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Titans vs 49ers: Players to watch, defense

Can the shutdown performance continue for the Titans?

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans have been playing absolute lights out defense. If the offense hadn't turned the ball over so many times in recent weeks then the Titans defense would have been the reason why the Titans were 5-1 rather than 3-3. So, who has the toughest assignments today.

Zach Brown/George Wilson vs Colin Kaepernick

Last week I said that the Titans should strongly consider using either Brown or Wilson to spy Seahawks QB Russell Wilson. While, he didn't have a huge day running, his ability to extend the play and run for the first hurt the Titans on many occasions. This week, the Titans have a similar challenge in Colin Kaepernick and I think they should strongly consider using one of these guys as spies the whole game.

Kap, unlike Wilson, is a QB who wants to run the ball to get yardage not necessarily to extend the play. The 49ers use him a lot on designed runs and consider him an explosive option in the running game. If the Titans don't dedicate a man to him at all times, it will cost them.

Alterraun Verner vs Anquan Boldin

The immoveable object meets the unstoppable force? Well, I know most of the media and the NFL fans will dub it that, but honestly I think Verner could have a HUGE day. Boldin is the clear #1/2 target (contending with Vernon Davis) and the 49ers lean on him heavily in 3rd downs. If Verner can take advantage of that knowledge early and jump a route, it might make Kaepernick reluctant to throw that way as often.

Colin McCarthy vs Frank Gore

McCarthy has never been the most efficient tackler, but he gets away with it because he is a playmaker. If McCarthy is as "surly" as Nashville media is suggesting, he should try to make a statement in this game. If McCarthy can limit Gore and tip a pass or two, then he could be well on his way to winning back the starting job.