Miami Dolphins fans should rejoice that the team extended their win streak to six games in Week 12. However, they should be skeptical of almost everything else in this performance. With a ten-point-lead late in the fourth quarter, the Dolphins should have been able to close this out rather than giving the San Francisco 49ers a chance all the way until the final play of the game.
Last week it was the final two drives that gave Miami the win. This week, it was almost the complete opposite. Head coach Adam Gase should commend his players on the win but at the same time chastise them for an underwhelming performance.
Tannehill was at his best yesterday. The fifth-year quarterback threw for 285 yards and finished with a 130.6 passer rating. What has impressed me the most with Tannehill this year is that he’s finally using his legs to extend plays and even run for some yards when he has an open lane. Tannehill is going to have to continue his hot streak against Baltimore next week in what will be a very important game in terms of Miami’s playoff hopes.
They Continue to Win:
Despite the lack of a running game and all the miscues on defense, this team still found a way to win yesterday. You must enjoy Miami’s ability to find ways to continue this winning streak but you also should wonder if they can keep this up without growing in certain areas. The Dolphins need to find a way to play a complete game to really make that late-season push for the playoffs.
Just as I thought this team was making strides in the run defense, they let it all unravel yesterday as they gave up 65 rushing yards to Niner’s running back Carlos Hyde and a whopping 113 yards to Colin Kaepernick. Plain and simple, that’s not going to get it done as we move into December.
The Dolphins have shown they can win in the trenches and stuff the run but they’re still a team that is willing to give up a big run at some point in the game. If Miami finds a way to prevent the big run, then they can really limit the success teams are having against them on the ground.
The Run Game:
San Francisco was the worst team at defending the run coming into this game, and Jay Ajayi could only muster up 45 yards on 18 carries. That’s not just bad, it’s embarrassing. At first I was going to blame it on the Dolphin’s offensive line being down three starters but Miami had just as much difficulty running to the right, where the starters Bushrod And James were present, as they did running to the left where Tunsil and Albert were absent. A lack of a running game will not bode well against a stingy Baltimore defense. Hopefully Miami can get at least one of their three injured linemen back to give these guys a chance to run next week.
Late in the third quarter, wide receiver DeVante Parker went up for a jump ball and ended up hurting his back after the play (he also didn’t make the catch to add insult to injury). The team has stated that the injury may not be as bad as first thought and they are expecting Parker to be good to go next week.
It was scary enough to think that they might still be without their three offensive linemen for next week’s game, but going in without their top WR target would make things even more difficult for their offense and Ryan Tannehill. Hopefully Parker recovers quickly because Miami will need all the help that is available for what will be a physical game against the Ravens.