The 49ers face a stiff challenge on a short week, traveling east to play the Titans. But a road win can be had if the Niners do these three things.
It’s never easy being a road team on Thursday Night Football, and it’s certainly not easy for West Coast teams having to travel at least two time zones away to prepare for a game on a short week.
Yet that’s precisely what the San Francisco 49ers face in Week 16 when they travel to Nissan Stadium to take on the Tennessee Titans in a game that could have serious playoff implications for both squads.
Fortunately, the Niners are playing hot as of late, winners of five out of their last six games, while a banged-up Titans team has lost three of four.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan could take some comfort knowing two of Tennessee’s best wide receivers, Julio Jones (hamstring) and A.J. Brown (chest), are both banged up and might not be available. That’ll help alleviate San Francisco’s own concerns about a shorthanded and notably underperforming cornerback room this week.
Same with the Titans’ primary workhorse, running back Derrick Henry, potentially being out for the rest of the year with a foot fracture.
But the 49ers would still be wise to focus on their strengths while also avoiding some of the pitfalls that have otherwise derailed earlier games that could have been won.
If the Niners want to pull off the road victory in Week 16, they’ll need to focus on doing these three things correctly.