No. 3: Force Dolphins to cover SF 49ers running backs in passing game
The Niners are hopefully going to receive a nice boost in Week 5, getting their starting running back, Raheem Mostert, on the field again after he suffered a knee injury in Week 2.
Mostert, Jerick McKinnon, Jeff Wilson and JaMycal Hasty are all legitimate pass-catching running backs at Kyle Shanahan’s disposal, and that’s an element the head coach should use early and often throughout the contest.
The Dolphins have some halfway decent cover cornerbacks on their roster, but the combination of safeties and linebackers aren’t particularly great in this area.
And it shows in the stats.
To date, Miami has surrendered a total of 210 receiving yards to running backs over four games, which ranks 10th highest in the league. Some of the teams they’ve played, including the Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks, don’t necessarily involve their running backs much in the receiving game either, so that number might be skewed even more in San Francisco’s favor.
Plus, those short-area throws could make life much easier for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who is still dealing with an ankle injury and a 49ers offensive line that hasn’t been particularly great in either run blocking or pass protection this year.