Game Scout: 49ers at Titans

The SportsXchange

San Francisco 49ers (4-2) at Tennessee Titans (3-3)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, at LP Field, Nashville, Tenn. - TV: FOX

*TV announcers: Chris Myers, Tim Ryan, Jennifer Hale

*Keys to the game: The 49ers are coming off a very physical victory over Arizona and have to make a trip to Nashville with a lengthy list of starters nursing various bumps and bruises. That about does it for the positives in the Titans' corner. QB Jake Locker returned to limited practice this week but is still unlikely to play with a bye week upcoming. Backup Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown a pair of interceptions in each of the past two games, which is in line with his M.O. The offense struggled to move the ball in Seattle last week with the Seahawks sitting on RB Chris Johnson and not fearing the deep ball. San Francisco's offense ran 38 times against Arizona compared to 29 pass attempts. The 49ers would be content to dictate the tempo on the ground, wear Tennessee's defense down and force Fitzpatrick into mistakes while playing from behind.

*Matchup to watch - 49ers RB Frank Gore vs. Titans LB Colin McCarthy: A team captain as recently as last year, the oft-injured McCarthy had been relegated to special teams until Moise Fokou suffered a knee injury. McCarthy admitted he struggled back in the base defense last week, but can't afford to be out of position or miss tackles against the bulldog Gore.

*Player spotlight - Titans TE Delanie Walker: Signed from San Francisco as a free agent over the offseason, Walker has 20 catches through his first six games with the Titans, nine shy of his career high. He's an integral part of the passing game and will likely draw attention from rookie S Eric Reid.

*Fast facts: The 49ers are 7-0 when Kaepernick has a passer rating of 100 or better. ... Johnson has 71 combined rushing yards on 37 carries over the past three games.

WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

Ryan Fitzpatrick simply makes too many mistakes for the Titans to challenge elite teams. The 49ers can sit on the Titans' ground game while riding their own to a huge edge in time of possession.

*Our pick: 49ers 28-16
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