a punt by P Andy Lee was returned 19 yards by Titans rookie CB Pacman Jones for a first down at midfield. On the next play, McNair completed a 50 yard TD pass to WR Roydell Williams for a 23-14 lead. McNair culminated an 8-play, 68-yard drive with a 4-yard TD pass to TE Erron Kinney on the Titans next drive for a 30-14 advantage. McNair kept the drive alive with a 38-yard pass to Williams on a 3rd-and-5 play to give Tennessee a first down deep in SF territory.

The 49ers went 3-and-out in all four drives in the 3rd quarter, gained no first downs and netted just 17 yards. After Tennessee added a FG in the 4th quarter to take a 33-14 lead, the 49ers mounted a 15-play, 82-yard drive that ended when QB Ken Dorsey completed a 17-yard TD pass to WR Arnaz Battle on a 4th-down play. Dorsey and RB Terry Jackson connected on the 2-point play to cut the Titans lead to 33-22 with 1:15 to play. K Jose Cortez’s onsides kick attempt was recovered by CB Derrick Johnson, but the 49ers drive ended when Dorsey was stripped of the football with five seconds remaining.

2009 Statistics

49ERS (rank) TITANS (rank)
3-4 (2nd NFCW) Record 1-6 (4th AFCS)
21.0 (19th) Points per game 16.3 (24th)
275.3 (27th) Total Offense 327.9 (19th)
100.4 (22nd) Rushing Offense 162.3 (2nd)
174.9 (22nd) Passing Offense 165.6 (26th)
29:06 (21st) Possession Avg 27:30 (29th)
20.0 (12th) Points allowed/gm 30.1 (32nd)
337.0 (20th) Total Defense 394.9 (31st)
84.9 (2nd) Rushing Defense 112.4 (18th)
252.1 (28th) Passing Defense 282.4 (32nd)
16 (18th) Sacks 15 (t-21st)
48.0 (4th) Punting Avg (Gross) 42.3 (23rd)
+1 (t-13th) Turnover Differential -8 (t-28th)