Sunday, October 20, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Tennessee Titans
By Paul Kuharsky
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Reaction from the Tennessee Titans' 31-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers at LP Field.
What it means: The Titans dropped their third consecutive game and showed just how far away they are from being the 49ers, a team they’d like to emulate in construction and style. The offense produced minimal big plays of note and the defense had no answers for San Francisco, which built a 24-0 lead and kept the Titans scoreless into the third quarter.
Stock watch: Return man Darius Reynaud -- down. Reynaud continues to struggle. He tried to circle back and change direction after fielding one punt, allowed a kickoff to bounce over his head, fair caught a low punt that might have provided an opportunity at a return and muffed a punt to allow the 49ers an end zone recovery for a touchdown. It was a continuation of recent poor decision-making, which somehow earned him some early snaps at wide receiver in this game. He was targeted on one and dropped the pass. On the bright side, he made a tackle on the opening kickoff of the second half.
Worth it? Jake Locker was back earlier than expected from hip and knee injuries. He played fine, with a bad pick that looked like the one Ryan Fitzpatrick threw last week, and a nice touchdown pass to Delanie Walker to go with a screen that Chris Johnson turned into a long score. Locker seems to have come out of it OK, so the Titans didn’t get punished for taking the risk with him before their bye.
Turning point: Bernard Pollard had an interception washed away in the second quarter when Akeem Ayers was called for a low hit on Colin Kaepernick. That gave the 49ers a first down, and three plays later, Kaepernick weaved 20 yards into the end zone for a touchdown that put San Francisco up 10-0.
What’s next: The Titans have a week off to sort out what’s wrong before they head to St. Louis to face the Rams, coached by a guy the franchise knows well, Jeff Fisher.