49ers will beat Titans if they do these 3 things Thursday night
By Peter Panacy
No. 1: 49ers must make life hell for Ryan Tannehill
Ryan Tannehill took four sacks against the Pittsburgh Steelers during Tennessee’s Week 15 road loss. And he’s taken 12 sacks over the last four games, too, suggesting the 49ers could be in for a potent pass-rushing performance on Thursday night.
While left tackle Taylor Lewan hasn’t been much of a pass-protecting liability this season, right tackle David Quessenberry has been, with Pro Football Focus crediting him with 11 sacks and 41 quarterback pressures allowed in 2021 over 542 pass-blocking snaps.
And Lewan is ruled out for the game with an injury anyway.
That’s a juicy advantage for Niners EDGE Nick Bosa, who is currently second in the league with 15 sacks on the year.
Read More: 49ers open as 3-point favorites in Week 16 vs. Titans
The Titans are likely to do whatever they can to help neutralize Bosa’s pass-rushing prowess, meaning it can’t just fall upon Bosa to deliver the pressure on Tannehill.
In this case, look for depth EDGE Arden Key, who has come on as of late and currently ranks second on San Francisco’s defense with five sacks, to have himself an impactful game, too, potentially picking up what could be one of maybe four sacks the 49ers register on Thursday.
If the Niners wind up getting to that number, they likely win.
San Francisco and Tennessee kick off on Thursday, Dec. 23 at 8:20 p.m. ET from Nissan Stadium.