Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports


Preview: San Francisco 49ers (1-9) at Miami Dolphins (6-4)

Al Sacco
Nov 23, 2016 at 5:30 PM--


Week after week, the narrative is the same. It would be one thing if the San Francisco 49ers (1-9) actually found new and inventive ways of losing. That would at least keep things interesting, but they don't. In fact, it's pretty much the same thing every week. The team comes out relatively competitive for the first half and then gets their doors blown off in the second. The defense allows tons of yards and points, the offense plays well in flashes but ultimately falls flat, and the coaching staff seems like they have no idea what a second half adjustment is. Will any of this change in Week 12 when the Niners visit Miami to take on the red-hot Dolphins (6-4)? Probably not.

Recent History


Remember when QB Colin Kaepernick wore that Dolphins hat? Just kidding, The last time these two actually hooked up was Week 14 of 2012, when the 49ers used three second-half touchdowns to pull away in a 27-13 victory. WR Michael Crabtree paced San Francisco with nine grabs for 93 yards and Kaepernick sealed the game with a 50-yard touchdown run. OLB Aldon Smith added two sacks for the Niners, who improved to 9-3-1.

Players to Watch


This week, I'm going to take a different approach to this section and actually look at the coaches. I understand that the roster in San Francisco is limited at best, but the more I see the second half collapses that have become so familiar, the more I wonder about head coach Chip Kelly. His offense has been boring, predictable, and really struggled to move the ball. The 49ers have been held to 302 total yards or less in eight games and are currently 30th in the league in that category with 3,096. Since Week 3, they've only managed 18.6 points per game, which is a real problem when your defense gives up over 30 on a regular basis. And how about that defense? His hire of defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil was curious, to begin with, but it's looked even worse as the season has progressed. O'Neil is presiding over a historically bad unit, despite having what was expected to be some decent young talent. It will be interesting to see what happens from here on out because, at this point, Kelly isn't inspiring much confidence.


When you look at Adam Gase, it's hard not to imagine what could have been. It was rumored that he was the choice to replace Jim Harbaugh back in 2015, but he refused to keep Jim Tomsula on as the defensive coordinator. Any deal they might have had seemed to fall apart in the final hours and Tomsula was ultimately named head coach. Now, less than two years later, Gase has the Dolphins playing some of their best football in years after a slow start. Gase is the kind of innovative offensive mind the 49ers needed and hoped they were getting with Kelly. If Gase continues to go on to have success, it will just continue to sting a San Francisco fan base that's been put through the ringer the past 24 months or so.

Stats to Know


A big part of the second half issues goes hand in hand with the drop-off in quarterback play. Kaepernick has actually been quite good in the first half since taking over for QB Blaine Gabbert in Week 6, going 50-of-68 (73.5 percent) for 746 yards and six touchdown passes. The issue is, he falls off a cliff in the second half and his numbers dip considerably. In the third and fourth quarter, Kap is 36-of-94 (38%) with 398 yards passing and one score. Overall, the 49ers have been held scoreless in the third quarter in six of their 10 games and have been outscored 153-89 in the second half this year.

Game Changing Factor


Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports


It's been a tale of two seasons so far in Miami, as the difference between the Dolphins' first five games (1-4) and last five games (5-0) has been like night and day. Behind the emergence of RB Jay Ajayi, the running game has exploded to average 163.8 yards per contest since Week 6. In comparison, they couldn't find any running lanes early on and were held to 72.4 yards on the ground in Weeks 1-5. The defense has also turned it around, going from allowing about 400 yards to the opposition to allowing just over 300. A strong running game and improving defense is a tried and true recipe for success in the NFL and will be very difficult to overcome for a Niners team that's allowed a league-worst 1,795 yards rushing and can't move the ball on offense.

News from the Week


FS Eric Reid has been lost for the season. He suffered a torn biceps injury in the final minutes of the 49ers' game against the New England Patriots and will require season-ending surgery.

By the Numbers


Making his 400th career field goal last week against the Patriots, at 84.7% (400 of 472), K Phil Dawson has the best field goal percentage in NFL history among kickers with 400 career made field goals.

LB Ahmad Brooks ranks third in 49ers franchise history with 49 career sacks.

TE Vance McDonald ranks second among tight ends in the NFL this season with 17.9 yards per reception (Rob Gronkowski, NE - 21.6).

QB Colin Kaepernick's 7.22 yards per run this season leads the NFL among quarterbacks with at least 10 attempts.

Matchup Information


Kickoff: Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. PT

Where: Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida

All-Time Matchup: Series tied 6-6

Last Meeting: 12/9/12, 49ers win 27-13, at SF

Current Streak: Won 1

Betting: The Dolphins are 7.5-point favorites

NFL Fan Picks: 81% pick the Dolphins to win according to Yahoo! Sports

49ers Fan Picks: Within our Pick 'em Contest, 78% believe the Dolphins will win

49ers Schedule: View full schedule

Dolphins News: Dolphins news at Problitz.com

Follow Game Online: NFL.com's Game Center

Discuss: Niner Talk forum

Follow Us: Facebook, Twitter, Google+

Television and Radio


The game will be televised on FOX (Check 506 Sports to see if it is local).

Play-By-Play: Thom Brennaman
Color Analyst: Charles Davis
Sideline Reporter: Holly Sonders

KGO 810 AM and The Bone 107.7 FM (Other markets) will carry the radio broadcast with Ted Robinson doing the play-by-play and Tim Ryan as the color analyst. ESPN Deportes and KKSF 910 AM will carry the Spanish broadcast.

San Francisco 49ers Injuries


Questionable
DT Quinton Dial (knee/neck), LB Aaron Lynch (ankle), WR Torrey Smith (shoulder), CB Jimmie Ward (concussion)

Miami Dolphins Injuries


Out
C Mike Pouncey (hip)

Doubtful
T Branden Albert (wrist)

Questionable
RB Kenyan Drake (knee), CB Xavien Howard (knee), LB Jelani Jenkins (knee/hand), WR Jarvis Landry (shoulder), LB Spencer Paysinger (neck), WR Kenny Stills (calf), DT Ndamukong Suh (knee), T Laremy Tunsil (shoulder), DE Mario Williams (ankle)

Game Averages (Rank)


49ers Dolphins
20.4 (24th)
Offense Pts
21.8 (21st)
309.6 (30th)
Offense Yds
329.8 (26th)
189.8 (31st)
Offense Pass
211.7 (29th)
119.8 (5th)
Offense Rush
118.1 (8th)
31.3 (32nd)
Defense Pts Allowed
21.6 (15th)
431.1 (32nd)
Defense Yds Allowed
350.6 (14th)
251.6 (14th)
Defense Pass Allowed
224.5 (8th)
179.5 (32nd)
Defense Rush Allowed
126.1 (30th)

Individual Statistics


Team Leaders
Passing Comp Yds TD INT
Colin Kaepernick, SF 53.1 1144 7 2
Ryan Tannehill, MIA 65.9 2289 12 8
Rushing Car Yds Avg TD
Carlos Hyde, SF 141 529 3.8 6
Jay Ajayi, MIA 143 802 5.6 6
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TD
Jeremy Kerley, SF 40 424 10.6 3
Jarvis Landry, MIA 60 686 11.4 2

Ticket Stats





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