To change Frank Sinatra’s song, “Regrets, I had a few!!”
The new song for the Dolphins’ 27-13 loss to the 49ers is this: “Mistakes, I had a few!!”
They also were the battles of Franchise Quarterbacks and Sackmasters!! The Dolphins managed a split 1-1.
The Battle of the Franchise Quarterbacks; Colin Kaepernick beat Ryan Tannehill.
The Battle of Sackmasters; Cameron Wake beat Aldon Smith.
Mistakes were certainly the case on Sunday. Mistakes, bad-playing calling, and bad defense led to the Dolphins’ demise because for the most of the 1st half, they played well.
Mistake number 1:
1) This to me in any game I watched this season, WINS the 1st ANNUAL Daniel Saviuk “BONE-HEAD PLAY OF THE YEAR” AWARD, and the winner of this award is: Jonathan Freeny!!!
With 3:15 left in the 1st half tied at 3, Brandon Fields makes a great punt, and LB Freeny, who plays special-teams, goes down to pin the 49ers deep, but mistakely instead of downing after catching it; takes a few steps forward after catching it and touches the goal-line. That is an automatic touchback. Watch here: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000108160/Mistake-results-in-Dolphins-frustration.
He could’ve downed a punt at the 49ers 2 or 3-yard line late in the first half. Instead, he caught the ball on the bounce, took a couple steps forward and brushed against the goal line for a touchback. Philbin challenged it. But here’s the touchback rule (as tweeted by former referee Mike Pereira: “If player of kicking team illegally catches/recovers a scrimmage kick in field of play & carries ball across goal line, or touches goal line with any part of his body while in possession of ball. For exception for missed field goal from beyond 20 yard line.” Punter Brandon Fields might’ve had the right idea – he pushed Freeny for making a bonehead play.
The 49ers get the touchback, march downfield and kick a FG to go up 6-3 at half.
Freeney had this to say about the play. “As soon as I caught the punt I saw the ref blowing his whistle,” Freeny said. “When I stepped on the line I wasn’t aware that I stepped on the line because I was walking forward. The whistle had blown and I was looking at the ref to give him the ball, but they said it doesn’t matter.” http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-dolphins/fl-dolphins-niners-gamer-1210-20121209,0,6848874.story
Mistake number 2:
2) At the 12:05 mark in the 3rd quarter, the 49ers punts to the ball to Marcus Thigpen; and he mistakenly fumbles the football. It went right through his hands. Watch here: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000108271/49ers-recover-muffed-punt
So, the 49ers recover at the 9 yard line, and 2 plays later, Frank Gore ties a franchise-record with his 50th career rushing touchdown, 13-3. Watch here in this highlight package: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000108664/GameDay-Dolphins-vs-49ers-highlights
Mistake number 3:
3) On 4th and 1 with 1:40 left in the 3rd quarter, needing to make a stop, Sean Smith was called for a very QUESTIONABLE PASS-INTERFERENCE call on Michael Crabtree. That kept the drive going and the 49ers capitalized on the 8 yard penalty, with 5 plays later on an Anthony Dixon 1 yard touchdown. Horrible call!!! Smith did nothing wrong, at least I thought..
Mistake number 4:
4) Needing to make a stop on 3rd and 5 at midfield on the 49ers’ final drive, the defense which was getting beat up the 49ers running game, couldn’t stop Kaepernick as he delievered the final knock-out punch, with a 50-yard TOUCHDOWN run to seal the victory. Watch here in this highlight packages: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000108387/WK-14-Can-t-Miss-Play-Kaepernick-the-quick and http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000108664/GameDay-Dolphins-vs-49ers-highlights.
It was that kind of day for Miami.
They had a chance to tie the game with 5:35 left in the game with ideal field position at their own 38, Tannehill ran off a string of 5 straight incompletions. A 15 yard pass interference call helped Miami, but that was it on that drive.
Tannehill tried to do to much. He was forcing it downfield. Bad-play calling on this drive such as:
1) On 3rd and 10 at the 49ers 35 with 4:16 left, he tried to force a ball down the middle of the field to Davone Bess with 2 defenders around him. A couple of thoughts here: 1) Bess is not a stretch receiver. Why is he running down the middle of the field? That is what Hartline does. 2) Why would Sherman call for a deep ball with some much time left; when something in the 10-15 yard range to Bess, Hartline or Clay would have worked sufficently. That would have gotten them a 1st down and keep the drive going.
2) The next play on 4th and 10, Tannehill overshoots Marlon Moore down the left sideline. Even he would have caught it, he wouldn’t have stayed in bounds. Again, why would Sherman call for a deep ball with some much time left; when something in the 10-15 yard range to Bess, Hartline or Clay would have worked sufficently. That would have gotten them a 1st down and keep the drive going.
I know Tannehill believed he could have made those throws and he just overshot them, but lets’ be real here: There was no seperation by those receivers. The Dolphins’ don’t have a stretch guy.
I HAVE WRITTEN and SAID SO MANY TIMES, “THE PLAY-CALLING SUCKS!!!!!!” Tannehill is getting so much blame and some deserved, but he is being forced to do way to too much. His play lately is suffering and the only to do now is: SIMPLIFY THINGS FOR HIM.
He has only 1 come from behind victory this season. NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!! He is better than this and the coaching staff needs to help him get back on track.
After the Kaepernick TD, needing 2 scores with 2 minutes left; Tannehill got sacked, and completed 1 of 4. Ball Game!!!!
It was a tale of 2 halves again for Tannehill.
Tannehill in the 1st half; was 10-14, 107 yards. Look at his highlight package as seen here:http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000108505/Week-14-Ryan-Tannehill-highlights.
He looked great. Had Brian Hartline not gotten tripped up on a his 28 yard catch as seen here in this highlight package: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000108505/Week-14-Ryan-Tannehill-highlights; he would have taken it to the house for a touchdown because there was not a 49er in sight and Miami would have been up 7-0.
In the 2nd half; 7-25, 43 yards, TD. His passer was 74.1. His lone TD was to Anthony Fasano, on what could quite possibly be the catch of the year. It was JUST SO FREAKING AMAZING!! Watch it in these highlight packages: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000108505/Week-14-Ryan-Tannehill-highlights and http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000108374/WK-14-Can-t-Miss-Play-Fasano-makes-49ers-swim-in-misery
What a CATCH!! The TD got to the Dolphins to within a TD at 20-13. Tannehill, also carries 3 times for 25 yards, with 1 carry for 20 yards. Like I said, the Dolphins had a chance to tie, but failed miserably and with such great field position, after forcing the 49ers to go 3 and out.
The Dolphins should have been able to march downfield and tie the game.
The Dolphins had a VERY DIFFICULT time containing Kaepernick, Gore, Crabtree. Then, the 49ers through a WRINKLE by playing for the 1st time; 4th-round pick out of Oregon RB LaMichael James.
James in his 1st game; had 8 carries, 30 yards, 1 catch, 15 yards, 3 kickoff returns, 79 yards. He really had the Dolphins guessing. I don’t think the Dolphins prepared for him. He provided a nice change of pace to spell Frank Gore. His longest run was 13 yards.
Kaepernick was FANTASTIC!! His line: 18-23, 185 yards, 100.2 Passer Rating; 6 carries, 53 yards, TD, including the clinching 50 yard touchdown run as seen here: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000108664/GameDay-Dolphins-vs-49ers-highlights.
He has a STRONG ARM and proved it when he ALMOST connected on 50 yard pass to Randy Moss in the 3rd quarter, that Moss should have caught. The old Randy Moss would have caught. The 49ers did score on the drive.
The only downside to his day was: He had the UNFORTUNATE PLEASURE OF MEETING THE SACKMASTER CAMERON WAKE; who sacked him 3 times. More on Wake in a moment.
Frank Gore had a REASONABLY SOLID GAME; 12 carries, 63 yards, TD (his 50th career TD, that ties a FRANCHISE RECORD); 2 catches, 22 yards. The Dolphins couldn’t corral him and bring him down. He went over 1000 yards for the 6th time his career.
Michael Crabtree had a SUPER GAME: 9 catches, 93 yards. He is finally REALIZING his potential with Kaepernick under center. That is Kaepernick’s MONEY MAN..
Now on to Wake.
Wake had 3 of the 4 Dolphins’ sacks along with 6 tackles. He tied his career-high with 14 sacks and he still has 3 games left to play. His biggest tackle came on 3rd and 5, when he tackled Crabtree to setup Miami’s attempt to tie the game.
In battle of sackmasters; Cameron Wake beat Aldon Smith, 3 to 2.
One of the biggest questions of the game was: Can Rookie Jonathan Martin handle the best in the business in Aldon Smith? Well he did. He even head-butted his opponent.
He gave up one sack, about a half dozen quarterback pressure and had a false start, but his performance in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers proved he wasn’t overmatched against the NFL’s best.
What was also a good sign was seeing Martin push back when Aldon Smith tried to bully him.
Martin, the Stanford grad the Dolphins selected in the second-round of the 2012 draft, doesn’t exactly fit your typical stereotype of an NFL football player.
He’s cerebral, and introverted. Those traits got him nicknamed “The Big Weirdo” by his fellow linemen.
But when the bullets are flying it has become clear that Martin is willing to mix it up.
Like an animal marking his territory, or a bully establishing his dominance in the neighborhood, Smith was pushing Jonathan Martin around after the whistle.
The Dolphins’ rookie had had enough and made a strategic decision. Martin head-butted the NFL‘s sacks leader, ramming his helmet into Smith’s dome in an effort to send the message he wasn’t going to be pushed around. Here it is..
Well, that video proved Martin will backdown from no challenge.
Other notes from the game:
1) Reggie Bush played SOLID: 14 carries, 65 yards, 5 catches, 38 yards. He ran hard and needs only 209 yards to reach 1000 yards.
2) Dan Carpenter made his FIELD GOALS; 28 and 53.
3) Davone Bess redeemed himself from laying an egg against the Patriots. 5 catches, 50 yards.
Unfortuantely, the Dolphins are struggling. Losing 5 of their last 6 has virtually assured of them of not making the postseason since 2008. They still have 3 games left to play. Maybe, the Dolphins can recapture their winning formula and win out.
Maybe, Tannehill can return to form and put up some SOLID NUMBERS to finish the season.
Next up, the battle of Florida vs. the Jaguars!!!!!
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About the Author
Written by Daniel Saviuk
My name is Daniel. I love the Miami Dolphins (been a fan since I was 10)...