The 49ers unleashed quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s running game on Sunday for the first time this season. Kaepernick held onto the ball after a fake handoff to Frank Gore for a 20-yard touchdown run on a third-and-7 play to provide the springboard for the 49ers’ 31-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans. The 49ers have won four consecutive games, heading into next week’s game in London against the winless Jacksonville Jaguars. Special-teams ace Kassim Osgood scored a fourth-quarter touchdown on a recovery of a muffed punt to send the 49ers over the 30-point mark. It's the first time the 49ers have scored 30-plus points in four straight games since late in the 1998 season.
The breakout dual-threat sensation from a year ago, Kaepernick was held without a rushing touchdown in the 49ers’ first six games of the season. That all changed as he supplied the 49ers with a commanding 10-0 lead with 6:42 remaining in the first half. Kaepernick made it through a hole that tight end Vance McDonald and fullback Bruce Miller opened along the left side. Then, Gore made a downfield cut block on safety Michael Griffin to enable Kaepernick to get into the end zone.
Kaepernick rushed for 68 yards on 11 attempts. But he didn’t neglect his passing duties, either. He completed 13 of 21 passes for 199 yards in the 49ers’ best all-around showing of the season. The 49ers’ defense put together a strong effort against Titans quarterback Jake Locker, who made his return to the starting lineup after missing two games with hip and knee injuries.
And Kaepernick added another 20-yard run on the 49ers’ next possession as he converted another third down with a scramble. Three plays later, Gore cashed in with a 1-yard touchdown run to stake the 49ers to a commanding lead in the first half. Gore added another 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. It was his first two-touchdown rushing day in the regular season since the 2009 season finale.
- Matt Maiocco, CSN Bay Area