The San Francisco 49ers have now won three of their last four games following a 26-16 win over the Houston Texans in quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's second start for the team, giving them plenty of hope for the future. Here's why they'll continue their hot run on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans:
1) Jimmy Garoppolo's brilliance
Garoppolo has been great since taking over as San Francisco's starter, throwing for 645 yards and two touchdowns while leading the 49ers to a 2-0 record. Prior to Garoppolo taking over, Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard had combined for two 300-yard passing games and a 1-10 record. He has been such an upgrade in that area that the 49ers look entirely different offensively.
2) A limping Titans team
Tennessee may enter the game with an 8-5 record, but nothing about their play of late would signal that they're a playoff-caliber team. Five of their last seven games have been decided by five points or less (with the only two games being a blowout loss to the Steelers and a win over the Texans) and are coming off a loss to the hapless Cardinals. In fact, they're only 3-4 on the road so far this season - all things that point in the direction of a 49ers win.
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3) Marcus Mariota's struggles
The biggest reason for Tennessee's struggles has been the play of Marcus Mariota. He has been dealing with a shoulder injury, but over the course of the past three games, he hasn't thrown for more than 184 yards while combining for two touchdown passes and four interceptions. In fact, he has only thrown multiple touchdown passes twice this season, compared to four games with multiple interceptions. Garoppolo is going to outplay Mariota, which will lead to a win for San Francisco.