While the Vegas oddsmakers may have slightly favored the San Francisco 49ers, the Tennessee Titans saw Sunday's matchup as a very winnable game. After all, the Titans came into the game with eight victories and entrenched within the AFC playoff picture. Their opponent had just three wins and started the season by losing nine consecutive games.

What a difference a quarterback makes. Since Jimmy Garoppolo has taken over as the starting signal caller, the 49ers have won three straight and, as a team, have now won four of their last five. They are a drastically improved team and finally have a franchise player to build around.

During his three starts, Garoppolo has completed 77 of his 113 pass attempts for 1,008 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Against Tennessee, he passed for a single-game career-high 381 yards, a touchdown, and a passer rating of 106.8.

Despite the impressive performance from Garoppolo, who has started just five games during his NFL career but won each of them, one Titans player didn't want to give the quarterback too much credit. Instead, he feels much of Garoppolo's success was due more to the defense's failures than the quarterback's skill.

"It was us," said Titans cornerback Brice McCain. "He came in, he executed, but the chunk of yardage came from blown coverages. That's about it. He didn't do anything special. He threw a lot of quick game, get the ball to the receiver's hands fast, and they made plays. That's about it. It was nothing special. He didn't do anything special. He just threw to open guys."

In Garoppolo's defense, throwing to the "open guys" is kind of the job of a quarterback.

Many of McCain's teammates had a different opinion of Garoppolo after facing him for the first time and acknowledged the quarterback's impressive play.

"He is a good player. He is one hell of a player," said Titans safety Kevin Byard. "I think the 49ers got themselves a quarterback. We gave them a lot of plays, a whole lot of plays. I give him credit, but we gave up a lot of plays today for sure."

"He played great," said tight end Delanie Walker, who spent seven years with the 49ers. "He came out there and did a good job."

One aspect of Garoppolo's play that was on display is his quick release of the football. It's an attribute that is frustrating to the defensive linemen who are trying to bring him down.

"It is super frustrating," said Titans defensive tackle Jurell Casey. "We have to find a way to get him down. We have to find a way to mess up his vision. We did not do that today."

Even Titans head coach Mike Mularkey praised the 49ers quarterback when asked about him following the Titans' devastating loss.

"A lot of pinpoint throws," said Mularkey. "A lot of very catchable throws, very tough to defend throws. I thought he made a lot of plays out of the pocket. He made a lot of plays for that offense."

* Quotes courtesy of the 49ers Communications staff.