Per Bovada, the Steelers opened as 7-point favorites over the Titans, and that spread remained intact as of Thursday morning. The over/under points total was set at 44 1/2.
Getting caught up in the numbers with Big Ben has been a bad way to measure him over the years, yet it took some gaudy stats to remind us all of the big impact he’s still capable of having. Go figure.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Middle Tennessee’s Brent Stockstill hooked up with Patrick Smith for a 21-yard touchdown to tie the game at 10. That started a scoring frenzy which saw both teams combine for 35 points in the final quarter. Much to the chagrin of those on the under, the game went to overtime, level at 24.
As much as it would be fun to have a de facto championship game to decide the division in Week 17, Jacksonville’s overall play and schedule edge is bound to develop a good cushion before then. Luckily for Tennessee, as bad as Buffalo and the rest of the wild-card hopefuls are now, even a 3-4 slump will look good enough to stay in the AFC playoff picture.
Still, it’s important for the 49ers to play Garoppolo before the 2017 campaign ends. Doing so gives him a head start on the 2018 season, when San Francisco should be fielding a more talented roster from having high draft picks and ample cash to spend in free agency.
Garoppolo’s performance also could determine just how much of a financial commitment the 49ers are willing to make toward keeping him.