The 49ers flicked aside the Tennessee Titans Sunday 31-17 in a game that was surprisingly ho-hum. A real meat and potatoes special. Some running, some passing, some dumb opponent penalties, an interception, a special teams TD, and some great defense. Voila! Burp.
QB Colin Kaepernick had his best all around game of the year, hitting key passes to Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis, plus running for 68 yards and a TD. Not a huge stat day, but a methodically controlled beat down. It was 24-0 when the 4th quarter started, and that’s more reflective of the game than the final score. At one point in the final quarter, our base D-line consisted of backups Quinton Dial, Demarcus Dobbs, and Tony Jerod-Eddie. The rookie Dial suiting up and playing after only three NFL practices was very impressive.
Boldin made two highlight reel catches, the likes of which we have only seen other teams’ WRs make these past few years — an all out finger tip dive and a one hander near the sideline. Vance McDonald had a key reception and Davis looks more and more like a WR than a TE. A lot of production for a mere 13 completed passes.
It was the fourth straight win for the team, and they’ve scored 30+ points in all four. The turn around from the ugly losses in games 2 and 3 has all come from the Niners re-committing themselves to the power running game and playing great team defense. Frank Gore had only 70 yards on 24 carries Sunday, but he forces teams to bring a safety down into the box, which means either Vernon or Anquan will be single covered. When you’ve only got two viable receivers, that’s fairly critical. If Kyle Williams was actually a receiving threat — he had zero catches again — the team might get explosive again. We’re all waiting breathlessly for the return of Mario Manningham in the next week or two, and Michael Crabtree in late November.
The team left for London after the game and should return next week with the same 6-2 record as they had at the halfway point last year. It will also mark the occasion of Kaepernick finally playing 16 regular season games — one full year as the starting QB. And he’s looked more and more comfortable lately, now that the coaches are letting him run the offense instead of having to be the offense.