Predicting 49ers final 4 regular-season games, playoff results

Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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49ers, Titans
(Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images) /

Week 16: 49ers @ Titans — Thursday, Dec. 23

Now at 8-6, the 49ers face an arduous task of having to travel across the country back east and take on the currently 9-4 Tennessee Titans, who sit atop the AFC South but have watched their one-time stranglehold on the conference’s No. 1 seed slip away.

Losers of two of its last three games entering Week 15, the truth is Tennessee isn’t the same team it was at the start of the season, losing All-Pro running back Derrick Henry to a foot fracture that could potentially keep him out until the playoffs, if not longer.

Additionally, top wide receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones have found themselves on injured reserve, forcing quarterback Ryan Tannehill to rely more on tertiary pass-catching options while the Titans’ patchwork rushing attack has tried desperately to make up for Henry’s absence.

As a result, Tennessee’s offense and defense have found themselves in the middle of the NFL pack, ranked 15th on both sides of the ball in scoring.

That said, the Titans have still done an adequate job limiting opponents’ rushing attacks this season, currently allowing just 4 yards per carry, eighth best through 14 weeks. And with the chance to get healthier by Thursday night, it’ll be tough sledding for a 49ers team seeking its third win in a row.

On a regular week, the Niners may have been able to pull off a win. But the elongated travel for Thursday Night Football has to result in a predicted loss here.

42. 24. 35. Prediction. 17