The 49ers couldn’t have asked for a better start to the game as they marched 75 yards on their opening drive in nine plays after Jeff Wilson capped off a five-minute drive from one yard out. The offense didn’t face a single third down.
Despite converting a third and long, the defense held the Titans to seven yards on six plays, thanks to a tackle for loss by Nick Bosa on the opening play and a sack by Samson Ebukam.
The 49ers found themselves in Tennessee territory on their second drive after Kyle Juszczyk took a screen 26 yards. A 15-yard reception from George Kittle followed that. And, just like that, the Niners had another goal-to-go situation.
Unfortunately, Jimmy Garoppolo made up his mind he was throwing it to Kittle the whole way, and Janoris Jenkins stepped in front of one of Jimmy’s throws for an interception. That was a critical turnover as the 49ers were rolling and were set to go up two touchdowns.
The defense did its job and forced a three-and-out. The 49ers would have had a walk-in touchdown to Juszczyk. Instead, Jimmy airmailed the throw. After failing to convert on third down, Kyle Shanahan left his offense on the field, and Garoppolo found Deebo Samuel to keep the drive alive.
Trent Williams was flagged for a facemask that put the offense in a 3rd & 26. Bud Dupree jumped offsides, which put Williams in a problematic situation. Deebo had a valiant effort on a screen, but that was not enough to pick up the first down. Robbie Gould’s 48-yard field goal was good to give the 49ers a 10-0 lead.
The score should have been 21-0, San Francisco. This is why the quarterback is such a hot topic. Tennessee was fortunate they were only down ten. Jimmy would throw the ball directly to an underneath linebacker on the ensuing drive, but the Titans dropped the ball. Garoppolo took a sack on the next play after Kittle was beaten for a sack.
Mitch Wishnowsky shanked a punt that went 30 yards, which gave the Titans the ball at San Francisco’s 45-yard line. The Titans would have had a long gain, but a holding call negated a 31-yard run. Tennessee faced a 3rd & 20 before San Francisco took a timeout and forced a punt.
The 49ers allowed 2.6 yards per play in the first half. They were flying around and playing lights out. The offense didn’t have any issues moving the ball. They had three possessions in the Titans' red zone and only came away with ten points. That’s not playoff-worthy.
The Titans converted a 3rd & 15, 3rd & 7, and 3rd & 10 on their second half's opening drive before failing to convert their fourth third down of the drive. However, a 38-yard field goal from Randy Bullock brought the Titans within a touchdown to make it 10-3.
The offense came out aggressive, but Garoppolo threw high over the middle to Deebo, his second interception of the game. However, it didn’t take long for the Titans to punch it in and tie the game at ten.
Jauan Jennings caught a first down on 3rd & 7, followed by Aiyuk picking up a first down on the next play. That was enough to put the ball into Titans territory. Trent Williams jumped on 4th & 1. The offense stayed on the field on 4th &6, but miscommunication from Garoppolo and Aiyuk, who was open, caused a turnover on downs. It looked as though Jimmy expected Aiyuk to keep running, who throttled down in space.
The 49ers had the Titans in a 3rd & 23. Samson Ebukam jumped offside. Ryan Tannehill took advantage of a free play and found A.J. Brown for 42 yards. Tennessee converted another 3rd & 10 before Tannehill found Brown, who beat Norman for an 18-yard touchdown to give the Titans a 17-10 lead.
Garoppolo took a sack, and Alex Mack held the ensuing drive that forced a 49er punt. Wishnowsky pinned Tennessee inside of the five-yard line, but Norman allowed a reception to Brown that gave the Titans breathing room. However, the Niners couldn’t get off the field on 3rd & 8. Thankfully, they got a stop on the next third down to force a punt.
Jimmy G and company would need to drive 95 yards to tie the game with just over five minutes to play. San Francisco has all three timeouts. Kittle hadn't been targeted since the red zone interception in the fourth quarter. On this drive, the Titans doubled Kittle, forcing anybody else to beat them.
The 49ers needed a play. Who else would they go to? Deebo, of course. He raced 56 yards to put the Niners near the Titans' goal line. That was Samuel’s eighth catch of the game for 143 yards. Garoppolo found Aiyuk wide open in the end zone to tie the game at 17. The 49ers went 95 yards in eight plays, and the drive took under three minutes.
The Titans took over with just over two minutes to play. They benefitted from pass interference and a 23-yard run from Tannehill, which was enough to put them into field goal range.