At least the San Francisco 49ers current projected draft position didn't get any worse. The team entered Sunday's game hoping to end a nine-game losing streak and prevent a franchise record ten-game losing streak. Neither of those things happened. Once tied with the 1978 team that went 2-14, the 2016 49ers now hold the record for the most consecutive losses in franchise history following their 31-24 loss to the Miami Dolphins. It was the eighth time in 10 losses that the 49ers allowed more than 30 points by the opposing team.
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was at the center of local Miami news because of his perceived support of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who passed away on Friday. A consistent and overwhelming storm of boos from the Hard Rock Stadium crowd showered down on Kaepernick as the 49ers offense took the field for the first time in the game. He responded by guiding the 49ers offense 62 yards down the field and throwing an 11-yard touchdown pass to RB Carlos Hyde. It made up for a sure-fire touchdown reception in the end zone that was dropped by TE Vance McDonald on the preceding play. It was also Hyde's first career receiving touchdown. Kaepernick was 4-of-5 for 31 yards and the touchdown on his opening drive. He also had a key 15-yard run on the drive.
The next score did not come until the second quarter. Miami tied the game up 7-7 with a 2-yard touchdown run by RB Jay Ajayi. The Dolphins capitalized off of a fumble by 49ers TE Garrett Celek and put together a long 11-play drive that spanned 84 yards and ended with a 16-yard Ryan Tannehill touchdown pass to TE Dion Sims putting Miami up by seven.
On the first play of the second half, Kaepernick was picked off by MLB Kiko Alonso. The ball bounced off of the hands of WR Torrey Smith and Miami capitalized with a field goal to go up 17-7. The 49ers' next offensive drive went better. Kaepernick completed all four of his passes for 51 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown to Celek to bring the 49ers within three.
The Dolphins extended that lead late in the third quarter when WR Kenny Stills hauled in a Tannehill pass and ran into the end zone for a 43-yard touchdown. Another score, this time on a Tannehill pass to WR Leonte Carroo, put the Dolphins up 31-14.
|Penalties (Yds)||7 (65)||4 (42)|
|Punts (AVG)||4 (46)||5 (37)|
|Time of Pos.||29:28||30:32|
In the fourth quarter, Torrey Smith finally made his presence known by pulling in a 1-yard pass from Kaepernick at the end of a 75-yard drive to bring the 49ers within 10. The touchdown was just the third of the season for Smith and his first since Week 7.
Following a Phil Dawson field goal, the 49ers attempted to tie in the closing seconds of the game. Kaepernick completed a catch to WR Jeremy Kerley to bring the San Francisco offense to the 6-yard line with five seconds left. An incomplete pass to Torrey Smith and a run by Kaepernick that was just short of the end zone ended the game.
Kaepernick finished the game 29-of-46 for 296 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. He also rushed for 113 yards, leading the team. Hyde added 65 yards on 13 carries against the Dolphins. TE Vance McDonald led the team in receiving with four catches for 60 yards.
Tannehill finished the game 20-of-30 for 285 yards and three touchdowns for the Dolphins. Ajayi had 45 yards rushing on 18 carries.
|49ers Team Leaders|
ILB Nick Bellore, who has been dealing with a shoulder injury, was helped off of the field in the second quarter. He returned a few plays later.
ILB Shayne Skov went down with a knee injury during punt coverage near the end of the second quarter. He limped off of the field with some assistance from trainers.
WR Quinton Patton left the third quarter with a concussion and did not return.
Notes and Quotes
Colin Kaepernick's 113 rushing yards were most by a quarterback this season.
Vance McDonald now has 382 receiving yards this season, surpassing his previous single-season career high of 326 receiving yards set in 2015.
Kaepernick had a 122.8 passer rating against the blitz, per Pro Football Focus.
"I think it's just experience," 49ers head coach Chip Kelly said of Kaepernick's improvement. "I think each week he gets better."
"They're grown men," Kelly said. "They want to win."
"Trying to push the false narrative that I was a supporter of the oppressive things that he did is just not true," Kaepernick said of his comments about Castro. "Again, what I said was that I support the investment in education. I never said that I support the oppressive things that he did."