The SF 49ers did little right and a lot wrong in Week 5 against the Dolphins, losing on both offense and defense and seeing Jimmy Garoppolo benched.
This, after the visiting Miami Dolphins came in and absolutely embarrassed the Niners 43-17 in Week 5 at Levi’s Stadium, essentially forcing San Francisco to start thinking about 2021 instead of their all-but-out-of-reach-now “revenge tour” of 2020.
The Dolphins made sure things wouldn’t be easy early, scoring on their opening possession after forcing a Niners 3-and-out to open the game. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick made it habit to pick on reserve San Francisco cornerback Brian Allen, who started over Ahkello Witherspoon for reasons not yet clear.
Allen surrendered a long 47-yard reception on the Dolphins’ first drive, was flagged two times, gave up Miami’s third touchdown to wide receiver DeVante Parker and was easily lost in his first on-field action since 2018.
And with the SF 49ers offense struggling early, Miami quickly got out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, while the Niners defense had zero answers of its own.
Allen was only part of the problem, albeit a big one. As has been the case over seemingly the entire regular season, San Francisco’s offensive line had all kinds of trouble opening up rushing lanes and protecting Garoppolo.
Jimmy G was sacked three times, hit four times amid a line of 7-of-17 for 77 yards, zero touchdowns, two interceptions and a rating of 15.7.
Meanwhile, the SF 49ers offense mustered 131 yards on the ground, averaging 6.9 yards per carry. His ugly afternoon, despite returning from an ankle injury, was ugly enough to prompt head coach Kyle Shanahan to insert backup quarterback C.J. Beathard after halftime.
In total, San Francisco had 259 total yards of offense, while Miami had 436.
Seven of those yards came from the SF 49ers’ first score, a rushing touchdown by fullback Kyle Juszczyk. It was something of a shocker, as Juszczyk is traditionally more a pass-catching weapon than a rushing threat.
Clearly, Shanahan felt the need to shake things up after falling behind 14-0.
Yet that couldn’t stop Fitzpatrick from picking on Allen, as Parker’s touchdown made it 21-7. Nickel corner Jamar Taylor surrendering a 70-yard reception to Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki led to the commanding 24-7 lead after the Niners defense managed a red-zone stand late in the first half. Garoppolo’s back-to-back first-half interceptions led to the other field goals to make it 30-7.
Beathard made things interesting in the third quarter, finding wide receiver Kendrick Bourne for a 19-yard touchdown to make it 30-14. But that was erased by another Fitzpatrick touchdown, and Miami dominated the action in the second half, too.
Dolphins Twitter burns the SF 49ers, too
If things weren’t working at all for the 49ers on the field, they weren’t working for them off the field, either.
Dolphins Twitter won the day, perhaps, by mocking the Niners’ “All Gas, No Break” saying made noteworthy last season, instead using it to describe running back Myles Gaskin’s first-half touchdown:
In many ways, that’s a fitting epitaph for San Francisco’s Week 5 efforts: a one-win team coming into the SF 49ers’ home field, dropping 43 points and forcing one of the Niners’ ugliest one-sided losses seen since Shanahan took over coaching duties in 2017.
The Week 5 version of San Francisco looked much more like that 2016 squad under one-and-done head coach Chip Kelly.
Yeah, it’s gotten that bad. And with the 49ers schedule toughening up a lot after such a horrendous 2-3 start, fans may want to start thinking about 2021 instead of wondering about playoff seeding from here on out.