The San Francisco 49ers beat the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, in a game that looked like it could be a blowout in the first half, but quickly turned into a nail-biter in the second half. The 49ers won on a last second field goal, but quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo made some critical plays to get the victory.
However, don’t tell that to Titans cornerback Brice McCain. After the game, he was asked how different the 49ers looked with Garoppolo, and how much of the performance was based on him vs. the Titans own lack of execution. McCain was quick to say the Titans deserved the blame more than Garoppolo deserved credit.
“It was us. He came in, he executed, but the chunk of yardage came from blown coverages. That’s about it. He didn’t do anything special. He threw a lot of quick game, get the ball to the receiver’s hands fast, and they made plays. That’s about it. It was nothing special. He didn’t do anything special. He just threw to open guys.”
Safety Kevin Byard was a little more willing to praise Garoppolo, but he also said the Titans had worse miscommunication than at any point this season. When asked how much credit Garoppolo deserves for his performance, he had this to say.
“He is a good player. He is one hell of a player. I think the 49ers got themselves a quarterback. We gave them a lot of plays a whole lot of plays. I give him credit, but we gave up a lot of plays today for sure.”
I’m not expecting the Titans to be gushing with praise after this performance. They’ve got a strong pass rush, but they were unable to close the deal against Garoppolo with any consistency. And Garoppolo and the 49ers offense made them pay.
The Titans got a lot of pressure, blitzing on 26 of 46 dropbacks, and putting him under pressure on 18 of his dropbacks. Garoppolo finished the 16-23 for 214 yards and a 98.8 passer rating when blitzed. He was 12-15 for 135 yards and a 104.2 passer rating when under pressure.
I imagine there were some miscommunications in the Titans defense. That is bound to happen. But McCain is incorrect in saying Garoppolo didn’t do anything special in getting that win. They did throw some quick passes when the blitz was coming, but that also shows the offense’s ability to pick them up and find the open man. And when they weren’t bringing the house, he stood back and found his guys regularly.
Yes, players were getting open, but I have a hard time believing it was entirely due to miscommunication.