Week 13 Dolphins vs 49ers
After the Buffalo Bills win against the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football, the Miami Dolphins find themselves chasing Buffalo’s record once again. The Dolphins are now one win behind Buffalo in the race for the AFC East, and a win against the San Francisco 49ers would allow them to take back the top spot with their current head-to-head advantage over the Bills. Week 13 is here but, a quick look back.
Miami went out and handled their business early against the Houston Texans, with a combination of the offense and defense both scoring to give the Dolphins a 30-0 lead. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was rested for most of the second half with 299 passing yards and a touchdown to his name. The Dolphins carved their way through Houston’s defense throughout the first half with another very strong performance from Tua and co at home.
The defense showed up well early in the game. They forced multiple takeaways and got a defensive touchdown as the Texans crumbled on the road. Miami allowed just 36 rushing yards all day from a team that has really leaned into their run game this season with rookie sensation Dameon Pierce. The first-year starter was held to five carries for 8 yards in the game as Houston turned to the air attack while chasing the game.
While the win was what we’d have expected from Miami, the second half was admittedly quite poor. With Tua on the sidelines, the offense struggled to move the football and it was a woeful day for the offensive line. The Dolphins couldn’t get the run game going themselves, and Houston ended the game with five sacks as their star man on the offensive line had to exit the game with an injury.
Week 13: Terron Armstead
Terron Armstead has been battling through injuries all season long and head coach Mike McDaniel has spoken to his grit and determination as a player and a leader throughout his press conferences this year. Miami might have to play without him in week 13. Armstead suffered a pectoral injury in Sunday’s game against the Texans. He has not been ruled out and was seen at practice on Friday before the team boarded the plane to fly out west.
The veteran has provided the Dolphins with some stability in what had been a notoriously poor line for multiple seasons, and his presence can’t be undervalued in the meeting and locker rooms either. He’ll be missed if he is unable to play. His absence will be a concern with the Dolphins heading to San Francisco to face Nick Bosa and co on Sunday afternoon…
Miami Dolphins @ San Francisco 49ers Week 13 – 4:05 PM EST
Naturally, one of the key storylines to this game is the reunion of Mike McDaniel with his former mentor and good friend Kyle Shanahan. McDaniel has worked with Shanahan and his father for the entirety of his coaching career in the NFL. The two worked closely with the Washington Redskins under head coach and Kyle’s father Mike Shanahan, before continuing together in Cleveland, Atlanta and San Francisco.
McDaniel provided a lot of the genius behind San Francisco’s unique run game, serving as the run game coordinator for four years before he was promoted to offensive coordinator for the 2021 season.
The coaching battle is certainly going to be interesting in this one with the two head coaches knowing each other so well. Many believe that the student may have become the master in McDaniel’s case. The game is a great opportunity for Mike McDaniel to further the growing respect for his abilities as a first-year head coach. The rookie sensation has played a large role in the turnaround of Tua’s career. Largely with McDaniel’s belief in the young quarterback. Tua commented on what the coach’s belief meant to him having more trust in his own abilities. h
McDaniel will need to have some tricks up his sleeve for his former boss back in San Francisco. He’ll also be heavily focused on defensive coordinator Demeco Ryans and his powerful defense.
Ryans has done a sensational job with the Niners’ defense and is now the subject of head coaching talks himself. He over from Robert Saleh when Saleh got the job in New York.
Dolphins will Face Tough Defense in Week 13
The 49ers defense is the number one defense against the run this season. They are allowing less than 80 yards per game with one of the strongest front sevens in the league. The defense and running back Jeff Wilson will also be very familiar with each other. We’ll see who comes out on top in that head-to-head contest.
San Francisco is also one of the best defenses at taking away passing options in the middle of the field. Their linebackers are great in coverage and Fred Warner is one of the best middle linebackers in the league. His domain is an area the Dolphins love to target with play-action passes. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle have feasted in the middle of the numbers this year. So, what will Miami take a different approach this week?
Fins Offensive Line Concerns
The offensive line needs to hold up. Miami is struggling to piece five starters together at this point. Liam Eichenberg went onto IR a few weeks back. Armstead also might be out. Austin Jackson got banged up in a hurry after coming into the lineup. One positive is the interior of the line largely remained intact for the last few weeks. The tackles will be the weak point if Armstead is a no-go. Brandon Shell will need to hold his own against this powerful defensive line.
There are going to be some excellent matchups all over the field on Sunday afternoon. It starts with McDaniel vs Shanahan but extends across the field too. 49ers left tackle Trent Williams is largely considered the league’s best right now. He is listed as questionable. If he goes, he will be up against Miami’s new star Bradley Chubb. Christian McCaffrey is he is 100% healthy, he will be a tough person to slow down. He can run and catch out of the backfield. Week 13 will be fun and nerve-racking at the same time.
I expect to see the Dolphins try and establish the run early. The game plan will feature quick reads and fast-paced offense for Miami. I feel that Nick Bosa and the other pass rushers must be slowed down. Ultimately it comes down to Mike McDaniel and Tua Tagovailoa. Can they pick apart one of the league’s great defenses? This one will be a great game. If Miami comes away with a win, it will show the legitimate contenders. Who is ready for some week 13 football? Reach out to Dolphins Thirsty on Twitter! Comment here!
Also, take look at: Week 13 Fanduel Dolphins