49ers will beat Titans if they do these 3 things Thursday night
By Peter Panacy
No. 3: 49ers must beat Titans in turnover differential
San Francisco coughed up its opening kickoff return against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 15, yet the 49ers defense managed to engineer a brave goal-line stand to prevent it from truly hurting. And the Falcons aren’t good enough a team anyway for it to have caused a serious scare.
That won’t necessarily be the case in Week 16, though, as even just Tennessee’s own 9-5 record suggests it’s good enough to take advantage of any turnovers the Niners lose.
Fortunately, San Francisco has been trending in the right direction as far as turnover differential has gone this season.
At one point, the 49ers were minus-9 in this department, only better than the lowly New York Jets, who were minus-12 at the time. Since then, however, the Niners find themselves at minus-2, whereas the Titans have now dropped to minus-7.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has a lot of responsibility to protect the ball here. San Francisco is 7-0 this season when he doesn’t toss an interception and just 1-5 when he does.
Flipping the script, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill is tied for the NFL lead with 14 interceptions thrown this season, and Tennessee is 2-4 on the year when it turns the ball over at least twice.
Needless to say, it’d be wise for Garoppolo and the 49ers to come out on the right side of this equation.