Oh man, what an abysmal outing for the San Francisco 49ers against the Miami Dolphins. That was arguably the worst overall performance by the 49ers since Kyle Shanahan became the head coach. The Miami Dolphins offense, with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, systematically dismantled the 49ers defense.
After the 49ers started out the game with a 3 & out, the Dolphins immediately smelled blood in the water and turned into sharks when they saw the 49ers start recently-signed cornerback Brian Allen. Fitzpatrick showed off his experience and targeted Allen on the first play with a 47-yard pass to Preston Williams. That should have been an early indicator of what kind of day it was going to be for the 49ers. Six plays later, Fitzpatrick hit Shaheen for a 3-yard touchdown.
Things did not get any better for the 49ers, as they were stuffed on 4th & 1 at midfield. For whatever reason, the call was a handoff to McKinnon out of shotgun. They only needed one yard, and they hand it off a couple of yards behind the line of scrimmage — and to their backup running back with no fullback leading the way either? I just don’t get what Kyle was trying to do here. Again, it was obvious what type of day they had in store after this play.
Let’s be clear before finishing this recap — I don’t necessarily blame Brian Allen. Don’t get me wrong, his performance was one of the worst I’ve seen in years. However, this falls on the coaching staff. They signed the guy from their practice squad a few days prior to the game, and they expected to be able to leave him out there on an island against two very talented receivers in DeVante Parker and Preston Williams? They didn’t even give the poor guy any help over the top for crying out loud! If that is not the exact recipe for a disaster, then I need to toss out my cookbook.
Allen was finally pulled after giving up that score. Kyle Shanahan would say in the postgame press conference that Ahekllo Witherspoon went up to the coaches and asked to be put in. If he’s healthy enough to go in midway through the first half, then surely he was healthy enough to start the game, right? There had to have been something else going on behind the scenes with Spoon, because that just doesn’t add up to me.
After a Dolphins field goal, the 49ers offense started shooting themselves in the foot even more. Jimmy Garoppolo threw a deep ball to McKinnon on 3rd down that ended up getting picked off. It was a horribly thrown pass that had absolutely zero chance of getting to McKinnon. It’s obvious Jimmy isn’t 100% at this point. The Dolphins would be held to a field goal after this interception, making it 24-7.
On the following drive, Garoppolo would again have a pass sail on him and get intercepted by the Dolphins. They would add on another field goal prior to halftime, making it 30-7. Garoppolo would not return after this play. Kyle Shanahan later said ithe move to CJ was to “protect Jimmy.”
CJ Beathard would start the second half and drive the 49ers down the field to connect with Kendrick Bourne for the touchdown. Unfortunately, it was too little too late. The Dolphins still had a 20-point lead at this point.
I’m not even going to recap the rest of this 49ers game because it was so poor I honestly cannot imagine there are fans who want to recap this loss. So instead, I will give my thoughts on the game.
∙ The play-calling was really bad. If Kyle Shanahan knew Jimmy Garoppolo was not 100%, then why didn’t he call a lot more short/intermediate, high-percentage throws? Why aren’t there more runs with Juice as the lead blocker? Kyle needs to do better in order for this team to win.
∙ Robert Saleh is in love with his scheme. He simply cannot put Brian Allen out there on an island and expect him to be successful. He took way too long to realize Allen was single-handedly losing the game for SF. Players need to come before the scheme, Robert.
∙ The 49ers decision to not address the secondary or the interior offensive line had blown up in their face. It was a problem going back to last season, and the fact that they did absolutely nothing in free agency or in the draft is inexcusable. They lead the league in allowed QB hits last week with 40, and they added another 13 today. Even if Jimmy Garoppolo comes back healthy next week, who knows how long he will stay healthy with the rate his offensive line is allowing him to be hit. The secondary actually did alright throughout the day, but Allen was so bad it overshadowed everything else. Who knows how close this game would have been if Spoon got the start over Allen. This team cannot wait to have Weston Richburg, Richard Sherman, K’Waun Williams & Emmanuel Moseley back in the starting lineup.
∙ For the first time, I am not sure about Jimmy G. moving forward. I know he was injured, but he just did not look good. The interceptions he threw were some of the worst I’ve seen. The team might be forced to cut their losses after this season and look elsewhere for a QB.
∙ Kerry Hyder Jr. & Jason Verrett are the few bright spots when looking at the game today. Both have had solid seasons and the 49ers certainly need good performances from both of them moving forward to have any shot of winning.
∙ For all the talk we heard going into Sunday about the 49ers finally having all 11 offensive starters out on the field for the first time this season, that was absolutely horrible. They came up with a total of 7 points together (the remaining 10 points came with CJ under center). 7 points from all of your offensive starters with Kyle Shanahan calling plays against the 31st ranked Dolphins defense is laughable, unacceptable and inexcusable. The entire offense needs to do better, and if not we’re going to start talking draft prospects before Halloween, which is just sad.
Next week, the 49ers travel to Los Angeles to play the Rams on Sunday Night Football. Let’s hope the team actually shows up. If they don’t, there will be another nationally-televised embarrassment from a team that won 13 regular season games last season.
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