On a day when the running game was not at its best, Ryan Tannehill aired it out, and Vance Joseph’s defense narrowly averted a comeback attempt by the elusive and rejuvenated Colin Kaepernick.
Today’s game against the 49ers started out with the Dolphins clearly in control of the game, keeping Colin Kaepernick from getting comfortable in the pocket. Ryan Tannehill on the other hand was on fire, launching a number of deep passes to Devante Parker and Kenny Stills, who were absolutely torching the 49ers secondary. But injuries to Parker and also to Mario Williams seemed to affect the Dolphins, who allowed the 49ers to sneak back into the game.
The 49ers were down 7 points with 1 timeout and 1:44 left in the 4th quarter, and the Dolphins pass rush seemed absolutely winded and unable to slow down the 49ers quarterback. Kaepernick marched his team all the way to the Dolphins 6 yard line, with 5 seconds to play. And those 5 seconds, which consisted of 2 plays, an incomplete pass perfectly defended and batted down by Byron Maxwell, and a quarterback scramble stuffed by Ndamukong Suh and Kiko Alonso, told more about this Dolphins team than the preceding 59 minutes and 55 seconds.
Because again, this is a game that the Dolphins would have lost last year. They would have lost it for most of the past ten years. If you look at the losses to Seattle and New England earlier this year, this is the type of game that the team is only now learning how to finish.
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6 in a row. Let that soak in. This team started out 1-4, with some terrible play in the first month of the season. But now they are 7-4, and in the hunt for a playoff spot.
The Dolphins are making us feel very overconfident. In fact, up until the 49ers somehow fought back to make it close at the end, this seemed to be a laugher, with Tannehill hitting Stills for 43 yards and then Leonte Carroo for 15 yards, on consecutive drives, to put the Dolphins ahead 31-14 with a little over 11 minutes left in the 4th quarter. It may be a blessing in disguise that the Niners came back, since it will be a good reminder to the team that they have to dig deep for the entire game, and not let off the gas pedal.
Despite the fact that head coach Adam Gase got a bit pass happy at that point, and didn’t try to run out the clock with Jay Ajayi, overall he still called a great game. Gase was aggressive throughout the game, and that allowed Miami to match their season high in points.
The game next week against the Ravens, in Baltimore, is a huge game, since the Ravens are in the hunt with Miami for a wild card. Miami and Baltimore always go at it, so if the Fish want to be a playoff team, next week is a very important game.
But for now, let’s enjoy today.