Miami Dolphins defense is as important as Dolphins offense this week

Kyle Shanahan San Francisco 49ers Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Shanahan San Francisco 49ers Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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The NFL media is talking up the Miami Dolphins visit to San Francisco but it’s the Dolphins’ explosive offense against the top NFL defense that gets the attention. Miami’s defense is going to play just as big a role in this game, maybe more.

The Miami Dolphins’ defense isn’t a ball-hawking unit that shuts opposing offenses down. They are not saddled with Pro Bowl after Pro Bowl players. They don’t lead the league in sacks, don’t have a great turnover ratio, and have been injury bitten all season long. Yet on Sunday, the Dolphins’ defense may be the difference between a Dolphins win and a Dolphins’ loss.

The 49er’s offense isn’t leading the league statistically either and like Miami’s defense, they could and likely will play a pivotal role in the outcome of the game. If the Dolphins’ defense can hold its own, the Dolphins’ offense shouldn’t need 30 plus points to win the game but while the 49ers are not exactly the best offensive team in the league, they are full of playmakers that will push the Dolphins defense to their limits.

The 49ers’ offense ranks in the middle of the NFL in passing yards, passing touchdowns, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns and that might make one think that the Dolphins’ defense is superior to them but consider that over the last five games, Miami’s current winning streak, they have given up 31 to the Lions and 32 points to the Bears while giving up only 10 to the Steelers, 17 to the Browns, and 15 to the Texans.

The 49ers over the last five weeks have scored, 23 against the Chiefs, 31 against the Rams, 22 against the Chargers, 38 against the Cardinals, and 13 against the Saints. That may not seem like much overall but this is an offense that has a lot of talent.