2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Mistake-prone Miami loses 27-13 at 49ers

By ANTONIO GONZALEZ - AP Sports Writer
    2012-12-09 20:38

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Staring up at the sunny San Francisco sky, Marcus Thigpen peeked down at a pair of hard-charging defenders. By the time he looked back up, everything became blurry.

Same goes for the Miami Dolphins' season.

Thigpen's fumbled punt led to a 49ers touchdown that highlighted a series of mistakes in Miami's 27-13 loss Sunday at San Francisco. An ugly game that for so long seemed close ended the same way five of the last six have for the Dolphins: in defeat.

``I felt like I let the team down,'' Thigpen said.

That turned out to be a common phrase in the crammed quarters of Candlestick Park's visiting locker room.

Jonathan Freeny fielded a punt about the 2-yard line - then walked on the goal line for a touchback. Sean Smith was called for pass interference on a critical fourth-down play. Even worse, first-year Dolphins coach Joe Philbin challenged the seemingly clear-cut call on the field - and lost.

``We haven't mastered the concept of complementing one another,'' Philbin said. ``When we go down and kick a field goal, we give up a touchdown. We score a touchdown, they get another one. We didn't get a stop. We get a stop on defense (and) we get some momentum, we fumble a punt.''

That might sum up the Dolphins' demise this season.

Rookie Ryan Tannehill threw for 150 yards and a touchdown, and Reggie Bush ran for 65 yards on 14 carries against one of the league's most dominant defenses. Miami's makeshift offensive line only allowed two sacks - both to Aldon Smith, extending his league lead to 19 1/2 sacks - but Tannehill often had little time to throw.

The Dolphins defense didn't hold up, either.

Miami native and former Hurricanes standout Frank Gore ran for 63 yards and a touchdown to reach 1,000 yards rushing for the sixth time in his 49ers career. Anthony Dixon added another short TD run, and Colin Kaepernick ran for a late 50-yard touchdown after throwing for 185 yards in his fourth straight start since being promoted over Alex Smith.

The 49ers (9-3-1) held on to the No. 2 seed in the NFC behind Atlanta and mowed down another layer of Miami's playoff hopes in the process.

``None of us enjoy the situation that we're in right now,'' said Tannehill, who completed 17 of 33 passes. ``We don't enjoy losing. We don't enjoy preparing all week and not playing to our full potential on Sunday.''

The biggest bright spot for the Dolphins came when Anthony Fasano made a diving, one-handed touchdown catch for Miami (5-8) midway through the fourth quarter on a fourth down from the 3-yard line. The tight end's right knee landed in the end zone as he fell out of bounds under pressure from Donte Whitner to slice San Francisco's lead to 20-13 midway through the fourth quarter.

The Dolphins stopped the 49ers three-and-out on their next possession. Then Tannehill overthrew a tightly guarded Marlon Moore on the left sideline on fourth-and-10 from the 35 with 4:16 remaining before Kaepernick's long scoring run sealed San Francisco's victory.

``It's just a lack of playmaking at critical times. That's it,'' Philbin said.

The 49ers had no problem taking advantage of opportunities.

Thigpen fumbled trying to catch Andy Lee's punt early in the third quarter, C.J. Spillman recovered on the Dolphins 9 and Gore ran for a short TD two plays later to give Miami a 14-3 lead.

Cameron Wake's three first-half sacks had given Miami some momentum. On offense, though, Tannehill faced constant pressure.

Aldon Smith lined up against rookie left tackle Jonathan Martin, a former Stanford star recruited by 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. Martin shifted to the left side in place of Jake Long (left triceps), placed on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday. Smith and Martin shoved each other all day, jawed and even butted helmets.

``It got a little chippy, but that's how football goes,'' Martin said.

Dan Carpenter kicked a 53-yard field goal in the third quarter for the Dolphins and also an earlier 28-yarder. San Francisco outgained Miami 321 to 227 total yards.

The most costly chunk of that for the Dolphins came when officials whistled Sean Smith for pass interference on Michael Crabtree on fourth-and-1 from the 38 late in the third quarter. Five plays later, Dixon ran for his second touchdown of the season.

David Akers' 30-yard field goal in the second quarter tied the game at 3, then he kicked a 37-yarder as the first half expired to give the 49ers a 6-3 lead.

``We had some opportunities to put some more points on the board,'' Philbin said. ``We didn't. We were too generous.''

NOTES: Miami LB Koa Misi went down early in the third quarter with an ankle injury. ... The 49ers won nine games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2001-02. ... Under coach Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers improved to 3-0 against the AFC East and 6-1 vs. the AFC. ... 49ers LB Tavares Gooden sustained a rib injury.

---

Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Aldon SmithApr 17 09:32p

The San Francisco 49ers do not plan on releasing LB Aldon Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to be suspended at the beginning of the season, but the length [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 17 08:52p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee) said he expects to receive medical clearance to resume football activities in the near future. He underwent knee surgery in January but [ More ]

Sebastian VollmerApr 17 08:42p

New England Patriots OG Logan Mankins said OT Sebastian Vollmer (leg) has looked good this offseason while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered during the 2013 season.

Chris SneeApr 17 07:32p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (hip, elbow) is expected to participate when offseason workouts begin next week even though he is not 100 percent.

Rolando McClainApr 17 06:02p

The Baltimore Ravens reinstated LB Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list Thursday, April 17.

Russell AllenApr 17 05:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen, WR Jabin Sambrano and DEs Will Pericak and D'Aundre Reed Thursday, April 17.

Chad JohnsonApr 17 02:22p

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League Thursday, April 17.

Brian CushingApr 17 01:32p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) was medically cleared Thursday, April 17.

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group