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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

5 Keys to a 49ers Win Over the Dolphins in Week 13

Dec 3, 2022 at 8:15 AM--

The time is here. It's the apprentice versus the master in the Sunday matchup, Dolphins versus the 49ers. Both teams have several similarities on offense and defense. The Miami Dolphins look to go on a six-game win streak, and the San Francisco 49ers look to win their fifth straight. If the 49ers want to improve to 8-4, the team must commit to the following keys to victory.


The 49ers must bring physicality to all three phases of the game. On special teams, the gunners should prevent the opposing team from any significant gains. Expect Robbie Gould's kicks to be deep into the end zone. Mitch Wishnowsky needs to have his best game to force the Dolphins to drive the long field. The offense has weapons, and expect the 49ers to establish their physicality up front. They are looking to get tackle Trent Williams out in space, blocking any defender into a new world. Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Jauan Jennings, Kyle Juszczyk, and Brandon Aiyuk play some of the most physical football in the NFL. Expect the blocking game to be on level 100, which helps establish the team's physicality.

On defense, the 49ers may be the most physical unit in the league. Their shutout performance against the Saints was impressive, and with defensive tackle Arik Armstead returning, the depth on defense just received a boost. There will be fresh physical legs in rotation all game long.

PRESSURE The Quarterback

Tua Tagovailoa is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the NFL. He has a 69.7 completion percentage, 2,564 yards, 19 touchdowns, three interceptions, and a rating of 115.7. Expect 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, with his 11.5 sacks, to get constant pressure from the outside. Tagovailoa likes to throw over the middle, and the return of Armstead could not have come at a better time. The 49ers defensive lineman will not only be a benefit in the run game, but his length with help in the passing game. Force Tagovailoa outside the pocket, and this should eliminate any of the big-time throws down the field.

Be CREATIVE in the Run Game

There's been a shift in head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. Loaded with talent, Shanahan has more playmakers than Mike McDaniel's Dolphins. Shanahan must plan to run the ball. The Dolphin's defense will attempt to take away the run by loading the box. The 49ers should look to throw screen passes to take advantage of the Dolphin's aggressive defensive line.

Using running back Jordan Mason could be vital for this offense by running him up the middle. The combination of Christian McCaffrey and Jordan Mason (M&M) could be a pretty sight on Sunday. Mason could be utilized for the inside zone runs, and McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel for the outside runs. Expect Shanahan to be creative and innovative (a Trent Williams run?) against the Miami Dolphins.

FINISH in the Red Zone

The 49ers only scored one touchdown on three trips in the red zone against the New Orleans Saints. One of their trips that resulted in a field goal by Robbie Gould was a misread by Jimmy Garoppolo. The veteran quarterback had McCaffrey wide-open in the end zone. Expect Garoppolo to finish these trips with touchdowns. Scoring touchdowns will help alleviate pressure on the defense. The defense is number one in many statistical categories, but keeping the red-hot Dolphins' offense out of the end zone on multiple attempts is a tall task. Garoppolo and company can relieve that pressure with touchdowns.


The 49ers find a way to put themselves in awkward positions every week. Last week against the Saints, the 49ers struggled to score points offensively. Running back Elijah Mitchell had a 35-yard touchdown run negated due to a holding call on tight end George Kittle. All season long, the 49ers have found ways on both sides of the ball to show a lack of discipline. Bosa has back-to-back games with roughing the passer penalty. Let's hope we see none of those from the 49ers' defensive players in this game. If San Francisco wants to be victorious, they must do their due diligence, play disciplined football, and eliminate opportunities for Mike McDaniel's offense.

In conclusion...

This game may be one of the most significant regular-season matchups. The Dolphins have five former 49ers players who expect to play on Sunday. Some say this is a big test for the 49ers defense since it failed to stop the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7. However, I choose to look at this as a big test for the Dolphins' offense because they are finally facing the "cream of the crop" of defenses.
  • Written by:
    Wayne Breezie is a 49ers content creator. He had his first guest appearance on Ronbosports in 2012. He began writing for a Facebook group called the League of the 49ers. Next, he began writing for Nothing But Niners in 2017. In 2018, Wayne Breezie made his debut on YouTube’s Nothing But Niners show. In 2019, he started his podcast called Nitty Gritty Niners. After putting the pen down for several years, Breezie saw an opportunity to write for 49erscap.com. His first published article was in January of 2022 with 49ersCap, and he currently writes and produces weekly podcasts.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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