NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A fourth straight win Sunday sent the 49ers off to London in jolly-good fashion, especially from an offensive and special-teams perspective, after their 31-17 rout of the Tennessee Titans.
Because these are the 49ers, most of the spotlight will shine on their quarterback and how Colin Kaepernick brought out the read-option attack in its long-lost splendor.
But this wasn't a one-man band on display in Music City.
"This team is special," said running back Frank Gore, whose second touchdown run put the 49ers ahead 24-0. "For the first time, I'm seeing other guys stepping up and we're taking small steps.
"I know that when Mario (Manningham), (Michael) Crabtree and other guys come back, it's gonna be crazy."
Neither Manningham nor Crabtree will be coming off injury lists for Sunday's game against the winless Jacksonville Jaguars (0-7) at London's Wembley Stadium. Sack leader Aldon Smith won't be there, either, but coach Jim Harbaugh indicated Smith is faring well at a rehabilitation center and likely will be back in the "next couple weeks."
Sunday's effort helped allay offensive concerns as the 49ers (5-2) again eclipsed the 30-point mark, which they've done in all previous wins. This hot streak also is keeping them on the heels of the NFC West-leading Seattle Seahawks (6-1), who along with the idle New Orleans Saints (5-1) are the only NFC teams with better records than the 49ers.
"We've strung together a few wins, and we feel pretty good about what we're doing right now," Kaepernick said.
The 49ers believed the Titans would play enough zone defense -- a byproduct of Vernon Davis' big outing last Sunday against Arizona -- to thus uncork a read-option attack that's been largely under wraps all season.
Sure enough, Kaepernick responded with a season-high 11 carries for 68 yards, including his first rushing touchdown of the season and three kneel-downs to kill the final two minutes.
"I feel very comfortable, very confident in what we are doing," said Kaepernick, who completed 11 of his first 13 passes and finished 13 of 21 for 199 yards.
The outcome seemed set midway through the second quarter once Kaepernick put the 49ers ahead 10-0 on a 20-yard touchdown run. After a timeout and faced with third-and-7, Kaepernick lined up in the pistol formation, faked a handoff to Gore and then tore around the left side with helpful blocks from Gore, Bruce Miller and Vance McDonald.
That eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive nearly ended in an interception three snaps earlier. But linebacker Akeem Ayers got flagged for hitting Kaepernick low, nullifying a would-be interception by safety Bernard Pollard at the Titans 13.
While the 49ers committed no turnovers, their defense came away with a timely interception, that by Tramaine Brock three snaps after Kaepernick's touchdown run. It was the first interception thrown this season by the Titans' Jake Locker, who returned from a two-game absence and racked up most of his 326 passing yards in a fourth-quarter rally.
Locker threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes -- 66 yards to Chris Johnson and 26 yards to former 49ers tight end Delanie Walker. But those scores were sandwiched around a game-deciding play: Kassim Osgood's fumble recovery in the end zone of a muffed punt that was incited by Darryl Morris' speed-demon coverage.
The Titans' late rally took some of the luster off the 49ers' earlier defensive dominance, as they didn't allow the Titans within 45 yards of the goal line until the fourth quarter
"This was Game 7 for us, and we treated it like Game 7 of the World Series, Game 7 of the Stanley Cup," Harbaugh said after his team handed the Titans their third straight loss.
Harbaugh was right in the mix of this Game 7 battle, literally. He intervened in a minor scuffle that broke out when Kaepernick hit Pollard, who retaliated and promptly got smothered by left tackle Joe Staley.
"I was right in the middle of it?" Harbaugh asked with a hint of sarcasm.
The 49ers now find themselves in the midst of their longest win streak since an eight-game run in 2011. Next stop: London, a long trip overseas for a team that Gore said is "taking small steps, but we're taking them in the right direction."
NOTEBOOK: Jim Harbaugh says
Aldon Smith could return in "next couple
of weeks." PAGE 4
49ers (5-2) vs. Jacksonville (0-7) at Wembley Stadium, London, 10 a.m., FOX