Game snapshot: 49ers vs. Titans
KICKOFF: Sunday, 12 p.m. Central SITE: The Coliseum in Nashville SURFACE: Grass TV: FOX, Ron Pitts, Tim Ryan SERIES: 11th meeting. The 49ers lead 7-3, including victories in six of the last seven meetings. The 49ers have never played a road game against the organization since it moved from Houston. 2005 RANKINGS: 49ers: offense 32nd (20th rush, 32nd pass); defense 32nd (24th rush, 32nd pass). Titans: offense 17th (21st rush, 13th pass); defense 18th (13th rush, 21st pass) KEYS TO THE GAME: 49ers QB Ken Dorsey earned at least one more start thanks to perhaps his best game as a pro against Seattle last Sunday. He looked much more comfortable stepping up in the pocket and showed enough arm to stretch the field. That was courtesy of improved line play with rookie LT Adam Snyder playing well. But Dorsey must get help from his running game, and third-string RB Maurice Hicks could see plenty of action with Frank Gore (hip) unlikely to play and starter Kevan Barlow coming off a concussion. Tennessee's offensive attack is also reliant upon its running game, which averaged just 3.0 yards per carry last Sunday. But RB Chris Brown should have some running lanes with the 49ers turning to second-year DT Isaac Sopoaga and rookie NT Ronald Fields with defensive leader Bryant Young out. Titans QB Steve McNair has a strained hip, but is expected to play and test young 49ers CBs Shawntae Spencer and Bruce Thornton. FAST FACTS: 49ers: Have won seven of 10 previous meetings. ... Have lost 23 of their past 27 road games. ... LB Derek Smith needs 12 tackles to reach 100 for the ninth consecutive season. Titans: Brown has six touchdowns in his past five games. ... Coach Jeff Fisher was the 49ers defensive backs coach from 1992-93. ... McNair needs 10 rushing yards to pass John Elway (3,407) for fourth-most all-time by a quarterback. BY THE NUMBERS: 23 of 27 - Losses for the 49ers in recent road games. They have not won a road game in regulation since a 17-14 victory over the Cardinals on Dec. 21, 2002. Each of their two road victories since then have been in overtime, including a 31-28 victory over the Cardinals last year when Dorsey threw a career-high three touchdown passes. 18-7 - Jeff Fisher's record in games against coaches in their first year with their teams. He's lost this season to Cleveland and Romeo Crennel and faces Mike Nolan and the 49ers on Sunday and Miami and Nick Saban on Christmas Eve. QUOTES TO NOTE --- "Each week is a new week, but these next six games are games that we should continue to show that progress. Hopefully, it's with a win. It's one thing to learn and have positives coming out of the game, but if you lose that game, how much positive can you get? A loss is a loss, so we need to come away with victories so we can go forward" - 49ers coach Mike Nolan. --- "It's going to be an exciting game. Somebody's coming out 3-8, baby!" - 49ers kicker Joe Nedney, who was a member of the Titans from 2001-04.
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