This would’ve sounded crazy at the beginning of the season, but the San Francisco 49ers defense will be a breath of fresh air for the Tennessee Titans. Ryan Fitzpatrick in particular is going to appreciate the downgrade in competition.
His first two games since taking over for an injured Jake Locker were against the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks — the two best, most disruptive defenses in the NFL. The Titans had yet to give the ball away before Fitzpatrick took over but then turned it over five times in his two starts. Putting that on him would be unfair considering he was facing the top two teams in the league at taking the ball away.
Don’t get me wrong — San Fran has a pretty good defense, but they are not nearly as tenacious as the Chiefs and Seahawks. A solid 49er D will seem like a break compared to the ringer Fitzpatrick was put through in which he threw four interceptions.
Tennessee is an underrated team and I expect them to beat San Francisco on Sunday. The most important aspect for the Titans will be to get back to protecting the football. Tennessee is 3-1 in games in which they won the turnover battle with the only loss coming against the Houston Texans on the road, in overtime.
On the other side, every time the 49ers won the turnover battle they’ve won — every time they lost it, they’ve lost. It’s no secret that turnovers are the most impacting statistic in football and they will be critical in this game as well. At home against a less menacing defense, the Titans should be able to get back to protecting the ball, and as a result, get their season back on track.