After a sluggish first quarter, where the San Francisco 49ers were held to a field goal, the team exploded, scoring 14 points in the second and seven in the third and fourth to beat the Tennessee Titans 31-17 on Oct. 20.
In the second quarter, wide receiver Anquan Boldin made an incredible outstretched, one-handed catch for 25 yards, but two plays later quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw what could have been a devastating interception. Luckily for the 49ers, outside linebacker Akeem Ayers was hit with an unnecessary roughness call that allowed San Francisco to maintain the ball. After a timeout, Kaepernick, who ran for 68 yards – 50 of which were in the first half, kept the ball and went 20 for the team’s first touchdown of the afternoon.
Defensive back Tramaine Brock then intercepted quarterback Jake Locker, which set up a touchdown by running back Frank Gore and gave the 49ers a 17-0 lead at the half.
Twelve plays into the third period, Gore got on the board with a one-yard touchdown rush that put SF up by 24. The game looked like it would be a blowout, especially since Tennessee didn’t get into the red zone until the fourth quarter and the team settled for a field goal on its first scoring opportunity.
The Titans, however, weren’t deterred and kept chipping away. Running back Chris Johnson caught a screen pass and ran for 66 yards, cutting the 49ers’ lead to 12. San Francisco answered on the next play when running back Darius Reynaud muffed a kickoff catch and wide receiver Kassim Osgood recovered in the end zone.
But, as time ticked off the clock, the 49ers were hit with a pass interference call, giving the Titans a new set of downs in the red zone. Although Tennessee almost frittered away the gift by getting called for unnecessary roughness, tight end Delanie Walker caught a pass for a 26-yard touchdown and the final score of the game.
Overall, the 49ers rush defense was stellar, holding the Titans to a mere 70 yards on the ground, but the pass defense could use a little work as it allowed Locker to rack up 326 yards in the air. The 49ers play Jacksonville in London on Oct. 27 at 10 a.m.