3 takeaways from the 49ers Week 16 loss | Launderer report


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    Wade Payne / Associated press

    San Francisco 49ers in NFC wildcard race despite 20-17 loss to Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium Thursday night. However, things got a lot tighter.

    After winning five of their previous six games, the 49ers fell to 8-7 with Thursday’s road loss. San Francisco is still in sixth place in the NFC, but there are three 7-7 teams: the Minnesota Vikings, the Philadelphia Eagles and the New Orleans Saints.– who could all win this week.

    The 49ers had a 10-0 halftime lead on Thursday night, but the Titans scored 10 points in the third quarter to send the game to the tied fourth. Even after Tennessee took the lead, San Francisco responded, tying the game at 17 on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo to Brandon Aiyuk with just over two minutes to go.

    However, the Titans then rolled onto the field and won over Randy Bullock’s 44-yard basket when time ran out.

    Here are three takeaways from the 49ers’ loss in Week 16.

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    Wade Payne / Associated press

    Garoppolo completed 26 of his 35 passing attempts, threw for 322 yards and connected with Aiyuk for the tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter. However, the quarterback also made mistakes that turned out to be costly.

    After San Francisco scored a touchdown in his first practice, he forced Tennessee to punt and recovered the ball straight away. The 49ers were driving then and appeared to be heading towards the end zone again, but their possession ended when Garoppolo threw an interception on the 2nd and the goal at the Titans 8-yard line.

    Garoppolo was also selected on the opening game of San Francisco’s first possession in the second half. That gave Tennessee the ball over the 49ers’ 13-yard line, and he scored a tying touchdown four games later.

    “Jimmy was trying to get the ball into a little hole,” San Francisco wide receiver Deebo Samuel said, by Athletic’s David Lombardi. “And they played it well and got a turnover.”

    The 49ers are now 1-6 in games when Garoppolo threw an interception this season, and they’re 7-0 when he had none. It shows how important ball safety and limiting turnovers is to his success and that of the team, so he can’t afford those kinds of mistakes.

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    Wade Payne / Associated press

    The San Francisco defense did a solid job of limiting Tennessee’s offense for much of the night. The Titans had only 278 yards overall and their running game was inefficient, averaging just 3.8 yards per carry (90 yards on 24 carries). The 49ers have also sacked Ryan Tannehill four times.

    However, there was one major problem for the San Francisco defense: the third downs. Tennessee completed nine of their 16 third-down attempts, allowing them to extend the practice, which was critical in the second half. In the last two quarters, four of the Titans’ five possessions have resulted in points.

    With the way the 49ers’ defense was playing early on, it seemed like they were in a good position to control the game and potentially prevent the Titans from coming back.

    “They had the chance to play a special game,” said San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan, according to Lombardi.

    And it might have been special if the 49ers could have made more saves on the third down. Instead, it was one of the main reasons the Titans won.

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    Mark Zaleski / Associated press

    After Thursday’s game, NFL Screenings from FiveThirtyEight give the 49ers a 70% chance of making the playoffs. So even after losing to Tennessee, it’s not time to give up on the 49ers.

    In Week 17, San Francisco has a good chance to bounce back when they host the Houston Texans, who are 3-11 for their Week 16 contest. It’s a game the 49ers should win. , which could help them hold onto a wildcard spot regardless of what the Vikings, Eagles and Saints are doing over the next two weeks.

    San Francisco will conclude the regular season with a tough NFC West road clash against the Los Angeles Rams. However, the 49ers beat the Rams 31-10 at home in Week 10, so there’s a chance they could beat their division rival again.

    With its next game not until Jan. 2, San Francisco has an opportunity to reset and rest for its last two outings of the regular season. Perhaps that will help him finish strong and advance to the playoffs for the second time in three years.

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