In no way is 1-10 an acceptable record or anything to get excited about. However, for the second time in three weeks, the San Francisco 49ers were thisclose and THAT is something to get excited about.
In their week 12 31-24 loss to the Miami Dolphins (who won their sixth straight game today), the 49ers looked the best they have since week one, playing well, showing heart, and giving fans hope that maybe, just maybe, there is light at the end of this tunnel. It came down to the wire, as Ndamukong Suh brought Colin Kaepernick down at the two-yard line as he was running for a would-be touchdown to end the game.
Kaepernick had his best game of the season, accounting for 409 yards of offense, with 113 yards rushing, 296 yards passing, three touchdowns and one interception. Wide Receiver Jeremy Kerley made an absolutely outstanding catch with five seconds left to set up the almost game-tier. Carlos Hyde had 65 yards rushing and got his first receiving touchdown of his career, while Tight End Vance McDonald led all receivers with 60 yards, driving home the point that this team is desperate for receiving targets. And I do mean desperate.
Two turnovers really hurt the offense. The first came courtesy of a Garrett Celek fumble at the Dolphins’ 16-yard line, which Ryan Tannehill and friends were able to convert to a touchdown. The second came when Torrey Smith hit a Kaepernick pass into the air and Kiko Alonso said, thanks. I’ll take that one.
Over on defense, the 49ers held Miami to 95 yards rushing, which is quite a feat when facing Jay Ajayi and his multiple 100-yard rushing games. The secondary got burned left, right, up the middle, and into the end zone; however, in the 4th quarter, it twice held the Dolphins to three and out, so I will consider that a big positive.
But, here’s the deal. They didn’t fall apart. They played with heart. They were competitive, and at 1-10, that’s really all I can ask for at this point. Compete. Give us a glimpse of the possibilities to come with a good draft, smart free agency pick ups, and a little more time with your new head coach. Five games left. Let’s do this. Bring on the Chicago Bears and Go Niners!