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Dolphins at 49ers: Which team has the advantage?

So which team has the advantage today?

Well, see if you agree with me:

When the Dolphins run the ball: You know about the Dolphins short-yardage struggles. They have converted only 12 of 26 tries on third-and-1 or less and only 5 of 11 tries on third-and-two. Well, Miami would be better off staying out of short yardage situations because this game because when opponents face third-and-three or less, the 49ers defense has allowed just a 39.5 percent conversion rate. That ranks first in the NFL. Reggie Bush said he expects this to be the Dolphins most physical game of the season. If Miami cannot win the battle against San Francisco’s front seven, it basically cannot win the game because the 49ers aim to make their opponent a one-dimensional passing team and then come after the quarterback. The Dolphins don’t want that. Bush must keep his average around 4 yards per carry. And he needs to get enough carries to keep the 49ers honest. ADVANTAGE: San Francisco.

When the Dolphins pass the ball: As good as the 49ers have been stopping the run, they have better credentials against the pass. They are ranked second in the NFL against the pass. Although the sacks are down slightly this year (the team ranks 10th in the NFL) the 49ers lead the NFL in sacks over the past three years. That is a big deal for Miami this week because the Dolphins will be without left tackle Jake Long to protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s blind side. Interestingly, the Dolphins are confident Long’s replacement Jonathan Martin can handle the assignment because he played left tackle at Stanford, played well last week in replacing Long, and is perhaps the future at the position. But the switch from right tackle for Martin forces Miami to use Nate Garner, the team’s sixth or seventh best lineman, into the starting job at right tackle. And that makes the chances of San Francisco moving NFL sack leader Aldon Smith over to Garner’s side highly likely. ADVANTAGE: San Francisco.

When the 49ers run the ball: This should be epic. The thing the Dolphins do better than just about anything else on either offense or defense is stop the run. The front seven has been mostly consistent throughout the season. Only one running back has gone over 100 yards against the Dolphins and only three teams have gone over 100 yards rushing against Miami. But the thing the 49ers do best is, you guessed it, run the football. The 49ers are No. 2 in the NFL in rushing. Former Coral Gables High and University of Miami product Frank Gore has not slowed down in his eighth season. He is already the team’s all-time leading rusher and leads a rushing attack that averages 5.3 yards per attempt. The addition of Colin Kaepernick at quarterback also adds a dangerous dimension in that he can scramble as well as throw. ADVANTAGE: Even.

When the 49ers pass the ball: Randy Moss can still run and blow the top off the defense, but the 49ers have not been using him in that role very often. It’s the reason he has only 19 catches. Ted Ginn can run and blow the top off the defense. But he’s caught only two passes and is mostly a return specialist. The big problems the 49ers pose are Michael Crabtree, a possession receiver, and tight end Vernon Davis, who has a knack for getting behind the secondary. Davis has catches of 53 and 46 yards this season and had a 100-yard game against the Bills. The Dolphins will be without Jimmy Wilson, their nickel cornerback, this week. That may not be a bad thing as Wilson has struggled in coverage this year. That means either Nolan Carroll or R.J. Stanford will be coming on the cornerback blitz this week. ADVANTAGE: Even.

Special teams: One special teams flop against Buffalo was happenstance. Another against Seattle was a trend. And a couple of more miscues against New England are starting to look like a troubling habit. The Dolphins special teams are hurting the team’s chances of winning the past few weeks. That needs to stop. The 49ers aren’t having such issues. Punter Andy Lee is a three-time Pro Bowl player and kicker David Akers has been to six Pro Bowls. Akers kicked a 63-yard field goal against Green Bay in September – a kick that tied Tom Dempsey for the NFL’s longest kick ever. ADVANTAGE: San Francisco. 

Coaching: The 49ers, at their core, are a very physical no-nonsense team. The problem they pose on offense is they take that philosophy and use disguise and misdirection and multiple sets that are hard to dissect and prepare for. It will be a test of the Dolphins coaching staff. Joe Philbin and his staff also have to figure out a way to make the loss of left tackle Jake Long seem inconsequential against, yes, the NFL’s sack leader. ADVANTAGE: San Francisco.


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Phins 78....

Good call....

I just CUT AND PASTE it in to a WORD DOCUMENT.....I will email it to Armando.....

Thanks for mentioning that before the post @ 2:26 got deleted......

What's a troll?


To the few ignoramuses always complaing about trolls. Nothing will change and nothing can change. I suggest you learn how things work and give up the endless sissy whining.

..Phins 78. I have to disagree that Washington had a more established offense. Last year they were among the worst in the league..Less then 290 points scored. The Phins had something like 325..And we scored more points then we gave up. So to say they were more established is false.

I do agree that we don't know what Griffen would be here. I would like to think that we would be much better. Everyone wants to say look at all the weapons teams like Washington, and Indy have.. Perhaps. But I give the credit to those young qb's that have elevated guys that were ordinary..How effective were both Garcon, and Wayne(I'll give you Wayne as he has been a Pro Bowl caliber wr. before last year) with the quarterbacks Indy had last year? They were in NFL purgatory. We can make excuses that are convenient (as far as their talent compaired to ours)But IMO it is the play of these 2 that has been the reason these teams have had success.

Don't say it again? Ill say it until the day I die.

We had the 8th pick Wash had the 6th. St Louis wanted a higher pick in last years draft. According to the draft analysis on compensation Miami would have to have traded their first, then give up their second, plus give up the next three first round picks. Wash traded for 6th and gave up 2 firsts.

Miami was in on the bidding. Ireland loved RG3 especially considering he came from Baylor where Ireland went to school. They didnt want to give up a kings ransom. Its a lot easier to say they should have now, after seeing him play in the nfl. But at the time and had it not worked out it would have looked like the Ricky Williams draft. And isnt

st louis traded the 6th pick last year

Hey Troll....

The REASON its a FEW....is because there are ONLY a FEW REAL people who post here....the rest are ARE...under Different TROLL names....

Things may NOT CHANGE.....but it never HURTS to try.....

Are you NOW scared you will have to talk to the BOSS cause you CROSSED the LINE.....

sucks to be you.....cause I'm EMAILING THIS.....


Kris, You do know you sound like the ack-side of a donkey??

orry kris,Should have said Back side of a donkey.

Like your words mean CRAP to me....@ 3:02.....or 2:56....


your beneath ALL of us...the worst kind of internet scum.....a IMPERSONATING TROLL.....


Another point is with more weapons and an already established team Washington has exactly one more win then the Dolphins. RG3 would not have the same numbers in Miami, our record would be 5-7 or 4-8, and our resident moron would be asking "If rg3 so good, why not team have winning record, he a bust".

Maybe Kriss is THE Troll?

Daryl I should have been more specific. Washington had a returning coach this year who had already established his staff and what the offense was going to be. There was no turnover, rg3 walked into stability. He would not have come into the same situation here.

phins 78 u know all this is bs u keep writing. who does washington have as a weapon???? nobody. and they have played a much much tougher schedule than us. dude is in the mvp race

gotta agree with bill 78. You're wrong about the "stability" in DC. RG3 walked into a team, mired in mediocrity, no stability on offense, especially QB position. Defense was one of the worst last year, people were saying DC should have been fired. People wanted Skins to void the last 2 years of Shanahan's contract before RG3 eve got there. And 2 guys coming off suspensions, fan base was embarrassing the Owner with signs at home games.

Sound familiar?

Pierre Garcon and Santana Moss are better than any receiver on our roster.

Chris Cooley and Fred Davis are better than any TEs on our roster.

Wash record 6-6

Miami record 5-7

Go ahead and give up on Tannehill, I'm willing to give the kid some time. Looking in the past and playing the should've game is a waste of time.

Phins 78, I agree with you that rg3 was far too expensive to trade up for. We couldn't afford to take the risk either imo

W cannot take anything away from RG3 or Luck. The truth is that Tannehill is one of the worst rated QBs in the league. You have to remember that both of those teams had worst records than the Fins last year.

Luck has taken his team from 2 wins to 8 and counting. They are also doing it with 4 rookies and one veteran that should be on the way down. Wayne is 35 and here are the rookies that Luck is accomplishing this with: Brazill (6th round), Hilton (4th Round), Fleener (TE 2nd round), and Allen (TE 3rd round).

I actually, feel that Tannehill is what is keeping the Dolphins from the Playoffs this year. With Matt Moore the Fins would be at least 7-5. This was a missed opportunity this year to make the Playoffs with a weak schedulue. We'll see if this playing time pays off for T-Hill in the future. He has some nice tools but in my opinion he is much to raw to be playing at this point.

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