49ers Hope to Keep their Heads Above Water with Dolphins (NFL Week 12)

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Happy Thanksgiving Faithful! The San Francisco 49ers have tied a franchise record, losing nine in a row, which is a dubious honor. But, there’s no rest for the weary, as our guys in the red and gold are off to Miami to take on the Dolphins, who started the season 1-4 but have gone on to win their last five games.

On this week’s Talking Touchdowns game preview, I take a look at the matchup, focusing on:

  • The Dolphins’ depleted offensive line. Starting center Mike Pouncey and left tackle Branden Albert are both battling injuries, while rookie Laremy Tunsil left Sunday’s game with a shoulder issue, so the 49ers’ improving defensive line with Glenn Dorsey back may be able to hold running back Jay Ajayi off a little.
  • However, the Niner run defense gave up 171 yards to the Patriots the other day and Ajayi has already rushed for over 200 yards in multiple games, so, I think we know how this is going to go.
  • Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers’ offense continue their trend of a strong first half followed by a second half demise. Kap and company are going to have to find a way to be more consistent. If Torrey Smith is still out, look for tight end Vance McDonald to be Kaepernick’s go-to receiving target.
  • This will be easier said than done against a Dolphins defense that held the Rams to 226 total yards last week. And they did that without Mario Williams, Jelani Jenkins, and Xavier Howard. But they do have a healthy Ndamukong Suh so that’s pretty helpful.
  • Carlos Hyde had a much better day Sunday, rushing for 86 yards. The 49ers are going to have to find keep him a relevant part of the game plan, because as Chip Kelly said, this team is not built to throw every down.
  • I’ve never thought much of Dolphins’ QB Ryan Tannehill but he has a 90.8 QB rating in the 4th quarter, which explains why Miami has won so many close games. The 49ers’ secondary – who will most likely be without Jimmie Ward and will definitely be without Eric Reid (who is out for the season)  will have to keep a close eye on Jarvis Landry, while the line will have to get pressure on Tannehill.
  • And, of course, my game prediction.

The 2016 season has six more weeks to go. Let’s prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Go Niners!

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Tracy Sandler

Bleeding gold and staying Niner faithful, I bring you the latest news features & commentary on my beloved San Francisco 49ers.

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