The Miami Dolphins finish their back-to-back road games against teams in California by welcoming a California team to South Florida. After visiting the San Diego Chargers in Week 10 and the Los Angeles Rams in Week 11, the Dolphins will face the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12.
The Dolphins and 49ers have faced off 11 times in the regular season, with Miami holding a 6-5 head-to-head edge. The 49ers have the real edge, however, having beaten the Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX 38-16, the only Super Bowl appearance for Miami’s Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino.
We are working our way through the Dolphins’ 2016 schedule, posting team previews from each club as we go. Below, you will see Miami’s schedule, as well as links to the previews already completed and a link to the team’s SB Nation blog site.
(Note: We would recommend going ahead and joining the team sites for each of Miami’s 13 opponents this year if you are not already a member of their site. This will prevent you from running into any waiting period those sites may have established for membership, allowing you to join in pre-game discussions with their fans.)
Week 8 - BYE
Week 12 - vs. San Francisco 49ers team preview - Niners Nation
Week 13 - @ Baltimore Ravens team preview - Baltimore Beatdown
Week 14 - vs. Arizona Cardinals team preview - Revenge of the Birds
On to Week 12’s contest against San Francisco. Thank you to David Fucillo over at Niners Nation for their assistance with a look at the 49ers.
San Francisco 49ers
Notable free agent additions: OT Zane Beadles (yep, that’s it)
Notable free agent departures: OG Alex Boone
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies:
DT DeForest Buckner (1st rd) - likely starting as nickel DT, could quickly move into base defense as a defensive end
OG Joshua Garnett (1st rd) - expected to start at either right guard or left guard
CB Rashard Robinson (4th rd) - impressed in offseason workout program, could end up getting time in dime defense
DT Ronald Blair (5th rd) - could be rotational guy all along the defensive line
RB Kelvin Taylor (6th rd) - lot of opportunities behind Carlos Hyde, with nobody established as a complementary back.
Biggest offseason addition: Chip Kelly - The 49ers did not invest heavily in free agency. They added a lot of potential in the draft, but this offseason will be a success or failure primarily based on how Chip Kelly works out as head coach.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp: Quarterback position - Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick are competing to be the starting quarterback. Kaepernick spent most of the offseason workout program rehabbing three surgeries on his shoulder, thumb, and knee. He got into team drills in minicamp, but Gabbert would seem to have an edge having gotten first team reps the entire offseason workout program. Kaepernick is expected to be cleared 100 percent for training camp.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: Wide receiver position - Torrey Smith is the top WR at this point, but the No. 2 is unknown. Quinton Patton has handled No. 2 work for now, but there are some interesting younger options. 2015 draft pick DeAndre Smelter spent the 2015 season on the NFI list, rehabbing an ACL injury, but he was fully cleared from the offseason workout program. Eric Rogers spent 2014 and 2015 in the CFL and was the leading receiver last year. They are two to watch.
Notable injuries heading into training camp:
DT Ian Williams - The nose tackle had multiple surgeries on his ankle in the offseason, and is questionable to be ready for Week 1 of the regular season.
DT Glenn Dorsey - Tore his ACL last November. No word on when he will be cleared to return.