49ers vs. Titans: Biggest studs, duds from flop of a Week 16 loss

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

42. 20. 35. Final. 17

The 49ers had multiple chances to break their Week 16 game against the Titans wide open, but a multitude of gaffes ultimately turned it into a bad loss.

It’s frustrating to think just how many games the San Francisco 49ers could have won this season if they merely cut down on the number of turnovers they’ve had.

Chalk up the Niners’ Week 16 Thursday Night Football loss to the Tennessee Titans.

After getting out to a 10-0 lead, albeit a lead that could have been as high as 24-0, San Francisco completely lost momentum in the second half, letting Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill and fresh-off-injured reserve wide receiver A.J. Brown carve them up en route to the 20-17 victory, sending the 49ers to 8-7 on the season.

It’s one thing if the 49ers flat-out lost to a vastly superior team and were outclassed on every phase. But it’s another when the Niners had every chance to blow open a commanding lead early, only to fail and doing so and then allowing Tennesse to take over.

Needless to say, those kinds of outings won’t result in a lot of studs from Niner Noise’s studs-and-duds list this week.

49ers Dud: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo

Let’s be as blunt as possible: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, despite throwing over 320 yards and hitting that game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter, was 90-percent responsible for San Francisco’s loss.

Two badly thrown interceptions, one of which came in the red zone where he locked in fully on tight end George Kittle despite being covered by Titans cornerback Jackrabbit Jenkins:


Another on a badly overthrown pass intended for wide receiver Deebo Samuel, which led to seven more Tennessee points. There was also a near pick that was dropped by the Titans defense, too.

Oh, and we haven’t even mentioned the overthrow intended for wide-open fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who could have walked into the end zone with no one around him. Those are the kinds of errors one would expect a veteran quarterback to make with ease.

Apparently, Garoppolo couldn’t.

Fourteen points missed right there. Combined with the points off turnovers, make it 21.

As much as the fanbase would probably want to see it happen, particularly after Garoppolo’s shoddy Week 16 outing, don’t expect head coach Kyle Shanahan to insert rookie quarterback Trey Lance with the 49ers still firmly in the playoff picture.