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December 09, 2012

G13: San Francisco 27, Dolphins 13 (Final): Not enough offense, key mistakes bury Miami

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G13: DOLPHINS @ SAN FRANCISCO: Final: Not enough offense, a few defensive lapses and one critical special-teams mistake by Thigpen doom Miami in a 27-13 loss. Game felt closer than the final score, but it is what it is. Dolphins 5-8. ..... 4Q: Game time. Frans up 27-13 with 2 minutes left as Kaepernick busts loose for 50-yard scoring run. ... Game time? Dolphins fail on 4th down in SF territory with 4 minutes left. Two straight passes, receivers getting separation on neither. ... Dolphs 7 down with 5:45 left and the ball. You in the mood to be a hero, Tannehill? ... Miami within 20-13 mid-quarter on Tannehill-to-Fasano 4-yard scoring pass. Great diving catch in corner of end zone by Fasano, one of best plays I have seen him make. ... Frans up 20-6 after Dixon 1-yard TD run. ..... 3Q: Niners knockin' on the door as quarter ends. ... Miami within 13-6 on carpenter 53-yard beauty. Thigpen (partly) atones with 56-yard kick return to help along the score. ... Dolphins now down 13-3 on Gore 1-yard TD run set up by Thigpen muffed punt that gave Niners ball first and goal. Thigpen cracks this game open with a huge error. ... Misi injured for Dolphs. ..... Encouraging. Half: Encouraging. Stout defense and Tannehill (10-for-14) is sharp. Still wouldn't fancy a Miami win, but Dolphins have showed up big. ..... 2Q: Frans up 6-3 on Akers 37-yard FG on last play of half, after Wake's second sack. ... Dumb special-teams mistake by Freeny on costs Miami about 18 yards. ... Game at 3-3 after Akers 30-yard kick. Dolphs forced a FG when Dansby stuffed Gore on 3rd and short. Stout overall performance by Miami so far. ... The good news? MIA up 3-0 on Carpenter 28-yard kick. The bad news? Dolphs were knockin' on the TD door but got stymied when LT Jonathan Martin had a false-start penalty and got steamrolled for a sack. ..... 1Q: Miami threatening as quarter ends. ... punts on first possesssion but saw some positive signs from offense: A deep route (complete to Hartline) and Bush on the receiving end. More, please. ... Dolphins force Niners punt on game-opening series. Rattling Kaepernick a key for Miami to have a shot today. ..... Original post: Well this is the city and the opponent you probably don't want to visit 1aa1dolsan3 1aa1dolsan4if yours is a struggling offense as Miami's currently is. The Dolphins have averaged a meager 15.4 points per game during the 1-4 slide that has dragged the season mark to 5-7 and left playoff hopes on life-support. Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill has hit a lull, and now left tackle Jake Long is lost for the rest of the 1aa1dolsan 1aa1dolsan2season. All of this makes for a tough, tough challenge against a 49ers defense that leads the league in fewest points allowed and brings the NFL-leading sacker in Aldon Smith. Not since the opener at Houston have I felt less optimistic about a Dolphins victory. I do think Miami's defense can keep the game inside the 10-point spread. The best upset hope is probably rooted in young Frans QB Colin Kaepernick being forced into mistakes. Miami will need a turnover-free game, solid special-teams play and a couple of defensive takeaways to have a real shot. [Pictured: 49ers vs. Dolphins QBs, then and now: Joe Montana vs. Dan Marino, to make you weep with nostalgia, and Tats Kaepernick vs. R.T.] My pick: 49ers, 23-14.

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