Week 12 at Miami Dolphins
Sunday, November 27 at 1 p.m. ET
The Miami Dolphins boast yet another former 49ers head coaching candidate in Adam Gase, who will try to turn around a Dolphins team coming off a 6-10 finish last year.
In many ways, Miami mirrors the Niners. Both teams have a new head coach, both are having pains under center, the wide receiver group is unproven and there are questions within the defensive cast.
Can quarterback Ryan Tannehill get past last year’s regressions? And how will defenders Mario Williams and Ndamukong Suh lead a defense which ranked 21st in the league against the pass and 28th against the run last year?
In short, there are plenty of question marks with the Dolphins entering 2016. San Francisco may actually have enough answers to beat them.
For what it’s worth, the Dolphins have recently been tied to former 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver, per Mike Garafolo of of NFL.com:
Why the 49ers Win
Week 12’s contest will be a classic case of the 49ers establishing the run to help set up the pass. Defensive back Reshad Jones is a player to watch, so the Niners trying to keep him out of the picture will be a major focal point.
The good thing here is the Dolphins front seven doesn’t have the side-to-side strength to stop any 49ers ground attack.
Ensuring Tannehill stays in regression mode, and forcing an untested running back group to move the ball on the ground, will be a surefire means to a San Francisco victory.
Why the 49ers Lose
The Niners would have to get sloppy in this particular case and make too many mistakes. Tannehill isn’t quite the quarterback who is capable of carrying an offense on his shoulders just yet, so the 49ers defense would have to lend some assistance.
Similarly, the Niners offense wouldn’t be able to generate any sort of prowess against a questionable front seven.
Miami would effectively be able to cut off the ground game, which would give an improved Dolphins secondary a chance to force some turnovers.
Next: Week 13 at Chicago Bears