49ers vs. Dolphins NFL Week 14 Preview
Stadium: Candlestick Park
Kickoff: 4:00 pm ET
Weather: 67/51 temp, 0 percent chance rain, partly cloudy, calm winds
Point Differential: +118 (3rd)
Yards per game: 363.3 (11th). Yards allowed per game: 279.6 (2nd)
Passing yards per game: 201.3 (25th). Passing yards allowed per game: 189.0 (2nd)
Rushing yards per game: 162.1 (2nd). Rushing yards allowed per game: 90.6 (3rd)
Turnover Differential: +5 (12th)
Sacks: 30 (t-10th). Sacks allowed: 34 (26th)
Offensive 3rd down efficiency: 37.2% (20th)
Defensive 3rd down efficiency: 30.9% (2nd)
Point Differential: -22 (20th)
Yards per game: 317.6 (28th). Yards allowed per game: 355.3 (20th)
Passing yards per game: 209.3 (23rd). Passing yards allowed per game: 257.7 (28th)
Rushing yards per game: 108.3 (17th). Rushing yards allowed per game: 97.7 (8th)
Turnover Differential: -10 (t-28th)
Sacks: 33 (6th). Sacks allowed: 25 (t-11th)
Offensive 3rd down efficiency: 35.3% (24th)
Defensive 3rd down efficiency: 35.5% (7th)
Pretty much any way you look at it, this game is a mismatch in favor of the 49ers. They are the more complete team and better than the Dolphins in every facet of the game (Well, maybe their punters are both very good, that’s a wash).
The 49ers will have added motivation after a poor loss to the St. Louis Rams, who seemed to have their number this season. Colin Kaepernick had his first sub par start of the season, but should still expect to get the start this week after two terrific performances in the weeks prior.
Truly the only weakness to the Alex Smith-led 49ers was the deep play ability, and with Kaepernick they add that element to their balanced offense.
Two stats stand out to me as the only way the Dolphins make this a game. The strength of the 49ers is their running game, but the Dolphins are eighth in the NFL stopping the run. If they can find a way to slow down Frank Gore and company, they could keep themselves in the game.
They can also get stops if they put pressure on the quarterback. The Dolphins are one of the top pass rushing teams and the 49ers’ offensive line has struggled protecting their quarterbacks.
There is no way the Dolphins score more than 20 points on the road against this defense, but if they can keep the 49ers out of the end zone they have a shot. The Dolphins defense has to be oozing confidence after holding the league’s top offense to just 23 points last week.
All that said, the 49ers will be too much to handle, and the Dolphins will struggle to put up much of a fight. Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill will have his hands full.
Prediction: 49ers 19, Dolphins 10