clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

3 Reasons Why The Dolphins Lost To The 49ers In Week 13

In this weekly column, I outline 3 reasons why the Dolphins won or lost their previous game, and provide a short preview for next week’s game.

Miami Dolphins vs. San Francisco 49ers Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

Game Summary:

5 wins on the trot, snapped.

The Miami Dolphins fell by a score of 17-33 to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, marking the team’s first loss since October. In a game that turned ugly fast, the final scoreline doesn’t exactly tell the whole story. Regardless, here’s three reasons why the Dolphins weren’t able to overcome the 49ers in Week 13.

Reason 1: Lack Of Offensive Chemistry

On the game’s opening play, Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw a dart to wide receiver Trent Sherfield, who proceeded to race 75 yards down the field for the game’s opening touchdown.

But from there, it was only downhill. All throughout the game, the lack of chemistry between Tua and Miami’s receivers was extremely concerning. High passes, inaccurate throws, and wild decisions from Tua capped off his worst performance of the season, and was a big reason why the Dolphins fell short.

Scheme wise, the plays were there. Guys were getting open looks, but the lack of chemistry between quarterback and receiver was severely lacking. Nobody was on the same page offensively, and it cost the Dolphins the game.

Reason 2: No Running Game

A few months into the season, we’re all still waiting for Miami’s running game to catch up with their passing game.

Leading rusher Raheem Mostert managed just 30 yards on 7 carries, while Jeff Wilson Jr. had 1 carry for 3 yards. This simply isn’t good enough, end of story. And, not only did the Dolphins run the ball poorly, but they didn’t do it enough, racking up just 8 attempts all game. With no threat of hurting the defense on the ground, the 49ers dropped 6-7 guys into coverage on every play, and forced Tua into mistakes.

Reason 3: Defense Couldn’t Hold On

While Miami’s offense was sputtering all game, their defense also didn’t do them any favors.

Even as starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo exited the game with a foot injury, backup Brock Purdy continued slicing apart the Dolphins defense. As a unit, the Dolphins allowed a whopping 24 first downs, 230 passing yards, and 121 rushing yards. With a 3rd-string quarterback at the helm, one would expect a more dominant defensive performance.

Granted, the game was still relatively close until late in the 4th quarter, and the Dolphins defense did a good job of keeping the game within one score. However, a late-4th quarter drive by the 49ers allowed them to extend their lead to 9-points, and made it a two-possession game. Had the Dolphins defense made a stop, this game could’ve turned out totally different.

Game Preview:

The Dolphins stay on the West Coast this week, and are set to take on the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 14 on Sunday Night Football. The Chargers are coming off a disappointing 20-27 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 13.

After a tough loss, Week 14 is the perfect opportunity for the Dolphins to make a statement on national television, and return to winning ways.

What did you think of the Dolphins’ performance in Week 13? What were your biggest concerns? Let us know in the comments below, or at @ThePhinsider and @flameosumeet on Twitter!