DOWN AND OUT
Week 5 Game Review
Wow, did anybody see that coming, who would have thought that the Miami Dolphins would dish out a good old kicking to the 49ers in their own back yard. The visitors went into the game as underdogs but took the fight to the 49ers right from the get-go and never really let up. We all knew that San Francisco was hurting in the secondary and along the defensive line but who would have thought that they would be exposed in such a way.
Right from the very first play from centre Ryan Fitzpatrick went about testing the suspect 49ers secondary, it immediately payed dividends as Preston Williams hauled in a 47 yard bomb over the top of poor unsuspecting Brian Allen who had just been called up from the practice squad, he probably thought his day couldn’t get any worse but that was just the start of it. Fitzpatrick saw blood in the water and just kept attacking him until Kyle Shanahan had seen enough and pulled Allen for a less than healthy Ahkello Witherspoon. By then the Dolphins were already rolling and had three touchdowns in the bag, the scores just kept coming regardless of who the 49ers had back in the secondary.
Fitzpatrick would end up with one of; if not the highest rated game of his long career, 350 yards on 22 completions, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions, not bad for an old timer who seems to be having the time of his life. The only blemish were the two sacks, but we are sure he would take that any day of the week if it meant having the same sort of game again, it certainly quietened the calls for Tua for another week. There is clearly no rush for the rookie to be thrown into the fray. He could have been brought out to see a bit of game time action once the win was in the books but that wasn’t the case and suggests it may be a while longer before he takes the field.
The story of the day was Fitzmagic and the Dolphins receivers, but you can’t ignore the performance turned in by the Miami defense. People were talking up the 49ers offense as Jimmy Garrapollo was back along with Deebo Samuel, Raheem Mostert and a healthy George Kittle, did anybody notice them, they showed up with the odd play here and there but none made a difference, so much so that Jimmy G was benched after the first half, supposedly to protect him from further harm.
Out came CJ Beathard, but he had little effect on the outcome and struggled at the hands of the Dolphins defense. We finally saw the pairing of Xavien Howard and Byron Jones out on the field for more than a handful of snaps and it gave us a glimpse of what could potentially be a great partnership moving forward. Their coverage out on the edges gave the Miami pass rush more time to get after the QB and it clearly worked as they finished with five sacks and plenty of pressure.
Howard and Bobby McCain had an interception a piece but one of the better performances of the day that you may have missed was that of Eric Rowe who had the unenviable task of trying to stop Kittle from destroying the Dolphins chances of winning the game. Well Kittle finished the game with 4 catches from 8 targets and 44 yards, hardly an eye turning stat line from one of the premier players in the league. It would seem as though Miami has finally found somebody who can cover tight ends successfully, in recent years they have feasted, but no longer as Miami are now one of the best teams against the position.
It is kind of odd seeing the defense being relatively stingy, they aren’t an immovable object, they won’t overpower you, but yet they get the job done at key times in the game. Yes, you will be able to run on them and rack up yardage but they won’t give up and will keep the team in with a chance of winning. They are sneakily effective without making a name for themselves, that may change as the season wears on but for now it is best to keep quiet and surprise teams, keep them all guessing.
Bring on the Jets!