Week 14: Miami Dolphins At San Francisco 49ers

Oakland Raiders v Miami Dolphins
San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals
The Dolphins have gotten a decent performance from Ryan Tannehill, but it has not been enough to make this team a winner. Tannehill does not have impressive numbers – 7 TDs and 12 interceptions – but head coach Joe Philbin is impressed with his talent, intelligence and leadership ability. Tannehill knows how to buy time and throw on the run, and will have to employ that strength vs. the Niners.
Winner Jim Harbaugh believes he has a winning quarterback in Collin Kaepernick. It’s certainly a controversial move considering Alex Smith was completing 70 percent of his passes, but Kaepernick is a top-level athlete with a powerful arm. However, Kaepernick is still learning on the job and will make mistakes from time to time and that could cost the Niners.
Running back Reggie Bush is just not tough enough to be a big-time running back in the NFL. He likes to flash his speed from time to time, but Bush does not like to get hit. The Dolphins don’t have a very talented group of receiver, but Brian Hartline will sell out to catch any pass while Davone Bess is solid. Tight end Anthony Fasano is a hard worker who can make the tough catch.
Winner With all the publicity that goes to the Niners’ quarterback controversy, few are paying attention to the superb play of running back Frank Gore. The Niners’ No. 1 running back has gained 972 yards and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Michael Crabtree is the best of the Niners’ solid group of receivers. He has a team-high 57 receptions. Vernon Davis is one of the most powerful tight ends in the NFL.
The Dolphins play hard on defense and that helps them overcome mistakes. They are effective against the run, ranking eighth in that category while they are 20th overall in defense. Middle linebacker Karlos Dansby is a solid tackler with 93 stops and he also has eight passes defensed. Defensive end Cameron Wake has a team-high 10.5 sacks.
Winner The Niners bring the pain on a regular basis under outstanding defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. That’s because they are loaded with big, fast and aggressive players. It’s hard to take your eyes off pass-rushing outside linebacker Aldon Smith, who has a league-high 17.5 sacks. Speedy linebacker NaVorro Bowman has a team-high 108 tackles.
Special Teams
Winner The Dolphins have done a good job in kickoff coverage this year. Return specialist Marcus Thigpen has been a revelation, returning both a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown. Placekicker Dan Carpenter has made 17-of-22 FG attempts, but he is 0-of-3 on kicks of 50 yards or more.
David Akers has not been dependable this season. He may still have explosive leg strength, but he misses too many makeable kicks for the 49ers. Akers has made 21-of-30 FG attempts this year and he missed a potential game-winner against the Rams in overtime in Week 13. Ted Ginn has explosive speed, but he has not had a kickoff return longer than 38 yards this season.

The Winner Is

San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals
Winner 49ers
3 out of 4

The Dolphins might have had a chance in this game if the Niners had been able to take care of business in St. Louis in Week 13. They lost to the Rams in overtime, so that means they are not going to look past Miami. The 49ers have too much firepower on offense and too much defensive strength to lose this game at home.


  1. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Sam Bradford #8 of the Minnesota Vikings throws a pass in the first quarter against Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Vikings 21-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) GREENBAY, WI - OCTOBER 20: Running back Jordan Howard #24 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by nose tackle Kenny Clark #97 and cornerback Demetri Goodson #39 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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  2. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles avoids Everson Griffen #97 of the Minnesota Vikings as he runs for a first down during the second quarter of a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-16.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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  3. GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football during the NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks tied 6-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 16: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers scrambles out of the pocked during the first half of a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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