The Tennessee Titans will finish up the final two weeks of the 2015 season without their starting quarterback. Marcus Mariota suffered a sprained MCL in Week 15, and Zach Mettenberger will replace him the rest of the way.
The Titans finish up the season at home facing the Houston Texans, and then on the road to face the Indianapolis Colts. The Texans game looks winnable if Brian Hoyer is unable to play, while the Colts game is tougher to figure out with Andrew Luck's status in question. Of course, rolling with Mettenberger strikes me as a step back for the Titans, and thus improves their chances of solidifying the top pick in the draft.
Even if Mariota was healthy, the 49ers would not have had a particularly strong chance of passing them in draft order. It would require the Titans winning their remaining two games, and the 49ers losing their remaining two games. If they finished tied, it is all but certain the Titans will have a weaker strength of schedule. They currently have a .489 SOS, while the 49ers are at .547.
As we approach the end of the season, it is intriguing to consider what might happen ahead of the 49ers. Trades are pretty hard to predict, but we can at least ponder the needs of teams ahead of the 49ers. The Titans might want to add another offensive lineman to provide more protection, or maybe they add some talent to an improving defense. They could very well trade down, but again, it is hard to predict trades.