After laying an egg in their last contest, the Tennessee Titans hope to strengthen their hold on a playoff spot Sunday as they visit a team with newly gained confidence in the San Francisco 49ers. Tennessee had won six of seven before dropping a 12-7 decision at Arizona last week to fall one game behind Jacksonville for first place in the AFC South.
Despite the loss, the Titans have allowed fewer than 17 points in six of of their last seven games - including each of their last three - and enter Week 15 in the first wild-card spot in the conference. With matchups against the NFC West-leading Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville in its final two contests, Tennessee cannot afford to overlook San Francisco, which has won two straight and three of four after opening the season with nine consecutive defeats. The 49ers posted a 26-16 victory at Houston last week for their second win in as many starts by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who completed 20-of-33 passes for a career-high 334 yards and a touchdown. San Francisco is 8-5 in the all-time series but suffered a 34-27 loss in the last matchup it hosted on Nov. 8, 2009.
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: 49ers -1.5. O/U: 45
ABOUT THE TITANS (8-5): Quarterback Marcus Mariota has had issues of late, throwing eight of his 14 interceptions this season over his last four games - including two in the loss to the Cardinals. The 24-year-old struggled a bit in that contest after injuring his knee in the first half but will be good to go against San Francisco. Left tackle Taylor Lewan exited last week’s contest with back spasms and missed Wednesday’s practice but was back on the field Thursday.
ABOUT THE 49ERS (3-10): Wideout Marquise Goodwin has registered at least 50 receiving yards in five consecutive games, which is the team’s longest streak since Anquan Boldin had an eight-game run in 2014. Garoppolo has passed for 627 yards in the last two games and needs 141 against Tennessee to give him the most in the first three starts by a quarterback in franchise history. San Francisco signed Max McCaffrey from Green Bay’s practice squad and placed fellow wide receiver Victor Bolden Jr. on injured reserve with an ankle injury.
1. San Francisco RB Carlos Hyde needs one rushing touchdown to match the career high of six he set last season.
2. Tennessee S Kevin Byard is tied for the league lead with six interceptions.
3. San Francisco T Joe Staley is a finalist for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award for the third straight year.
PREDICTION: Titans 27, 49ers 17